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Frequently Asked Questions

Girl sat down in a school classroom, dressed in her school uniform with her hand up.
Girl sat down in a school classroom, dressed in her school uniform with her hand up.

We are challenging the public to to see sight loss differently, read through our frequently asked questions to discover more about our "see the person, not the sight loss" campaign.

1. The Campaign

1.1 Why is RNIB running this campaign?

Our research tells us that major barriers stopping people with sight loss from leading full lives are the public’s perception and behaviours. While money, education and getting around were high on the list, it was everyday assumptions about what blind and partially sighted people can or can’t do, which have the most impact. Examples include the assumption that all blind people are totally without sight, or that no one with sight loss works, goes out, is interested in sport.

RNIB has launched this campaign to challenge these outdated public attitudes and misperceptions of sight loss. We want to encourage people to see the person, not the sight loss.

1.2 Why is it called “See the Person”?

We want to encourage people to see all elements of a person and not identify them by their eye condition or sight loss. We know from our research and experiences that people are often judged on sight loss. There are assumptions that blind and partially sighted people can’t work, go to school, go on a night out, exercise, or have a family. With this campaign we are striving for an equal society where everyone sees the person first, rather than make judgements based on sight loss. This is far from true. RNIB is leading the creation of a society where people with sight loss are treated the same as everyone else.

1.3 What is the campaign about?

We are asking people to change how they think and what they do, in order to help people with sight loss. We want to raise awareness and understanding of sight loss. If people can recognise their misconceptions, then we can help them reshape their understanding and behaviour.

We’ve created a campaign, which will reach millions of people, to show them what they can do. It is fully integrated, meaning we’ll use several ways to reach people. All these routes, whether they are on social, online, TV and elsewhere, carry tailored messages but we are asking people to do the same thing.

While using different routes, we have focused on a single, emotionally-engaging, memorable and shareable film at the centre of the campaign. This drives all the other activity and keeps the core message of ‘see the person, not the sight loss’ consistent.

To give you some context, we have created a highly emotive short film about a teenage girl facing a sight loss diagnosis and its consequences. It shows the emotional impact and the effect the diagnosis has on her close relationships, including those with her family and friends.

The film covers the emotional impact over a five – six year period of the teenager’s life; we witness the worry of knowing something isn’t right, from diagnosis to distress and despair and then onto areas of support and learning to manage day–by-day through to knowing that life can be OK.

Our character, Ava, is a gamer which challenges some misconceptions about sight loss. It’s also a nod to RNIB’s work on accessibility in gaming and the global community of 23 million blind and partially sighted gamers. Our star is a teenager which demonstrates that sight loss is not restricted to older people.

The primary purpose of the film is to educate the public about sight loss and dispel as many misconceptions and myths as possible. However, RNIB’s services also feature throughout, including the Helpline, Talking Books, and our Eye Care Liaison Officer (ECLO) service.

The film demonstrates the diverse nature of RNIB, the work we do, and the people we support. This changes how people think about RNIB and what it does.

1.4 Why have you used gaming in the ad?

We wanted to address a misconception that gaming isn’t possible if you are blind or partially sighted. We have done a lot of work and research into accessible gaming and there are many gamers with sight loss. This campaign demonstrates what’s possible and address any myths or misconceptions about what people with sight loss can do.

1.5 How does this campaign help people with sight loss?

The intention of the campaign is to educate the public about sight loss and to address myths and misconceptions they may have. By providing the public with the knowledge and understanding of sight loss, ultimately, we hope that this leads to a fairer and equitable society for people with sight loss.

The fundamental lack of understanding that the public have about sight loss is the root cause of issues around employment, accessibility, grabbing someone – or day-to-day nervousness about talking to blind and partially sighted people.

1.6 There are other more important issues for people who are blind and partially sighted, such as voting, using transport or other activities, why have you focused only on this?

This campaign is just the start of RNIB’s long term mission to educate the public and showcase how RNIB supports people with sight loss. We chose education, employment, our ECLO service and the Helpline as they’re all big issues – and major sources of support we offer. In the film we convey the impact they have on a young girl who receives a diagnosis of a sight loss condition.

One of the campaign objectives is to encourage people to visit where they can find out more about a range of topics.

1.7 Do you really expect the public to change their behaviour and attitudes to people with sight loss?

We know there’s more to do to change perceptions and change outdated stereotypes and we have lots more coming soon!

We hope that through our emotive and educational film that the public will start to understand the issues better so that we can start to dispel some of the myths and create a more equitable society.

1.8 Why aren’t you using a trigger warning or a ‘if you’ve been affected by’ message on the TV ads?

We have worked closely with The Samaritans, and we were advised that the advert did not need a trigger warning. We do however realise that this story may impact people emotionally and we would encourage anyone needing advice or support for themselves or a friend or family member to use our counselling service.

Ava's face close up at night outside, lit up by the street lights.

2. The Research and Insight

2.1 Did you consult with the blind and partially sighted community on this ad to ensure the community’s view were considered?

We worked closely with blind and partially sighted people through the whole process of developing this campaign. RNIB’s new mission was developed following comprehensive research on the barriers that people with sight loss face and this formed the foundations of #SeeThePerson, Not The Sight loss. You can read the full report here: Full Report

One of the key takeaways from the report, is that it is the public’s perceptions and behaviours that are the biggest barrier to blind and partially sighted people living inclusively. We also ran research groups to help us decide how to communicate this issue to the public.

Following the development of the scripts, we worked with a group of blind and partially sighted people - The Customer Involvement Advisory Group, to ensure the hero video and supporting content reflected the true experiences of blind and partially sighted people.

Throughout the development of the campaign, key members of the RNIB team who have sight loss and shaped the messaging and framework.

2.2 What kind of sight loss does Ava have? What is RP?

Retinitis pigmentosa is an inherited retinal dystrophy (IRD). It is a genetic eye condition, which affects the light sensitive cells in the retina at the back of your eyes, which over time, stops them from working.

You can find out more about Retinitis Pigmentosa on our website.

2.3 Why Retinitis pigmentosa? (RP)

This is a common condition that can affect someone of Ava’s age. And we wanted to show that sight loss doesn’t just affect older people.

We are conscious that in the advert, Ava’s father does not have sight loss, however a child can inherit RP on their mother’s side.

2.4 Why has RNIB chosen to illustrate Ava’s anxiety?

Anxiety and depression are a major problem for people with sight loss, especially at the early stages of diagnosis. For this reason, RNIB run a comprehensive counselling service. You can contact RNIB for more information by calling our Helpline on 0303 123 9999 anytime from 8am-8pm on weekdays and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

Girl sat with friend on sofa, smiling while playing video games.

3. The Campaign Creative assets

3.1 Has the actor got sight loss?

Yes. Our actor, Eli London, is monocular (vision in only one eye) having had retinoblastoma as a child.

Their condition affects around 50 people a year, so is rare compared to RP. For this reason we asked Eli to portray a character with RP.

3.2 Has the director got sight loss?

No, however he worked incredibly closely with Eli and a team of experts at RNIB, to understand sight loss.

3.3 Who is the director?

Jesse Lewis-Reece is a BAFTA-nominated, award-winning writer/director from Brighton. Working across Narrative Film and Television Commercials, his work has been screened worldwide across multiple renowned festivals and award shows.

3.4 What is the music in the ad?

The track is Video Tape by Radio Head, sung by Thom Yorke, who has a sight condition.

3.5 If Ava can’t see properly, why is she playing computer games, using a mobile phone and a tablet?

People with sight loss use assistive technology such as screen readers, haptics and brightly coloured keyboards to use phones, computers and to play games.

3.6 If Ava is blind, why doesn’t she have or use a Guide Dog?

Not everyone who’s blind or partially sighted have or need a guide dog. There are 350,000 registered blind and partially sighted people.

3.7 Why is Ava using a cane if she has RP at her young age?

We know that this is not common for someone of Ava’s age with RP to use a cane. However, it can happen in some circumstances. We wanted to show Ava using a cane as we know it can be an emotional barrier for people with sight loss to start using cane.

3.8 Who is the lady in the office talking to Ava in the film?

An Eye Care Liaison Officer (ECLO).

ECLOs work closely with medical and nursing staff in the eye clinic, and the sensory team in social services. They provide those recently diagnosed with an eye condition with the practical and emotional support which they need to understand their diagnosis, deal with their sight loss and maintain their independence.

Most importantly, ECLOs have the time to dedicate to patients following consultation, so that they can discuss the impact the condition may have on their life.

ECLOs are endorsed by the UK Ophthalmology Alliance (UKOA), the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth), NICE and the Department of Health and Social Care. A qualified ECLO will attend the Eye Clinic Support Studies Course (delivered by RNIB and City University, London), which is a recognised qualification by the UKOA, and adhere to the RNIB Quality Framework for ECLO Services.

3.9 Who made the TV advert?

RNIB’s creative agency, The&Partnership worked with a production company called You Are Here. You Are Here selected Jesse Lewis-Reece as the film director.

3.10 Where was the ad filmed?

The advert was filmed in several locations in London including Wandsworth High Street, Wandsworth Common, Enfield and Camden Hill.

3.11 What RNIB products and services are illustrated in the film?

  • Our Helpline and our ECLO (Eye Care Liaison Officer) services feature in the film.
  • Our Helpline provides support and information on all aspects on living with sight loss. If you have a question about living with sight loss, no matter how big or small, we’re here to offer support. You can call us on 0303 123 9999 anytime from 8am-8pm on weekdays and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
  • Our Eye Care Liaison Officers (ECLOs) provided vital emotional support to over 60,000 eye clinic patients, their friends, and their families.

We also feature products such as a cane and assistive technology. Our shop has many products for people living with sight loss to assist with everyday living.

Girl and boy on the side of a street by a lamp post with a grey sky setting

4. The Media Plan

4.1 Why have you created these long films and TV ads?

We’ve learnt from other brands and consulted with communications experts about the best way to deeply move and engage with the public. Telling authentic stories will give people the tools to change their behaviour.

4.2 Where will this ad be shown?

It will be shown on commercial television, e.g. ITV and Channel 4 and video on demand across the UK between 1 and 31 October 2023.

The films will also air in cinemas, on our website and via social media. On Twitter and Instagram we have very short films sharing more instructional content to help the public to know what to do in certain situations such as 1) When you first meet someone with sight loss 2) Why street clutter can be a problem and 3) Why people should think about employing someone with sight loss.

4.3 When will this campaign start and finish?

It started on 1 October and the TV campaign ends on 31 October. However, we’ll be online and in cinemas during November too.

4.4 Why have you partnered with Channel 4’s Gogglebox?

As part of our mission to elevate the issue and understanding of sight loss in the public consciousness, we partnered with the nation’s much-loved TV show, Gogglebox. On the show, Britain's sharpest armchair critics shared their insightful and passionate takes on the week's biggest and best shows.

Through a bespoke partnership with Channel 4 and Gogglebox, we created a 90” co-branded ad, which shows the Gogglebox cast members reacting to our TV ad. With this partnership we reached approximately 4.7 million households.

Girl sat down in a school classroom, dressed in her school uniform with her hand up.

5. The Campaign Activity Partners

5.1 Did you work with any partners on the ad?

Yes, we received some funding via People’s Postcode Lottery. We also received some support from Amazon as they are airing the film on their Show Devices.

Girl sat opposite a man being interviewed

6. The Budget

6.1 How much did it cost to make this TV ad?

The total campaign budget was £2.5m. This includes all creative development, TV placements, digital advertising including social media and our partnership with Channel 4’s Gogglebox. £640k of this was funded via The People’s Postcode Lottery.

Girl sat across another girl in an office room setting

7.How can I access help and support

7.1 How do I or someone I know access sight loss counselling services?

  • The Helpline is the gateway to RNIB. It is the first point of call for anyone who seeks information or support about sight loss, products and services. This includes people sight loss, their friends, family or carers.
  • People can call the Helpline on 0303 123 9999 Monday-Friday 8am-8pm and Saturday 9am-1pm.

7.2 The Helpline

  • People can call the Helpline on 0303 123 9999 Monday-Friday 8am-8pm and Saturday 9am-1pm.
  • People can also contact the Helpline by email: [email protected] or visit our website
  • 7.3 Our shop
  • For everyday living products visit:

7.4 If I want to find out more about RNIB and its products and services, where can I find that information?

  • People can call the Helpline on 0303 123 9999 Monday-Friday 8am-8pm and Saturday 9am-1pm.

7.5 Where do I get advice about sight loss?

People can call the Helpline on 0303 123 9999 Monday-Friday 8am-8pm and Saturday 9am-1pm.

7.6 I would like to find out more about how I can help someone with sight loss. What do I do or where can I find out more information?

  • Our website, has a wealth of information on sight loss, ourproducts and services available, as well as community groups to join and how you can support us or get involved with RNIB.
  • 7.7 If I want to donate to RNIB, where can I do that?

You can call our Helpline on 0303 123 9999 and press 4 or wait to talk to a Helpline Advisor or you can visit

7.8 How do I get involved in volunteering or campaigning?

If you would like to find out more about our volunteering opportunities or our campaigning you can register your interest and find out more information by filling out our form.