Information NOW is the information website for adults, their families and carers in Newcastle. Helping you stay informed, make choices, plan ahead, be independent and have an excellent quality of life.
For information on help and support, how to get active, what to do in your spare time, keeping healthy and much more – there is something for everyone. For more information, visit their accessible website Information NOW.
If you’re registered as severely sight impaired, you can get 50 per cent off your TV Licence. The following link is for more information and to apply TV Licensing.
Please see our BWFB page. There are radio shows and podcasts that can you get and stay connected to news and developments in the visually impaired world. The following is a link to Radio 4’s long running In touch programme In Touch. The following is a link to the RNIB Connect services RNIB Connect.
Assistance with directory enquiries
If you’re registered as severely sight impaired or sight impaired, you can make use of the free directory enquiries service. You can use this service whether or not you are with BT. To sign up for this service call 0800 587 0195. Once signed up, all you have to do is to dial 195 and you can talk to a trained operator who will help you with your enquiry. If you ask to be connected to the number you need, you will then be charged for the call.
Assistance from utility companies
Being sight impaired or severely sight impaired qualifies you to sign up to your utility supplier’s Priority Services Register. This can get you extra help and support with your gas, electricity and water. Some utility suppliers offer discounts. For more information, contact your utility suppliers.
The following is a link to RICA Consumer Research organisation for older and disabled people which you may find useful RICA.
There are a number of leisure concessions such as sport, theatre or theme parks, that you and your partner, relative or carer, may be entitled to if you have sight loss. We advise you to always ask about the available discounts.
“Since losing my sight, I’ve found a new passion for watching rugby and now my wife and I get discounted tickets and go to matches regularly”, ‘Jim’.
You may be entitled to concessions at the cinema if you’re registered as severely sight impaired or claim certain benefits, including Personal Independence Payments and Attendance Allowance. For more information ask at your local cinema. The CEA Card enables a disabled cinema guest to receive a complimentary ticket for someone to go with them when they visit a participating cinema. The following is a link to more information about the CEA Card.
Some films at the cinema have audio description, where someone explains what is happening on the screen. The majority of cinemas now have this available, but check with your local cinema.
Some television channels offer this service on certain programmes. Some theatre productions, museums and exhibitions now also have audio-described tours.
Vocal Eyes is a nationwide audio-description service, providing access to the arts for people with sight loss. The following link provides more information Vocal Eyes.
Reading and accessing information
Reading is important to all of us. There are different ways of reading and the best way to find out what works for you is to try them out.
Daily newspapers and magazines are available in audio format by subscribing to RNIB Newsagent, or online directly from the publisher. We have a talking newsletter that is produced by our friends at the local Talking Newspaper service Tyne Sound News. The following is a link to their website Tyne Sound News. We find the following link useful in keeping up with visual impairment in the national press Blindness Page.
There are a variety of audio books available. Some are specific for visually impaired people. For more information, call the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999, sign up online at the following link RNIB Talking Books or call Calibre Audio Library on 01296 432 339 or the following link Calibre. You can also call Listening Books on 020 7407 9417 or the following link Listening Books Your local library can also help you with books in your preferred reading format.
You can now receive and read a lot of material using electronic devices. These include video magnifiers, text to speech scanners, and everyday technology such as smartphones, e-book readers, MP3 players and computers. Most smartphones and tablets have in-built accessible features such as magnification and screen reading facilities. Computers can also be made accessible with magnification and screen reading software. For more help on choosing the best device for you please give the office a call.
Different types of equipment can be demonstrated and purchased at Newcastle Vision Support.
It’s really important that you continue to have your eyes checked after you’ve been through the certification process. You can still be vulnerable to further sight deterioration, so it’s important to look after your eyes.
Sight tests at home
If you’re registered as sight impaired or severely sight impaired, you’re entitled to a regular NHS sight test free of charge. You may be entitled to a mobile service where you can have your eyes tested at home. To find out if you’re entitled to this, and to learn about providers in your area, telephone 111.