Katherine Hill, Claire Shepherd and Donald Hirsch, Centre for Research in Social Policy (CRSP), Loughborough University
Research commissioned by Thomas Pocklington Trust and undertaken by the Centre for Research in Social Policy (CRSP) at Loughborough University identified the minimum income needed by visually impaired people to achieve an acceptable standard of living compared to benefit levels.
The report ‘Experiences of Living with Visual Impairment: Matching Income with Needs’ investigates the experiences of visually impaired people living at or below the Minimum Income Standard and the impact on their lives.
It found that those living on a low income must prioritise their stretched budget to meet basic needs, such as getting food on the table and keeping the home warm.
The ability of participants in the study to meet other needs, allowing them to participate in society and avoid isolation, varied considerably. Some were able to live a varied social life, particularly if supported by family and friends. Some received help from social services or from voluntary organisations that helped them tackle some of the practical challenges of everyday living. However, some also found life tough, especially where they lived in rural areas, had other health conditions or did not receive support from local networks.