December 2011

Judith Torrington and Alan Lewis, University of Sheffield

Specialist housing for people with sight loss could be improved through simple design changes, according to research from Thomas Pocklington Trust. A window view and sunlight were both highly important to participants.

Key Facts:

  • Buildings that had not been designed specifically for people with sight loss were not very good at supporting those people.
  • Natural and artificial light levels in lounges and bedrooms were inadequate for those with sight loss unless the home had been designed with them in mind.
  • Very few homes allowed for greater control over lighting levels, something many participants would have appreciated.
  • Very few design guides highlight the needs of older people with sight loss.
  • Having a view from their home was valued by all participants: it made people feel connected to life outside.
  • Sunlight in their home was welcomed by most participants even if it caused glare or overheating.

How can this research help?

This research established what issues non-purpose built housing can present when being occupied by someone with sight loss. Addressing these issues can allow more non-purpose built housing to support the needs of people with visual impairment.

Links: 

Research Findings: Extra Care Housing for People with Sight Loss: Lighting and Design – PDF version and Word version