We know companies are doing their absolute best to support their vulnerable customers and colleagues at this time – thank you.

We are hearing some incredible good stories from our members about how companies have supported them during this difficult time, however we are also hearing about the challenges visually impaired people are facing, particularly with social distancing measures in place. Therefore, as well as giving advice to people with sight loss, most importantly, we want to ensure that businesses are aware of the needs of these customers and can adapt.

With our accredited Rehabilitation Officers for Visual Impairment we have put together some top tips to provide your company and colleagues with key information to understand the needs of your visually impaired customers and how you should be responding.

We hope you find these tips helpful:

  • Encourage staff to ask if they can help and not to feel awkward
  • Be kind, be firm and clear
  • Ask the customer if he/she would like to sit down somewhere safe and offer to take a shopping list of 10 essential items
  • Consider offering to guide customers around the shop and take them to the check-out, but keeping at a safe distance
  • Change the signage on the floor to make it high contrast to help keeping the 2 metres distance advice given by the authorities
  • Don’t make assumptions about someone’s vision and if the customer has made it to the shop on their own, they may not need a lot of assistance
  • Consider that many customers can’t or don’t want to shop online

Many people do not have contact on a day to day basis with someone with a visual impairment, so we do understand it can be difficult to know how to respond. That’s why we have also developed a Visual Impairment Online Training for Business, as a ready-made tool that you can share with your employees to easily and quickly give them the confidence to support customers with a visual impairment.

For more information on our Visual Impairment course and how you can get access, please click below.

In the UK, there are almost 2 million people living with sight loss. Of these, around 360,000 are registered as blind or partially sighted.