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Reading and braille research

Being able to read, whether its books for pleasure, packaging on food and medicine, or information about health appointments, is important to blind and partially sighted people, yet this is often inaccessible.

  • Nine out of ten blind and partially sighted people said that information on medication or food packaging was quite difficult or impossible to read.
  • 40 per cent said that information from health providers was never accessible and 28 per cent said that information from banks was never accessible.
  • Around seven per cent of people who are registered blind or partially sighted use braille.

Most of the stats above are taken from My Voice, which is a valuable source of evidence on how blind and partially sighted people access information. For full references contact [email protected]. Further research on this topic can be found below.

Impact report on braille standard for medicine packaging

Research exploring the consumer experience of braille on medicines; a collaborative report from the University of Birmingham and RNIB. Published in 2013.

Producing braille on swell paper

Research into the legibility of braille produced on swell paper. Published 2011.

Why transcription quality matters

Research investigating the importance of the quality of accessible information, to users of accessible formats, transcribers who produce them, and service providers who pay for them. Published 2008.

Identifying areas for research into an alternative tactile reading code

Research to inform planning around tactile reading - particularly looking at potential audiences for a tactile code other than braille, and existing codes which could meet this need. Published 2008.

Feasibility of developing a diagnostic touch test to determine braille reading potential

This paper considers existing research evidence looking at the relationship between age, disease, and tactile sensitivity. The purpose of this work was to investigate the feasibility of developing a touch test which could determine whether someone has sufficient sensitivity in their fingers to pursue braille reading.

Braille profiling project

RNIB recognises that the world is changing quickly and the way in which we access information continues to rapidly evolve. RNIB therefore, wanted to explore the context of braille reading today and identify the characteristics and needs of different market segments. This report outlines the findings of both the quantitative and qualitative research. Published 2011.

Accessible format transcription in the UK: State of the nation

The purpose of this project was to better understand the transcription industry in the UK. The project aimed to bring accessible format transcribers together, so all can benefit from sharing successes and good practice. Published 2011.

Braille in the 21st Century

RNIB commissioned the University of Birmingham to conduct research into the teaching of braille to people who have lost their sight in adulthood. The report details findings from interviews with visually impaired people and service providers. Published 2009.

Survey of tactile reading codes

An international survey was carried out to explore the use of, and perceived need for tactile reading codes alternative to braille around the world. Published 2009.