Articles for the Blind
All registered sight impaired people are able receive certain items through the post without using a stamp following a few simple rules laid down by the Post Office. The recipient must be registered as sight impaired, the print size of the letter must not be less than 16 point, the contents must be specifically for a sight impaired person and there must be a return address shown. The Post Office reserves the right to open the envelope or parcel should they so wish. Further details are available on the PO website, “articles for the blind-post office”
Attendance Allowance & Disability Living Allowance
The Eye Society offers help with form filling; the Attendance Allowance if you are over the age of 65 or the Disability Living Allowance if you are under 65. If you are registered as sight impaired and are not receiving either of the above Allowances please get in touch as you are most likely eligible to this money which is NOT means tested. Please phone 01625 422602.
If you need a blue badge (disabled persons parking permit) you will need to apply to Cheshire East, telephone 0300 123 5020 then press 4. Applications may also be done via their website.
British Wireless for the Blind Fund
The East Cheshire Eye Society is the local agent for another charity the “British Wireless for the Blind” fund. This charity founded in 1929 lend free of charge radios and audio equipment made by Roberts Radio Ltd to anyone who is registered as sight impaired and in receipt of means tested benefit. The equipment has been specifically designed for visually impaired people with yellow, tactile buttons. They are also available for purchase if you are not on means tested benefit. Please phone the resource centre on 01625 422602.
Hospital Information Desk
This desk is staffed by volunteers and is situated in the Eye Clinic at the local hospital. It provides information about services and equipment that are available to visually impaired people and which will enable them to remain more independent and hopefully help to reduce the stress that many visually impaired people feel at the time of diagnosis.
Reading with Macula loss
Being diagnosed with macular degeneration does not necessarily mean that your reading days are over. Here are some general suggestions which may help.
Getting the right light is essential. Turn on your overhead lights. Position your reading lamp next to your chair so the light shines over your shoulder onto your reading material ensuring your head is not casting a shadow or that the light is not shining into your eyes.
If you find reading with one eye closed easier, try a patch. The strain of keeping one eye closed can make you tired, cause confused images, give you a headache and slow down your reading speed.
Make sure you are sitting in a chair that offers support preferably with arms to allow you to support your arms.
Find your best eccentric viewing position
Macular degeneration causes loss of central vision. Everyone with this condition will have a ‘best viewing position’ which may at first be difficult and tiring to find but will become easier with practise.
Clean your glasses!
This may be obvious but clean lenses will improve the viewed image. Any propriety lens cleaner can be used but be sure to polish with a soft clean cloth, tissues and kitchen roll can scratch the lenses. Washing up liquid can be used provided your spectacles or low vision aids do not have an anti glare coating as this can be damaged by the chemicals in the cleaning agent.
Supporting East Cheshire Eye Society
We are an independent, local registered charity which means we are not affiliated to any other charity (we are not the R.N.I.B.) nor do we receive grant funding from the government or from Cheshire East Council to run our Resource Centre or pay our staff.
We are dependent solely on donations, our own fundraising and grants. If you wish to make a donation please send a cheque to:
East Cheshire Eye Society
15 Queen Victoria Street, Macclesfield SK11 6LP
or donate online via this link:
We are always looking for people, with or without specialist skills, with time to spare but who care about others. They may choose to visit someone who is lonely, maybe just to chat but also to help by reading letters or checking sell by dates on food. If you are interested in finding out how you could help by becoming a volunteer, please contact Helen, our Volunteers Coordinator, on 01625 422602.
Thank you for reading this introduction to our Society. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like any help or advice regarding the services we can offer you.