Registration for people with sight impairment - a valued system

Catey Bunce, Senior statistician,

Other Contributors:

November 17, 2010

Ryan and Margrain's letter highlights some key findings from a report they conducted on behalf of the Thomas Pocklington Trust. 1 They found that there are many people in Wales requiring visual rehabilitation who do not meet the current criteria for certification as visually impaired. They found also that there had been poor uptake in Wales of systems which were designed to support those who need aid who do not meet such guidelines (the LVL and the RVI). These are important findings that need airing and discussion, but are they really findings that should call into question the value of a system that has facilitated support to visually impaired individuals in need since 1920? This is implied by the title which is perhaps misleading and does not reflect the content of the letter. It should be noted that this study also reported that just under 14 % of those with registrable visual acuities were not registered and were not known to social services. These data are in line with those reported by Tate et al in a report commissioned by the RNIB which estimated that 89 % of people over 75 years of age who were eligible for registration were indeed registered.

1. Ryan B Margrain TH, Reidy A et al. All Wales Visual Impairment Database (AWVID). Occasional paper number 24. London: Thomas Pocklington Trust. 2009 2. Tate R, Smeeth L, Evans J, Fletcher A, Owen C, Rudnicka A The prevalence of visual impairment in the UK. A review of the literature. Report commissioned by the RNIB.

Conflict of Interest:

Currently hold a grant to collect and analyse certification data for England & Wales

Conflict of Interest

None declared