RNIB dispels myths to ‘see the person, not the sight loss’

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has partnered with The&Partnership to dispel myths about what it is like to live with sight loss. A still from RNIB shows a visually impaired person from the film in a beige trench boat holding a phone - against a brick background

Part of its wider ‘See The Person, Not the Sight Loss’ initiative, the ‘Before You Ask’ campaign also challenges outdated public attitudes and misconceptions of sight loss to break down social barriers.

Directed by Chris Balmond at Outsider for RNIB, the short film aims to banish myths about what it is like to live with sight loss.

The 60-second film invited viewers to see blind and partially sighted people in everyday relatable experiences – such as reporting to annoying bosses, supporting disappointing football teams, and frustrating public transport.

The spot sees in each scenario, the protagonists pre-empt the – often awkward – questions the public has about sight loss, breaking the fourth wall and answering them before they ask.

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Showcased across out-of-home (OOH), digital out-of-home (DOOH) and live on both social and programmatic, RNIB’s campaign is also supported by a 30-second radio advert, written by Ellen Renton.

“RNIB’s #BeforeYouAsk films use humour and familiar scenarios to make people think,” said RNIB chief social change officer, Vivienne Francis.

“They also underscore a serious point about the misconceptions people face and the barriers these lead to in terms of people living independently.

“We hope this campaign will go a long way to stopping both the misguided everyday questions blind and partially sighted people face but also the more deep-rooted misconceptions about the expectations, needs and wants of people with sight loss, which we know are leading to gaps in experiences compared to sighted people; these gaps need to close.”

The&Partnership creative, Jane Reader, added: “I am blind in one eye so this idea was based on my own personal experience of living with sight loss.

“I often get asked silly questions such as ‘How many fingers am I holding up’? and ‘How can you drive?’ I felt it was about time the visually impaired people got the chance to answer all these questions once and for all.”

The&Partnership creative directors, Matt Moreland and Chris Clarke, concluded: “Do you have sex? Can you use a phone? Some of the questions visually impaired people get asked is
honestly staggering.

“Which is what we wanted to tackle in this campaign – puncturing preconceptions with humour and showing what it’s really like to live with sight loss.”

A RNIB out-of-home (OOH), depicting a young woman semi-dressed in bed, covered by a duvet with the text reading 'I lost my sight, not my libido'


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