Mapping the information accessibility of the visually impaired in 2023

Research is part of Kolibre's activities and during the years 2021-2023, the association has conducted a survey of visually impaired people's access to information together with Novia University of Applied Sciences. The survey was initiated in 2021 and was planned in detail when sufficient funding had been secured in 2022. Focus group interviews were conducted in the spring of 2023.

The purpose of the survey was to map how visually impaired people in Finland-Swedish experience their everyday life from an accessibility perspective with a focus on information. Visually impaired people in the age groups 18-65 and 65+ in Ostrobothnia, Turku and Uusimaa participated in the survey. People with expert knowledge on the subject also participated.

The research project was financed by Stiftelsen Svenska Blindgården, Stiftelsen Emilie och Rudolf Gesellius fond, Hans Brummers Stiftelse and Svenska folkskolans vänner.

Information exists but is not always accessible

The mapping exercise clarifies the challenges, opportunities and suggestions for development highlighted by the target group. The results show that access to information varies according to the degree of visual ability and the habit of using different aids, services and tools.

For people with low vision, the number of forums for information may be reduced, especially if they experience barriers in the use of digital services. They feel that information is available but that the services currently offered are not always accessible for various reasons.

The focus should be on reducing digital exclusion

In general, it can be said that younger visually impaired people move more freely between different information forums, while older people experience difficulties and are thus limited to a smaller number of services. Because of the fear of making mistakes, some programs and aids are not used.

Future efforts could focus on further increasing accessibility and designing information material and guidance in adapted forms. Particular focus should be placed on reducing and preventing digital exclusion.

The report is available for download

The full report is available as a PDF document and can be downloaded from the link below. For now it is only available in Swedish language.

Finlandssvenska synskadades informationstillgång [497.5 kB]