Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 222222
Loughborough University

Centre for Research in Social Policy

Minimum Income Standard for People with Visual Impairment

Basket full of food

Minimum Income Standard for People with Visual Impairment

CRSP has been undertaking a series of research funded by Thomas Pocklington Trust looking at the additional costs of sight loss.  It follows on from an initial project that started to fill a long-standing gap in the understanding of the true financial cost of disability for households.  The project used the Minimum Income Standard (MIS) to calculate the additional costs of living for single working age people who are sight impaired and for people who are profoundly deaf.  This work was extended to look at further groups of people with sight loss to explore different dimensions - level of impairment and of life stage. The research comprised discussions among groups of visually impaired people about what a person in different circumstances needs for a minimum acceptable standard of living.  It shows how both severity of sight loss and ageing bring a broad range of extra costs, and these additional costs increase further when these factors combine – adding 25% to 70% to MIS budgets for people without visual impairment.

A further phase of research then placed these findings in context.  This project has two strands.  The first used quantitative analysis to compare MIS budgets to benefit and minimum wage levels. The second comprised in-depth interviews, looking at the experiences of visually impaired people whose incomes fall around or under the MIS level, to explore how this affects their ability to meet their needs, and how people adapt and cope in their daily lives.

This latest research, through in-depth interviews with visually impaired people with incomes around or below MIS VI, provides an insight into the reality of their lives.  It highlights how, although people prioritise meeting their basic material needs, social participation is extremely important but can be restricted when budgets are limited. Having enough income is important to maintain independence, agency and provide security, although resources such as formal and informal human support, access to services, organisations and appropriate technology also make a difference in how well visually impaired people meet their needs. Potential barriers to meeting needs include poor health, lack of access to local facilities, transport or technology, and lack of knowledge about services, support, benefits or registration. As well as personal future uncertainties, the research reveals visually impaired people’s concerns and insecurity in the context of austerity regarding reassessment of benefits, social care and potential cuts to services.

 

Series Publications

Latest set of publications, June 2018

The full report:

Experiences of Living with Visual Impairment: matching income with needs  - PDF version

Experiences of Living with Visual Impairment: matching income with needs - Word version

A summary of findings:

Experiences of Living with Visual Impairment: matching income with needs - Research Findings PDF version

Experiences of Living with Visual Impairment: matching income with needs - Research Findings Word version

 

Income Analysis Paper, September 2017

Low income and visual impairment: do benefits and wages meet minimum needs?
Hirsch, D. (2017) Low income and visual impairment: do benefits and wages meet minimum needs? Loughborough: Centre for Research in Social Policy

 

Third set publications, January 2017

The full report:

Sight Loss and Minimum Income Standards: the additional costs of severity and age – PDF version

Sight Loss and Minimum Income Standards: the additional costs of severity and age – Word version

A summary of the findings:

Sight Loss and Minimum Income Standards: the additional costs of severity and age - Research Findings PDF version

Sight Loss and Minimum Income Standards: the additional costs of severity and age - Research Findings Word version

Second set of publications, January 2016

The full report:

Sight Loss and Minimum Living Standards - pdf

Sight Loss and Minimum Living Standards Report_Word

A summary of the findings

Sight Loss and Minimum Living Standards Research Findings - pdf

Sight Loss and Minimum Living Standards Research Findings_Word


Original Publications, January 2015


The results are presented in:

A full report presenting the method and the results in full

Disability and Minimum Living Standards Report

Disability and Minimum Living Standards Report - Word

A summary of findings of the project as a whole

Findings - For people who are sight impaired and for people who are Deaf

Findings - For people who are sight impaired and people who are Deaf - Word

Separate summaries covering sight impaired and Deaf findings

Findings - Additional costs of living for people who are sight impaired

Findings - Additional costs of living for people who are sight impaired - Word

Findings - Additional costs of living for people who are Deaf

Findings - Additional costs of living for people who are Deaf - Word

A signed version of the Deaf findings, presented in British Sign Language, can be found by clicking here

 

Centre for Research
in Social Policy

Department of Social Sciences
Loughborough University
Leicestershire
LE11 3TU

+44 (0)1509 223372

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