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

Author: Kate Flynn; Publisher: RNIB; Year of publication: 2015


Communication devices and services can increase the independence of people with sight loss, yet there may be barriers to usage. Ofcom, the communications regulator in the UK, has published several reports addressing disabled people’s communications use and experience. This research briefing offers a summary of their findings in relation to blind and partially sighted people.

Key findings

Among the people who participated in Ofcom’s research:

  • Those with sight loss were less likely than people without disabilities to own mobile phones, particularly smart phones. Around one in ten participants with sight loss said their disability prevented them from using their mobile device/service.
  • Blind and partially sighted participants were less likely than people without disabilities to access the internet, and to have internet access at home. They were more likely to have encountered internet/phone service problems in the preceding year.
  • In common with mobility and hearing impaired people, a minority of blind and partially sighted participants (14 per cent) felt their use of the television was limited by their disability.