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Why Christmas shopping can be more expensive if you’re blind or partially sighted

Christmas can be an expensive time, and with the cost of living crisis we all need to watch what we spend. But if you’re blind or partially sighted, it can be a challenge to find - and access - the best deals, so you spend more..

Christmas presents and books displayed on a table.

Eva Green and Khansa Maria, who both have sight loss, explain the difficulties they face with apps and accessibility and getting sighted assistance when shopping.

Eva Green:

“It’s difficult to find deals and reduced items to save money in-store. These items may be placed in random areas or at the back of the store, and if you have to negotiate your way around people, it can make it a real challenge to find anything.

“When I’m in the supermarket I need to get quite close to read the print on things; the labels are very small and inaccessible. People can get frustrated that I’m taking too long or that I’m in their way. I can hear them tutting or exhaling loudly behind me, and that makes me feel like I don’t want to go shopping alone.”

Khansa Maria:

“When I go into a store, I ask for sighted assistance but sometimes it’s difficult because I have to find someone to ask, who will then allocate a shopping assistant to me. So, the process of getting assistance in a supermarket isn’t easy and adds time to my shopping trip.

“I mainly use Uber Eats when I shop online, as I find the app to be the most accessible out of the different ones that I’ve tried including Deliveroo. Deliveroo is not as VoiceOver accessible as Uber Eats. However, the downside to this is that shopping on Uber Eats is more expensive than Deliveroo is in my area. So, I end up having to pay more to essentially to be able to order groceries online accessibly.

“I think that all food delivery apps need to be widely accessible to all - with VoiceOver and have detailed descriptions of the items - as opposed to just photos.”