Despite it being a legal requirement in the UK to include ingredients and nutritional information on food products, blind and partially sighted people cannot access this information and are denied this fundamental right.
Inaccessible information on packaging can include (but is not limited to) ingredients, nutritional information, prices or instructions. This can present numerous challenges to people with sight loss, some of which relate to allergies, ethical choices and buying for others. Many are left feeling frustrated and overwhelmed, but also put at risk of eating or using something they (or their family) may be allergic to.
In our continued mission to break down societal barriers for people with sight loss, we’ve launched the Design for Everyone campaign to illustrate the impact of inaccessible packaging.
As part of this campaign, we opened the "Whatsin Store"; a corner shop stocked with deliberately inaccessible packaging, including intentionally vague branding, to items entirely removed of information. Hidden cameras in the shop filmed people’s reactions when confronted with inaccessibility firsthand, while the shopkeeper revealed that this is often the reality for people with sight loss when they're out shopping. Watch the video below to see some of these reactions.
The intention of the stunt was to bring to life the issues blind and partially sighted people face just doing the weekly shop. We hope the campaign encourages businesses to work with RNIB to find solutions for their products. There are many technologies and tools out there that can help make packaging accessible for everyone.