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Visual Impairment: recommendations for the NHS

July 4, 2019

Visual impairment affects more than 2 million people in the United Kingdom. The NHS needs to improve its services to accommodate this sector of the population.  

We were especially pleased to be working with Keele University student, Klaudia Suchowiak, over the past few months, using her research knowledge, to enable us to gain her insight into how the NHS could improve its accessibility to the visually impaired community. She has summarised her conclusions in her 3rd white paper

Klaudia is an award winning blind student, with cerebral palsy. Her concluding white paper brings together her two previous reports and advises NHS bodies that listening to their patient groups is imperative to building accessible services. She gives us 10 key points that service developers need to consider when commissioning new services and consider the engagement the patient will have with the service whether it is a physical service or digitally via health apps. She notes the need for more staff awareness for the needs of visually impaired patients within hospitals and GP surgeries, who are so often overlooked. 

Klaudia’s white papers have been enlightening. To quote her words in her summary white paper:

“the NHS has made noticeable progress in making their services accessible to everyone. There are still areas with room for improvement like accessible communication, for example. However, in most cases, it is the interaction between the sighted and VI, as the former does not very often know how to behave around a VI person. Let me tell you that we are the same as you are, we just cannot see, or we have another disability, but we can interact with you as you interact with your sighted peers.”

Klaudia Suchowiak

We have really enjoyed having Klaudia in the office. We have learned so much from our time together, she has helped to challenge and shape our thinking around software design and digital service design for sight affected people. We wish her well with her future studies.

Read her 3rd white paper for free. All we ask is for a shout out on twitter @bitjam as a thank you to Klaudia for all of her hard work.

To work with Bitjam on your next innovation project, please get in touch with the UK based team. We design, build and manage software, IOT and AI tech, focusing on partnerships with health and education organisations.