We are Visibly Better thanks to RNIB Cymru!
We have recently been working with RNIB Cymru to gain Visibly Better accreditation to improve the accessibility of our retirement homes.
The Visibly Better scheme is recognised as best practice by Welsh Government and offers a wide range of workshops that are designed to support and develop inclusive design in homes and public buildings for ageing eyes and people with sight loss.
We currently have four retirement schemes for older people and we always striving to make lives better for our tenants.
John Higgins, Maintenance Surveyor for Hafod was not fully aware of the Visibly Better Scheme until he took part in a sight loss awareness workshop. He is now able to apply what he learned, most recently during the refurbishment of our Glanogwr House retirement scheme in Bridgend. He explained:
“I learned so much from RNIB Cymru on that day. Trying on the simulation glasses completely shocked me. I had no idea how difficult life can be for someone living with a sight condition like cataracts for example. Everyone should do that course to raise awareness of sight loss and the impact it has on life. I also learned that by using specific lighting and colour contrast, a person with sight loss can get about a lot more safely and independently. I have taken everything I learned that day on board and have been applying it to the refurbishment work at Glanogwr House.”
Glanogwr House is a listed building, which has made the refurbishment quite challenging at times. Even so, John has discovered that applying Visibly Better principles has not cost any more than similar previous refurbishments carried out.
John concluded: “Having this knowledge has empowered me to improve tenants’ lives. A number of our tenants have sight impairments and it has made a huge difference to them.”
Tenant Mary Farmer is sight impaired and is thrilled with the new work at the scheme. She said: “Since everything has been painted I can see more clearly. The work so far has really helped me to get about more easily.”
Alan Morgan, Managing Director of Hafod Housing: “We have worked with RNIB for a number of years to improve the accessibility of our services and information and we are delighted to have now gained the Visibly Better accreditation. The process has provided our staff with the knowledge they need to help identify and make physical improvements to our homes which are already proving to be hugely beneficial to tenants.”
Find out more about the Visibly Better accreditation here