Arts and crafts

There are lots of arts and crafts you can take up, or continue to enjoy, if you are blind or partially sighted. This page contains information and tips on where you can find out more about some popular activities for people with sight loss.

Creative writing

RNIB can offer many practical aids to help you write, such as writing frames, marker pens and so on. Alternatively you could also record your thoughts as audio rather than writing by hand. For more information visit the RNIB shop or contact the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999 for information on suitable products.

There are many creative writing courses, groups and workshops, either aimed specifically at people with sight problems, or who are happy to help members with sight problems. You could find out about classes near you by contacting a local college. Your local society might also offer classes or creative writing sessions. You can find your local society using the Sightline Directory.

Photography

Many blind and partially sighted people enjoy photography as a pastime, often using specially adapted photographic equipment.

The Disabled Photographers' Society is an organisation that encourages disabled people to take up photography. They give support including technical advice on equipment, a quarterly newsletter and the chance for members to exhibit work at an annual exhibition.

Music

If you are unable to read print music, there are other ways to learn an instrument and new pieces. You can try braille music, Modified Stave Notation (MSN) or learning by ear.

RNIB’s Music Advisory Service can give information and advice on ways in which you can continue to play a musical instrument, or start learning one from scratch, if you have a sight problem.

Drama and dance

Drama or dance can be a great way of expressing yourself, meeting new friends and increasing your self-confidence. There are a number of groups which specialise in staging classes and performances with blind and partially sighted cast members or performers with other disabilities, for example Extant or Amici Dance. Most mainstream classes can also be made accessible.

Pottery and crafts

Group craft activity is a great way to get creative, providing both mental and physical stimulation, and a useful opportunity to meet people.

Local societies sometimes run craft work sessions, from weaving and woodcarving, to glass painting and tactile ceramic tile making. You can use the Sightline Directory to find your local society.

Art and painting

Many artists devise simple, yet ingenious ways of changing their style and adapting their approach to making art after losing their sight. This might involve developing new techniques or using different equipment or lighting. Our factsheet provides some guidance and references to useful publications.

The following organisations provide more information for blind and partially sighted artists, as well as for people with sight loss who can continue to enjoy art:

  • Living Paintings Trust is a unique national charity that helps blind and partially sighted adults and children by offering a free library service. Pictures are tactile and accompanied by audio commentary. Membership is free – every item in this charity's library is loaned and posted for free.
  • Disability Arts Online contains links to disabled artists' sites. A number of these artists are blind or partially sighted.
  • The Art House is a membership organisation that supports the work of disabled and non-disabled artists aspiring to develop their professional practice. It believes that this is only possible through equal access to work, training and accessible exhibitions.
  • iMap Creative Access is an online art resource managed by the Tate for blind and partially sighted people who are interested in art, and for teachers of art.

Knowledge and research hub

We are a leading source of information on sight loss and the issues affecting blind and partially sighted people. Access our statistics, evidence and reports in our research hub.

Visit the research hub