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RNIB opens pop-up store highlighting inaccessible packaging

The pop-up will be run by the charity in Hammersmith, London, across two days

Pixabay/igorovsyannykov /206 images

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is highlighting the issue of inaccessible packaging and the impact it has on people with sight loss through a new campaign.

Opening its WhatsIn Store pop-up in Hammersmith, London, today (24 August), the mock up corner shop is filled with products featuring blank and intentionally vague packaging, and aims to give people an insight into how it feels to be confronted with inaccessible packaging.

Launched as part of the charity’s Design For Everyone campaign, the shop, which is open until tomorrow (25 August), will feature hidden cameras that will capture people’s reactions. A shopkeeper will then highlight how the experience is often the reality for people with sight loss when they go shopping or want to buy food on the go.

CEO of the RNIB, Matt Stringer, emphasised that “everyone has the right to know what they’re buying, yet packaging information is so often inaccessible for blind and partially sighted people.”

Highlighting research by the charity, Stringer reported that almost three-quarters of blind and partially sighted people feel that accessing product information on food packaging is very important to them, but for nine in 10 people packaging is difficult or impossible to read.

Stringer continued: “People told us they often rely on their memory for locating products or feel forced to ask for help. They shouldn’t have to rely on friends, family or shopworkers to buy food. It’s a matter of choice and of independence.

“RNIB is campaigning for products and services to be reimagined with accessibility in mind, because when products are designed for anyone, the result is better for everyone.”

The RNIB, which has already worked with leading brand Kellogg’s to ensure its packaging is accessible, highlighted that it can support other businesses to develop more accessible products and services. The charity explained that there are a range of tools and technologies available, including optical smart code NaviLens, that can help businesses achieve this goal.

Kellogg’s announced in July that it would be permanently adding NaviLens technology to all its cereal boxes to make them accessible to blind and partially sighted people. The new boxes will allow a smartphone to easily detect a unique on-pack code, using NaviLens technology, and playback labelling information to shoppers.