Grants from RNIB
We offer grants to registered blind or partially sighted people for useful technology that can help them live independently.
Who can receive a grant from RNIB?
You, or the person you are applying on behalf of must:
- be a resident in the UK
- be registered with your local authority as blind (“severely sight impaired”) or partially sighted (“sight impaired”) unless you are applying on behalf of a child who has not yet had their sight loss certified or registered
- receive a means-tested benefit and one that is not a Tax Credit. Means-tested benefits include Income Support; Pension Credit; Housing Benefit; Council Tax support; Income-related Employment and Support Allowance; Income-related Job Seeker's Allowance; and Universal Credit.
- have been refused funding from your local authority for the items you need
- have savings of less than £6,000
- have not had a grant from us in the last three years.
If you are applying on behalf of your child, a relative or someone you provide care or support for, please give their details on our application form and then make a separate note of your contact details.
What we give grants for and for how much
We only consider applications for grants towards:
- Talking phones, accessible smartphones, accessible tablets and e-readers (£400 maximum)
- Big button or talking landline telephones (£100 maximum)
- Computer accessibility software (£500 maximum)
- Electronic braille displays and notetakers (£500 maximum)
- Portable and TV video magnifiers (£500 maximum)
- DAISY players and USB players (£300 maximum)
- Smart home devices and accessories (£150 maximum)
- Wearable technology including health and fitness devices (£200 maximum)
- Voice recorders and dictaphones (£150 maximum)
- Accessible kitchen equipment including talking microwaves, talking scales and talking measuring jugs
- Talking watches and clocks (£80 maximum)
- RNIB’s Penfriend 3 labelling device plus any spare labels and talking colour detectors.
We are not able to give grants for any other type of item or for items you need for your job (please talk to your employer about the Government’s Access to Work scheme). We are also not able to help with items which you have already bought.
The items must be reasonably priced for your needs and within our guideline maximum prices. If you ask for an item that costs more than the guideline amount, then we may ask you to opt for a cheaper item as our funds are limited and the cheaper item may still meet your needs.
We can only give a maximum of £500, so if the total of the items you need cost more than this you must find the rest of the funding elsewhere before you apply to us for the remainder.
How do I apply for a grant from RNIB or get more information?
We welcome grant applications at any time of the year. We have several ways you can apply, online, by post or by email.
Before you apply you may want to read our application guidance information. The notes give more details about our grants scheme and what information you need to send with your form for us to be able to make a decision on your application.
Your application must be supported by a professional who knows your personal circumstances. This could be a social worker, occupational therapist, health care visitor, or a worker from another charity that is helping you. It cannot be your GP, a friend or a family member.
If you are applying for computer accessibility software (also called "assistive technology"), a mobile phone or a portable video magnifier, we will ask your supporting officer to confirm that you have tried it out and it is the best item to meet your needs.
You might be able to try out the items you are applying for such as portable video magnifiers; accessible mobile phones and tablets or accessibility software at your local society for people with sight loss. You can use the Sightline Directory to find somewhere near you by searching for "assistive technology" and entering your postcode.
If you are not eligible to apply for a grant from us or would like a grant for an item we cannot help towards, please see our information on grants from other organisations. You can also download a copy of our other sources of grant’s factsheet, which contains details of other organisations which may be able to help you.
You will need the details of the person supporting your application to complete our online form.
Applying by post or email
Grant applications can be made by post or by email. Please make a copy of your completed form and any supporting evidence and if applying by post, send the original(s) and supporting evidence to:
RNIB Technology Grants Team, Grimaldi Building, 154A Pentonville Road, London, N1 9JE.
How long will I have to wait for my grant if I’m successful?
If you send us all the information we need in your application, we can decide within a week of receiving it. If your application is successful and it's for an item that we supply from our shop, we will send out the product directly to you. This can take around 1-2 weeks to arrive. If this is for an item we don't supply, then it will take three to four weeks to send the payment straight into your bank account.
Need more information?
Advice you can trust
Our Advisers receive specialist training on topics related to living with sight loss, and many have personal experience of sight loss themselves.
Advisers are accredited with the Advice Quality Standard, an independent accreditation for organisations giving advice to the general public.