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Sensory Impairment (Adults)

Optician looking at eye

Sensory Impairment

Sensory impairment covers:

  • Visual impairment
  • Deaf and hard of hearing
  • Dual sensory loss (Deaf/Blind)

What is Sensory Impairment?

Blind lady typing

Visual Impairment

Visual impairment is reduced sight and the degree of reduction can vary significantly.  It can be due to:

  • a medical condition
  • birth abnormality
  • age
  • a head injury/trauma

Hearing Impairment 

Hearing Impairment is reduced hearing and the degree of reduction can vary significantly.  It can be caused by

  • a medical condition
  • a birth abnormality
  • age
  • a head injury/trauma  

Dual Sensory Loss (Deaf/Blind)

Deafblindness is a combination of sight and hearing impairment that affects how you communicate, access information and get around. Many people who are deafblind have some residual sight and/or hearing.

Dual-sensory impairment or multi-sensory impairment are other terms that may be used if you have both sight and hearing impairments.   There is lots of useful information on deafblindness on the Sense website.

Peterborough City Council's Sensory Support service

Peterborough City Council logo

The council's Sensory Support Team is dedicated to supporting adults who have a sensory impairment whether it be their hearing, their vision, or both.  A medical diagnosis is not needed to access support, information and advice.

Specialist assessments are carried out which focus on supporting you to stay safe and independent.  The assessments might include:

  • giving you information and advice
  • providing advice on private purchase of aids
  • signposting to charitable organisations and community groups

Following the specialist assessment, we can provide rehabilitation and commission support for you so that your independence and quality of life can be improved in your home and community.  

We can also supply suitable equipment/aids which aim to increase safety, confidence and independence both within the home and outdoors.

Register of people who are visually impaired

Pair of glasses

The council is required by central government to hold a register of people who have been certified as Severely Sight Impaired (previously called blind) and Sight Impaired (previously called partially sighted). The register is confidential, so your details won’t be shared without your explicit permission.  Registration with the council is entirely voluntary.

If you are experiencing a reduction in your vision, you will need to contact your Optician or GP.  If they are concerned they will refer you to the Ophthalmology Department.  A Consultant Ophthalmologist is the only person who can determine whether your reduced vision is significant enough for you to be offered certification as Sight Impaired or Severely Sight Impaired.

If you are registered as Severely Sight Impaired or Sight Impaired the Ophthalmologist will send a copy of your Certificate of Visual Impairment to your GP and to Adult Social Care.  A worker from Adult Social Care will then contact you to find out what support you might need to stay safe and independent.

There are some very significant advantages to getting registered. Firstly, it can make life more affordable by enabling you to claim a wide range of concessions. These include a half-price TV Licence, help with NHS costs, help with your Council Tax bill and tax allowances, leisure discounts and free public transport. Which concessions you are entitled to depends on whether you are registered as severely sight impaired or sight impaired.

Equipment that can help you if you have a visual impairment

Helpful aids and equipment can be found on our Equipment Catalogue and searching on 'visual'.  There are also a wide range of organisations selling equipment including:

Cobolt Systems Ltd

RNIB Shop

If you need further specialist help you can contact Adult Early Help on 01733 747474.  

Register of People who are Deaf or hard of hearing

Doctor looking in patient's ear

If you have been diagnosed with a hearing loss by your local audiology services, you can contact Peterborough City Council Adult Early Help on 01733 747474 and apply to be registered.  You will need to supply a copy of your Audiogram.  This is a document that confirms the degree and range of your hearing loss and will be given to you by the Audiologist.

There are a few benefits of registration which may entitle you to a range of concessions:

  • VAT exemption to buy necessary equipment
  • Discounts for leisure activities
  • Discounted travel on public transport

You can download a copy of the Registration Form on this page.

Equipment that can help you if you have a hearing impairment

Helpful aids and equipment can be found on our Equipment Catalogue and searching on 'hearing'.  There are also a wide range of organisations selling equipment including:

Action on Hearing Loss online shop

Living Made Easy - Equipment for people who are deaf or hard of hearing

If you need further specialist help you can contact Adult Early Help on 01733 747474.  

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