There are almost two million people in the UK living with sight loss. As the UK population is ageing and there is an increase in conditions which contribute to visual impairment such as obesity which is linked to diabetes, this figure is set to increase with a prediction from the RNIB that by 2050 the number of people with sight loss will rise to almost four million. The concept of Lifetime Homes Standards (LTHS) was developed in the late 1980s by Habinteg and the Helen Hamlyn Foundation, they aim to reduce the need to adapt the home as its occupants grow older and they consist of a set of sixteen design standards. The aim of this research is to investigate how LTHS can become more inclusive of visually impaired people in the context of Northern Ireland.
Figure 1: Population of children aged under 16 and adults aged 65 and over in Northern Ireland, estimate, 1972 – 2032
(Northern Ireland statistics and research agency, 2013, p.14)