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 and Talks
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.
Jacqui has delivered talks at Solent University on healthcare design. She has also spoken at trade shows and conferences including The Care Show, Health+Care and Care and Dementia Environments on the subject of how the built environment can support people with sight loss.
Jacqui was also asked to run a work shop at the NCF Managers Conference in November 2019 discussing new approaches to interior design.
Your wonderful seminar gave all our students insight into how interiors can affect the quality of life for the elderly residents. They began to understand that there is much more to designing spaces for the elderly than just making it look good. Your carefully took them through appropriate choices for flooring, finishes and colour. We were so grateful for your input to this Unit Jacqui, it gave the students the opportunity to see how a professional interior design company addresses elderly living design.
Your interactive seminar was paced brilliantly for our students and they were all excited to start applying this new knowledge to the interiors of their buildings. You will see the results of your informative input in the student work at the show. We hope you are able to continue working with us on the Course in the future as your input greatly enhances the student experience.
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…and sight loss design consultancy!