My Voice update: Capturing the voices of the ‘Hard to reach’

Post date: 
Tuesday, 31 January 2017

New qualitative research strengthens what we learnt from My Voice 2015

My Voice 2015 is the largest survey of blind and partially sighted people in the UK. Over one thousand people, from 18 to 97, told us about their experiences across a wide range of areas of their lives.

In undertaking My Voice we were aware that not everyone who wanted to be part of the survey could participate in our standard telephone interviews. Those who also have hearing loss, live in care homes, who care for those with sight loss and other health needs or don’t speak English fluently are key groups and we wanted to find a way to capture these.

RNIB is there for everyone affected by sight loss, so it was important that the voices of these groups were also heard. ‘My Voice 2015: Capturing the voices of the ‘Hard to reach’’ reports on interviews with individuals who are in one, or more, of these groups.  

Although only a small number of interviews with a very varied group of people, we have identified a number of themes, with implications for those that design and deliver services for, or to include, people with sight loss:

  • People frequently valued opportunities for social contact and ways to enable these should be supported
  • Activities that people enjoyed before their sight deteriorated are missed ways to enable people to maintain their involvement or find good replacements should be identified
  • Sight loss services are encouraged to consider if they can better meet the needs of individuals with other health conditions and issues
  • Both family and ‘paid’ carers, and supports, are valued

Download the 'Hard to reach' report

In the coming weeks we’ll be adding to our My Voice page, with briefings on key issues raised in My Voice, including transport and employment - watch out for further updates at