Designing accessible housing and buildings

Visibly Better Cymru is RNIB’s accreditation scheme for supported housing in Wales. We help these providers to meet the needs of people in Wales who are living with sight loss.

What is Visibly Better?

There are currently about 100,000 people in Wales living with sight loss, but that number is expected to double over the next 25 years.  

Over a fifth of people with sight loss live in social housing.

Visibly Better Cymru is RNIB’s accreditation scheme for supported housing in Wales. Organisations work towards six standards, which focus on different aspects of accessibility, and receive Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels of accreditation as they progress through the standards.

How we work with you

We know that every organisation works differently, so we work with you to develop a tailored package of support that will help you meet the Visibly Better standards. 

We would normally agree a way of delivering the service at an initial meeting, and this forms part of the contract and programme of works. 

Carrying out an audit

Work normally starts with an audit by one of our specialist access consultants, to benchmark where you are now against the six standards. We’ll then agree a programme of work with you, identifying any areas in need of improvement and provide advice and support on how best to meet the standards. 

This can range from practical suggestions around changes to lighting levels and colour schemes, to us delivering sight loss awareness training to staff or running coffee mornings for tenants to promote good eye health. 

Why choose Visibly Better?

Our standards help you meet a variety of legal obligations and quality standards, including:

  • the Welsh Housing Quality Standard
  • the Lifetime Homes standard
  • the Welsh Government Development Quality requirements
  • duties under the Equality Act 2010 
  • the objectives contained in the National Tenant Participation Strategy for Wales. 

A hallmark of good practice 

Visibly Better accreditation is a hallmark of good practice, recognised by Welsh Government, which organisations can use in marketing materials to attract new clients and to include in tenders for contracts. 

RNIB Cymru is happy to promote organisations that have completed the scheme and to work together on joint publicity around the awarding of accreditation.

Positive results of accreditation

The changes organisations need to make to meet the standards are often simple and inexpensive, and yet can make a huge difference to the lives of tenants. 

People report an increased ability to live independently and enhanced wellbeing as a result of being able to participate more fully in their community. There is also a reduction in falls and accidents in the home. 

Although the standards are aimed at improving accessibility for people with sight loss, many of the principles will benefit a much wider range of tenants including people with dementia and people with mobility problems.

Contact Visibly Better Cymru 

If you'd like to know more about Visibly Better Cymru, please contact our head office on 029 2082 8500 or by emailing us at visiblybettercymru@rnib.org.uk

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