With RNIB’S help, Mark's now coming to terms with his recent sight loss and rebuilding his confidence, but he still struggles with food shopping; finding packaging inaccessible.
Mark was registered severely sight impaired in December 2019, after experiencing a retinal detachment in each eye.
“I’ve been learning to be more independent and walk around with the cane, so the next step is going to the shop. But I struggle to go shopping on my own and need help from assistants. I’m not sure if I’m picking up a pack of filleted chicken or chicken wings, I can’t tell the difference.”
Loss of independence
“It feels like another hurdle that I’ve got to ask for help and sometimes you just want to be independent – to go out and do a bit of shopping: just a bit of normality. But sometimes, in that moment, you can’t help but feel just a bit useless and think "here we go again, I’ve got to ask for help".”
Faced with a limited choice
“Sometimes I get disappointed because I would like to try different things. There’s nothing more I’d like to do on a Friday afternoon after work, than go to a supermarket and think "oh what do I fancy today?". But since I’ve been blind, I feel like that freedom’s been taken away from me, and sometimes I feel like I’m a hindrance, especially if I have to keep on asking for help.”
What accessible packaging would mean
“I'm still adjusting to losing my sight. Having limited access to information is quite daunting – it makes you feel less confident and more inept, constantly feeling like a burden. So, this has a knock-on effect when it comes to getting out and about. If accessibility was improved this would be a huge confidence builder for me, feeling more independent and normal; not having a disability that holds me back.”