Disability and minimum living standards: the additional costs of living for people who are sight impaired and people who are deaf

For the first time, the methods used to calculate the Minimum Income Standard (MIS) have been applied to the living costs of people with disabilities. This research, funded by Thomas Pocklington Trust, looked at sight loss and hearing loss and showed clearly that both impairments lead to substantial extra costs if a minimum acceptable standard of living is to be reached. The research is based on detailed deliberation among groups of people with sight and hearing loss about additions that need to be made to a standard MIS household budget for a single person of working age as a result of specific impairments. The examples considered in this study were: someone eligible to be certified as sight impaired, and a Deaf person who uses British Sign Language. The research demonstrates how this method can help both to quantify the extra costs of disability and to describe where and why they arise.