British Blind Sport

Overcoming Barriers to Visually Impaired Participation research study

British Blind Sport are proud to launch an extensive study exploring the barriers that restrict visually impaired people from enjoying sport and how successful participants have overcome those challenges.

We have worked for 40 years to help blind and partially sighted people get active and play sport. Sport and recreational activities can enhance the lives of people with visual impairments, by improving their health and increasing their social interaction. We are keen to work with both existing and new partners to develop relationships that will provide greater sporting opportunities for people with sight loss.

Barriers to Participation

It is often just small adaptations to an event or more thoughtful communication, which can make a huge difference in encouraging and enabling visually impaired people to join in and participate.

Top VI friendly tips

  • Communication: share your events with British Blind Sport so we can promote them on our website, social media and in our magazine.
  • Online: provide text descriptions of images, write at least size 14 font and use webpages rather than document links.
  • Event location: ensure convenient public transport links or plentiful blue badge spaces. Include a postcode and link to a map in the event description.
  • Accessibility: use Sport England’s audit guidelines to test if equipment and facilities are VI friendly and provide awareness training to customer-facing staff.
  • Reassurance and support: provide the name and telephone number of someone who can help with queries and encourage friends and family members to attend.
  • Be informed: use British Blind Sport’s resources to help coaches involve VI people and encourage VI people to talk about their needs and suggest ideas.

London 2012 saw visually impaired athletes such as David Clarke (former blind footballer) and Libby Clegg (runner) demonstrating that people can achieve great things, regardless of their impairment.

Progress has been made in providing more accessible sporting provision, but we must continue working together to find ways to best support the VI community.

Read our research

Please visit the Overcoming Barriers to Participation research section of our website to learn how to make your sporting activities more accessible: 

Lotto Sport
European Union
Active Partnerships