Long-term access to support for people with sight loss

Thetford, Clare orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-2188-3052, Robinson, J, Knox, P, Mehta, J and Wong, D (2011) Long-term access to support for people with sight loss. British Journal of Visual Impairment, 29 (1). pp. 1-14. ISSN 0264-6196

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0264619610387889


The impact of sight loss on everyday life changes over time, through further deterioration of vision, as well as a result of other physical changes and key events in people’s lives. As such, even the support needs of people with relatively stable visual impairment are likely to change throughout their life course. This article explores the long-term support needs of people with sight loss and the barriers they face when accessing services over time and at the time of need. Data from biographical interviews with 36 participants with sight loss is presented, with particular focus upon three illustrative case studies. The study reveals that many participants experienced problems gaining information about, and access to, services in the short and longer term. There is a need for systematic referral from clinical services to social and voluntary services and for regular follow-up to identify and respond to people’s changing needs.

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