Blind and partially sighted people are the best source of knowledge about the lives of our customers.
We facilitate ongoing consultation with blind and partially sighted people through dedicated panels. Here you will find information about these customer panels and how those involved have contributed their expertise to influence the design of products and services for the benefit of all blind and partially sighted people. You can also find out how you can get involved too.
Engagement with young people
Listening to young blind and partially sighted people is helping us to build up our understanding of the issues they face, to learn about what is important to them and what they want from us.
This engagement has enabled us to:
shape the research we do with young people
develop our plans for transition services for young people across education, independence and employment support
work with young people on campaigns issues
inform "Seeing it my way" - an initiative to ensure that every blind and partially sighted person has access to the same range of information and support.
The Envision network is also made up of young people. The network provides an opportunity for like minded young people to get together and campaign on the issues that affect them. If you are a young person living in England aged between 18 and 30, blind or partially sighted and passionate about achieving change please email [email protected] to find out how you can get involved. You can also follow Envision on Twitter @envisionengland or join us on Facebook.
Engagement with people of working age - Working age customer panel
The Working age customer panel includes blind and partially sighted employees and employers with some expertise in the field of employment. The panel has been established in order to support our objective to help blind and partially sighted people develop skills to gain and retain work and to volunteer. Our aim is to involve blind and partially sighted people in research, service innovation, and support for employers and professionals. The first panel meeting took place in November 2015, and currently consists of 10 people from across the UK, most of whom are in full-time, paid employment. They have recently helped us to reshape our employment resources, which includes our website information and factsheets for people looking to find or stay in work, and our Guide for employers.
Engagement with people in later life - Panel of the Third Age
Panel of the Third Age (P3A) was established in September 2014 to contribute to projects looking at a range of issues such as housing, rehabilitation, peer support and reaching more people. With a membership of 5 women and 3 men ranging in age from early 60s to 92, this dynamic group has contributed to a number of key projects such as the development of the RNIB Evidence-based review for people with sight loss in later life.This review is aimed at those involved in shaping services and addressing the needs of people with sight loss in later life. P3A is also now part of RNIB’s Cross Cutting Group - a partnership with Age UK and Action for Blind People focussing on later life for people with sight loss.
As part of RNIB's commitment to preventing avoidable sight loss we have established a panel of people living with diabetes to inform the work that we do to improve the support people with diabetes receive to manage their condition and therefore prevent avoidable sight loss. Established in 2014 the experience and perspective of panel members informs and influences our research activities including service innovation, our engagement with health service commissioners and providers, and the material and information we produce.
Engaging with campaigners
Our campaign work is shaped by blind and partially sighted campaigners - we have based our campaign work on the nine outcome areas agreed by blind and partially sighted people but to help shape, deliver and evaluate our day to day work we have established campaign panels. These panels try to feature at least one of our volunteer campaigners from each of the English regions to help inform the ongoing work. During 2016/17 we have groups focussed on the built environment, employment and working age benefits, social care, accessible information, older people's benefits, the self advocacy initiative relating to eye health and follow up appointments. For more information please email [email protected] or ring 020 7391 2173.
Phone Watch aims to give blind and partially sighted people the opportunity to engage directly with manufacturers and software developers from across the mobile industry. Industry experts are invited to attend and speak about the latest developments in mobile technology and forthcoming innovations in mobile accessibility. Phone Watch panel members have a highly interactive, hands on experience with the latest mobile devices and accessibility software and can immediately give feedback to industry experts so that more blind and partially sighted people will be able to confidently use mobile technology.
Phone Watch is one way of allowing us to keep abreast of users' needs, enabling us to keep a finger on the pulse of current consumer experiences and gather important feedback for future developments.
Since the sessions are highly interactive, participants exchange lots of ideas with one another. We will work to document this information to share with other blind and partially sighted people.