Search site

Help for those with sight or hearing problems.


A problem with sight or hearing (or both) can make everyday activities more difficult. As well as the help available from a range of organisations, Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole councils have Sight and Hearing Teams to help you.  They can provide both advice and practical help.

We can help those with any degree of hearing loss.  For those with sight impairment, we offer a service to people with a significant sight loss in both eyes that is not correctable using glasses or contact lenses. If your sight loss is not as severe as this, we can give you advice about appropriate support available from other organisations.


A visit from a member of one of our Sight and Hearing Teams starts with an assessment at home.  We will talk to you about your condition and how it affects you, your carers and those close to you.  We can then plan how to meet your needs and help you live as safely and independently as possible. This could cover such areas as:

  • advice on equipment and services that might help you
  • the benefits of registration of a visual or hearing impairment
  • practical help we can offer.

Our practical help includes training and support in areas such as:

  • moving around confidently and safely both indoors and out
  • meal preparation, using kitchen appliances, food labelling and general hygiene
  • personal care such as washing and dressing
  • use of specialist equipment and safety in the home etc.

If you have a sight and/or hearing problem, it can help you to register with your local authority.  You do not have to register to get help from us, but it can entitle you to a range of benefits including:

  • VAT exemption to buy necessary equipment
  • discounts for leisure activities
  • discounted travel on public transport.

Those with sight problems can also get:

You may also be eligible for the Personal Independence Payment (opens in a new window) - a tax-free benefit to help with any costs relating to disability or illness.  Registration can help with your application. 

To register a sight problem, talk to your GP or optician.  They will send you to an ophthalmologist (a doctor who specialises eye conditions) for a sight test.  If this shows that you are sight impaired or severely sight impaired, you will be issued with a 'Certificate of Visual Impairment' (CVI).  A copy of this will be sent to your local authority who will get in touch to let you know you are registered.

If you have a hearing problem, your GP or hospital Audiology Department will arrange your registration with us.

How to get help

If you think the Sight and Hearing Team could help you, please get in touch with us.

Feedback Form
Leads to Insight