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Jacqui Smith and the Thomas Pocklington Trust team at the CPD event and launch of ‘Homes and living spaces for people with sight loss – a guide for interior designers’. Photograph by Claire Goldsmith

Sight Loss Consultancy

Having worked in healthcare design, I had always been aware of the significance of lighting, colour and finish for visually impaired people. With an ageing population, good design in all forms of housing is a key consideration. Good lighting and colour contrast makes the world of difference to someone with poor sight, reducing falls so improving their confidence and crucially their independence.

The importance of this was brought home to me in November 2012 when I permanently lost the sight in my left eye. In the Spring of 2013 I embarked on a collaborative project with sight loss charity Thomas Pocklington Trust to combine their research material with my own experiences both as a designer and as someone with a visual impairment, to develop a guide to promote best practice. ‘Homes and living spaces for people with sight loss: A guide for interior designers’ was published in October 2014 and is freely available from their website here.

I now work with designers and healthcare providers advising on the specific interior design needs of people with sight loss, as well as sitting on the healthcare panel for the Society of British Interior Design. Making an environment suitable for someone with sight loss does not mean that it should stand out as different and set it apart from one designed for people with good vision. Design features should cater for the needs of someone with a visual impairment yet still sit comfortably with the surroundings. Good design is inclusive design. By applying the principles of inclusive design, everybody benefits. Consultancy fees vary depending on the scope of the project. For more information please contact us.

Testimonial

We commissioned Homesmiths to transform our dated day hospice into a Wellbeing Centre that could meet the needs of both our existing patients and those who might use the Centre in the future. We knew it would be a challenge to find a scheme that everybody identified with and Homesmiths helped us to translate patients’ needs and priorities into reality. They were involved from the outset – holding focus groups with our patients and creating attractive proposals, illustrated through mood boards. They led the entire design process – from liaising with contractors to making last minute additions to accommodate our needs – I would thoroughly recommend to any organisation with a project of this type.
Caroline Harding, Head of Operations, St Peter and St James Hospice, North Chailey
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