Difficult words explained

We have tried to make our website as easy to understand as possible. That means using as little jargon as we can manage!

But we sometimes have to use words or language that people might not understand straight away. Here are descriptions of some of the things we talk about.

Acute learning disability liaison nurse

They work at the hospital and can help you to plan your hospital care.

Annual health check

People with learning disabilities can have a health check with their GP (doctor) every year. Your GP should ask if you are having regular eye tests.

Cortical or cerebral visual impairment

The brain helps us to see well. If the brain is not working properly, it may cause someone to have poor vision.

Diabetic eye screening

This is an extra appointment for people who have diabetes. It is an important eye check to make sure your eyes are healthy.

Dispensing optician

They have had special training to help you choose the right glasses and make sure they fit properly.

Eye condition

This is a problem with the health of your eye. An eye condition may make your eyesight worse. Your optometrist or ophthalmologist will help you with your eye condition.

Eye test

This is when an optometrist checks how well someone can see and whether their eyes are healthy. The eye test can tell you if you need to wear glasses.

Community learning disability nurse

They can give advice and support with someone’s health, life skills and social activities.

Low vision service

This helps people who have an eye condition to use their eyesight well. They may suggest things like magnifying glasses and special lighting.


This is the eye doctor who works at the hospital eye clinic. They can give medicines and do surgery on people with some eye problems to try and make them better.


This is the person who gives you an eye test. They check your eyesight and that your eye is healthy.


They can help people when their eyes do not work well together. Orthoptists usually work in a hospital eye clinic.


A paediatrician is a doctor who manages medical conditions in children.


This is how light shines on the retina inside the eye. Refractive error is an eyesight problem due to the shape of the eye which makes it blurry to see. This can often be helped by wearing the right glasses or contact lenses.

Registration as Sight Impaired or Severely Sight Impaired 

If someone has very poor vision, they can be Registered as Sight Impaired or Severely Sight Impaired. This starts at the hospital eye clinic. You will be given a form called a Certificate of Visual Impairment. Being registered can make it easier to get support with your sight problem.

Rehabilitation worker

They work with people who have a visual impairment. They train people in everyday skills and can show you useful equipment. Rehabilitation workers may be part of a Sensory Impairment Team.

Visual impairment

This is when a person has very poor eyesight because they have an eye condition which can’t be made better.


Find an optometrist

Search our database of optometrists and dispensing opticians who have shared information on their services for people with learning disabilities.

Find an optometrist

Eye care resources

Search our resources which have been created to help people with learning disabilities, families, supporters and eye care and learning disability professionals.

Browse resources