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RNIB Outlooks: Research report 2023

This report is designed to help the sector and beyond to better understand the lives of people with sight loss. Our study has gone beyond existing ways the sector has looked at the impact of sight loss on people’s lives by providing an indepth look into the psychological and environmental needs of blind and partially sighted people.

"Through a framework, based on the needs of people with sight loss, which are not currently supported – this study describes and demonstrates the factors people with sight loss consider to be important in leading a fulfilling and high-quality life. Currently, this might be unachievable, sadly, so we want to provide insight and data to help get the support and services people need.

"While RNIB, and other organisations, are doing all we can to support people to live more independently in a world which is inaccessible and can exclude them, our ambition is that this work will ideally form part of a long-term foundational approach to addressing the root causes of the inequality that people with sight loss face. We hope this report is a key step forward on that journey"

David Aldwinckle
Director of Insight and Customer Voice, RNIB

The study reveals stark gaps between the positive impact key activities in various life domains have on blind and partially sighted people’s quality of life and their perceived ability to carry out such activities.

The study identifies several needs, particularly in aspects of travel, home life, and social life:

  • Blind and partially sighted people are less likely to have experienced very high life satisfaction, sense of worthwhile life, and happiness. People with sight loss are also more likely to experience high anxiety.
  • Travel is an area of major need; less than a third of people living with sight loss saying they can participate in travel-related activities, such as exploring different parts of the country and making spontaneous travel plans.
  • Blind and partially sighted people report that looking after their home in the way they want has a huge positive impact on quality of life; however, less than a quarter feel able to go shopping confidently and keep their independence.
  • While more than half of blind and partially sighted people say that they have the family life they want, only a third feel they are able to confidently pursue and maintain romantic relationships.
  • Only half of blind and partially sighted people get satisfaction from interests and hobbies, while less than half feel able to meet new people, stay in touch and socialise, enjoy big social events and try new hobbies and activities.

Read the full RNIB Outlooks: Research report 2023

This research was made possible due to funds raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery and awarded by the Postcode Care Trust. It was conducted by insight and innovation agency Revealing Reality.