Over 2 million people are visually impaired or live with sight loss in the UK, and visual impairment can affect all aspects of daily life.

Whether you or someone you love is partially sighted or registered blind, remaining independent and achieving a good quality of life can be challenging. However, there are adaptations for visually impaired people that can allow them to live with greater autonomy.

Before we look at the solutions, let’s explore the barriers to living with visual impairment.

The Challenges

Many UK homes aren’t fit for disabled living, and that includes visual impairment. Thankfully, there are adaptations for visually impaired people that can make a home safer and more comfortable.

But what challenges do visually impaired people experience in the home?

Getting Around

Navigating the home environment can be tricky in itself. Moving around a room, travelling between rooms and getting from one floor of the house to another are all tasks that present different hazards. 

Incidents such as slips, bumps and falls are all daily risks for people living with reduced vision levels.

Household Tasks

When it comes to activities around the house, visual impairment can reduce someone’s ability to read instructions effectively or use appliances like the washing machine or microwave properly.

Whilst these don’t sound too treacherous, improper food preparation and heating can lead to serious health consequences, and misuse of household appliances could pose electrical fire risks.


Partial or full sight loss can also affect emotional and mental wellness. Individuals living with reduced vision may require support for daily life tasks, and this may feel demoralising, leaving the individual feeling helpless and without control. 

Let’s move on to home adaptations for visually impaired individuals.


Proper lighting is fundamental to a household supporting visual impairment because it means that individuals can get a better view of the space they’re in.

Natural lighting is really important and can help to illuminate a room, but people living with reduced sight levels also need to be able to control the light entering a room. When it comes to window coverings, this means that shutters or Venetian blinds are your best bet because they provide incredible light control.

Motion lights are another one of the top home adaptations for visually impaired individuals. When motion sensors trigger lights to turn on or off, this removes the need for searching for a light switch and makes moving around the home much easier and safer.

Another critical area of adaptations for visually impaired users to focus on is location. Efficient lighting in key areas can highlight home landmarks and make navigating spaces simpler. 

Areas of the home to consider installing special lighting include:

  • LED lighting inlaid to the stair tread and along hallways.
  • Spotlights installed to light up hallways
  • LED strip lights around plug sockets, kitchen and bathroom facilities to draw the eye.

Home Adaptations For Visually Impaired(4)


Lighting can help individuals get around the home, but there are other adaptations for visually impaired people that enhance home life, too.

Here are several factors to consider that can help with navigation around a property:


As well as ensuring paths in and out of rooms are clear and free from debris to mitigate the risk of trips and falls, furniture layout is another way of making a home more accessible for someone with visual impairment. 


Using contrasting colours in interior design themes makes it much easier for visually impaired people to navigate the home. Tonal contrast, or the difference in brightness between two objects or areas, can highlight critical surfaces to help individuals work out where they are and differentiate between different objects. 

To use contrast as an aid, think about using a different colour of flooring for each room or mark the edges of the stairs with a high-contrast colour.

Interested in adapted decor ideas? Read more about why looks matter here

Hand Rails And Grab Rails

One of the simplest but most effective adaptations for visually impaired people is the introduction of hand and grab rails around the home. They can be secured to any flat surface inside and out using the proper fixings.

Some popular areas where extra support is needed include:

  • Next to steps and along stairways
  • In bathrooms next to the toilet and in the bath or shower
  • At various points in the kitchen to help individuals rest and feel steadier on their feet.


The kitchen is typically a high-traffic area of the home, but comes with many risks. Adaptations for visually impaired people in this space include…

Colour Scheme

Contrast between the colour of the cabinets and their handles helps to draw attention to the right area for accessing goods, and high contrast between the worktops and the sink highlights the washing-up facilities.


Maintaining a simple and tidy method of keeping dry foods organised in cupboards leads to less confusion when selecting goods.

Task-Orientated Lighting

Installing spotlights above countertops where food prep takes place can help focus the eyes on the task at hand.


Specialist non-slip flooring reduces the risk of slips and falls.


To make the kitchen safer, there are several adaptations for visually impaired individuals. Installing an induction hob in place of a gas hob, for example, removes the risk of burns and scalds. 

Another adaptation is the introduction of a tactile or talking microwave. With specially designed buttons that are easily identifiable, smart microwaves talk to the user throughout, stating cook time, remaining time, power levels and other useful announcements. 

Home Adaptations For Visually Impaired(5)


Like the kitchen, the bathroom can also present several hazards for people with reduced vision. Here are some adaptations for visually impaired users that make it a safer space.


Replacing the flooring with non-slip vinyl reduces the risk of slips and falls.


Motion sensor lighting in the bathroom is both convenient and accessible, removing the need for a user to fumble about looking for a light switch. In place of motion lighting, LED strip lights placed around light switches and facilities draw visually impaired users’ eyes to bathroom landmarks.

Contrasting Colours

Choosing striking colours for tiles and wall areas, avoiding gloss tiles which reflect glare, can help users identify different areas of the room. Grab rails in contrasting colours are also more easily spotted. 

Level Access Shower

We talk about accessible showers a lot on our blog, and for good reason. At floor level, accessible showers remove the barrier of the shower tray and radically reduce the risk of trips.

Smart Controls

A smart home hub can react to voice commands and automate home tasks such as controlling the heating or opening and closing window coverings. 


Technology is improving adaptations for visually impaired people around the globe. 

Integrating a smart hub can offer user-friendly control of lights, appliances, doorbells and security systems. Another brilliant feature of voice-controlled home hubs that comes top of our list of adaptations for visually impaired people is the ‘show’ feature of the Amazon Echo, which enables users to ask the smart bot what they are holding.

Home Adaptations For Visually Impaired Improve Quality Of Life

The adaptations we’ve run through in this blog make the home a safer and more comfortable place to be for people living with reduced or impaired vision. 

Wondering where to start? Adaptations can be overwhelming, but we’ve got your back. See our website to find out more about us.