RNIB collaborates with British Vogue on first ever braille issue
Leading sight loss charity the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is collaborating with British Vogue to produce the first ever braille and audio versions of the magazine.
For the May 2023 “Reframing Fashion” issue, British Vogue is collaborating with Sinéad Burke’s accessibility consultancy, Tilting the Lens, to recognise and celebrate the disabled community in the fashion industry.
The braille and audio formats of the May 2023 issue will be available from 5 May. Additionally, all issues of British Vogue for the next year will be available in audio format and for braille readers in physical and digital formats.
Vivienne Francis, RNIB’s Chief Social Change Officer, said: “British Vogue’s May issue goes a long way to challenging not just the fashion industry, but society, to be more inclusive and it’s fantastic to be working with them to make the braille and audio versions a reality.
“Fashion sits at the heart of identity and can communicate who we are. This issue demonstrates that we can make fashion accessible to everyone.
“We hope that the impact of this issue leaves a lasting legacy in rethinking disability and that other people, and other brands, pick up the baton to consider how they can contribute to a more inclusive society.”
Kimberley Burrows is a blind artist who recently collaborated with Warehouse to launch an exclusive range of occasion-wear based on her abstract paintings. Kimberley plans to buy British Vogue for the first time, now that it is available in braille, and she said:
“This is a powerful step towards inclusivity and representation in the fashion industry. By spotlighting disabled talent, trailblazers, advocates and change makers, British Vogue is challenging the industry to take a long-overdue look at the way it has historically excluded people like me.
“This issue is an important reminder that disability is not a limitation or a barrier to beauty, creativity, or success. As a blind artist, with a strong interest in beauty and fashion, it is deeply encouraging and refreshing.”
Edward Enninful OBE, editor in chief British Vogue and European Editorial Director Vogue, said: “Disability should feel personal to us all. Some 16 million people in the UK are disabled, with millions more disabled-adjacent, whether visibly or invisibly. The time has come for us to get real about who we are as a society, and for fashion to build a better, more accessible and inclusive industry.”
RNIB believe that products and or services must be accessible to all. RNIB’s Business Services team can help you understand the needs of people with disabilities to ensure your business is inclusive. RNIB helps all businesses maximise the value of their products and services by opening them up to the millions of disabled people in the UK and by designing for anyone, you make it better for everyone. Find out more about RNIB’s business services at www.rnib.org.uk/professionals/business-professionals