THE Scottish Government has announced a new project to ensure blind and partially sighted veterans are given support as early as possible.

As part of the move, people applying for a Certificate of Vision Impairment will be asked if they have ever served in the armed forces.

New advice will also be issued to practitioners responsible for registering people with the certificate to help veterans access free support provided by the Scottish War Blinded charity.

Veterans Minister Graeme Dey said the changes would help ensure they are not at a disadvantage when seeking support.

“The Scottish Government is committed to supporting our armed forces veterans and their families in Scotland,” he said.

“Practitioners will now be able to highlight the new signposting in the patient guidance that accompanies the CVI process to Scottish War Blinded.

“The organisation’s continued commitment to helping veterans live independently, as well as offering training, social and recreation opportunities is highly valued by both the armed forces community and the Scottish Government.

“This signposting will help veterans access the additional support they may need and will ensure they are not disadvantaged by their service or the circumstances they find themselves in because of this.”

The move follows campaigning from charities, Royal Blind and Scottish Ward Blinded, who offer practical, emotional and financial support to equip veterans to be as independent as possible.

Mark O’Donnell, the Chief Executive of Royal Blind and Scottish War Blinded, said: “We are delighted that ministers have responded so positively to our proposal for people applying for a Certificate of Vision Impairment to be asked if they are veterans and if so, to be signposted to the services we provide.

“Support from our charity can be life-changing for veterans with sight loss.

“We do all we can to encourage referrals to our services but we still find a number of veterans are not being made aware of our support as quickly as they could be.

“This initiative will help ensure more veterans can benefit more quickly from our support in the future.”

For more information, you can visit the charity’s website on

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