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.
- 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.