The Blue Badge Scheme
If you are registered as blind (severely sight impaired), you could be eligible to apply for the Blue Badge scheme. This allows drivers to park in spaces reserved for disabled people. Often these are very close to buildings and facilities to make it easier for disabled people to get to them.
Although the Blue Badge would be in your name and you would be unable to drive yourself because of your sight loss, you can use it in any vehicle in which you travel.
For more information about the scheme, contact your local authority or the Blue Badge Initial Enquiry Support Service. You can email email@example.com or call one of the following numbers:
- England: 0343 100 1000 - GOV.UK Blue Badge website
- Northern Ireland - NI direct
- Scotland: 0303 100 1001 - Blue Badge Scotland
- Wales: 0343 100 1008 - GOV.UK Blue Badge website
Concessions on public transport: disabled persons railcard
This is available to purchase here https://www.disabledpersons-railcard.co.uk/ or by phoning 0845 605 0525 and can give you a third off of rail fares. You can get sighted assistance at the start and end of your rail journey. Contact the relevant train operating company in advance to arrange this. For more information visit Disability onboard website. You can also apply for a free bus pass to give you concessionary travel on buses across the UK. Why not contact your local authority or local transport providers for further details of travel concessions in your area.
Free Cinema Ticket for someone accompanying you
You may not be able to get a discount for your own ticket to the cinema but you may be able to get a free ticket for anyone accompanying you if you sign up for a Cinema Exhibitor's Association (CEA) card. For more information on how to apply and which cinemas take part in the scheme, visit the CEA card website, call 01244 526 016 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free or discounted entry to places of interest
Many places will offer you discounted or free entry as a disabled person. They may also be able to offer you equipment, guided tours or other services to make their venue accessible to you. Phone up places you would like to visit in advance and find out what they could offer you.
Free loan of audio equipment
You can have access to a free radio from the British Wireless for the Blind fund, here. They were set up as a way to enable anyone who needs it to have access to the radio, recognising that living with sight loss can be lonely. They provide specially adapted equipment to those who could not otherwise afford it, if aged over eight years old and severely sight impaired.
TV License Fee reduction
If you are severely sight impaired, you can qualify for a 50% TV license fee reduction. And, if you’ve paid over the odds previously you may be entitled to a refund. More information is available here.
Tax allowances and exemptions
As well as being able to get specialist products VAT free, you may also qualify for a larger tax-free personal allowance, which means that you can earn more money before paying income tax. You can find out more here.
Free postal service
This allows you, through the royal mail, to send certain items in the post free of charge. These are books, printed materials, letters, relief maps, audio and electronic media and equipment such as magnifiers and mobility aids. You can read more information here.
The RNIB have some fantastic information available for you to find out how you can claim financial benefits here.
Special thanks to the RNIB information pages on everyday living for some of the above information. You can read more here https://www.rnib.org.uk/information-everyday-living-benefits-and-concessions-concessions/leisure-and-travel-concessions