• Just like in the general population, technology use by blind and partially sighted people is closely linked to age. 
  • Four out of five younger people feel that technology helps them be more independent; this drops to one in three for older people. 
  • Most of the people not currently using smartphones or a computer would like to do so if the barriers were removed. 

Using ICT and mobile phones has become a key skill for everyday living, as well as education and employment. These technologies have the potential to be very empowering for blind and partially sighted people.

Most of the stats above are taken from My Voice, which is a valuable source of evidence of the experiences of blind and partially sighted people in relation to technology. Further research on this topic can be found below.

Smart glasses

Research report on RNIB Smart glasses, which help people with very low vision to identify shapes, determine distance, and detect objects up to three metres away. 

Communications technology and people with sight loss: A summary of Ofcom research

Research briefing on blind and partially sighted people's experience of using communications technology. 

    Tackling digital exclusion

    A study by BT and RNIB has investigated why many older blind and partially sighted people aren't using the internet. Many of those interviewed believed that their sight loss prevented them from using the internet, and many weren't aware of how assistive technologies could help them. To address the barriers people face the report includes a number of recommendations for stakeholders.

    RNIB international audio description exchange study

    A study on the exchange of audio description between countries, media platforms and content producers.

    Do we need 3D audio description guidelines?

    The success of 3D cinema and the launch of 3D televisions and 3D programming in the UK prompted RNIB to hold facilitated focus group discussions with blind and partially sighted people to find out whether they felt 3D visual effects should be incorporated into the AD of a film or television programme.

    Partially sighted people's experiences of 3D TV

    RNIB is concerned about the impact of all new TV developments on accessibility. 2010 marked the arrival of 3D televisions and programming in the UK, and this led RNIB to ask questions about its impact on partially sighted people.

    Are you really listening?

    Research by i2 media into the equipment needs of blind and partially sighted consumers for accessible and usable digital radio. Published 2009.

    Bollywood for all

    This project aimed to understand behaviours and attitudes of blind and partially sighted Asian people towards the viewing of Bollywood films with and without audio description. Published 2009.