Meeting the access needs of blind or visually impaired visitors

The Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) estimates that around 25,000 children and young people up to the age of 16 in England and Wales have a vision impairment of sufficient severity to need specialist educational support. As many as 50 per cent have additional disabilities, including some who have very complex needs. Most are born with a vision impairment.

Vocal Eyes are a National Portfolio Organisation working to support the cultural sector. They believe that blind and visually impaired people should have the best possible opportunities to experience and enjoy art and heritage. We are working with them to create a sector guide specifically on meeting the access needs of blind and partially sighted children visiting museums. In the meantime you will find links from their website below to useful resources and guidance on the access needs of blind or partially sighted visitors.

Thinking of creating a recorded audio descriptive guide for your museum? (PDF)

Descriptive directions and information for blind or partially sighted visitors to art venues (Word)

Guidelines for digital accessibility: film

Sensing Culture

Sensing Culture was a three-year multi-partner project with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) as the lead partner, and funded by £438,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) with one mission at its heart – to remove the barriers that prevent blind and partially sighted people (BPS) from accessing their heritage. You can find some practical guidance on their website in the links below.

Meeting greeting and guiding

Tactile images with braille information

Audio description

Guide dogs and canes

Access audits for Blind and Visually Impaired visitors

Also read Deb Aspland’s blog: Seeing museums differently