We are delighted to announce that Oban Access Panel, with support from Disability Equality Scotland and Sight Scotland, has launched a campaign for braille labelling on food items in Scotland.
During National Braille Week (11 – 17 October 2021), Disability Equality Scotland partnered with Sight Scotland to call for action from government and retailers to promote more availability of braille labelling on retail goods.
We have urged the Scottish Government to consider introducing new requirements on retailers to provide braille labelling for a greater range of goods. Currently braille labelling is only required for medicines, leaving braille users at a disadvantage to sighted shoppers in identifying other goods they wish to purchase and use.
Responsibility for labelling legislation is moving to the Scottish and UK Governments, having previously been a matter for EU laws where the requirement for braille labelling was introduced. The charities have written to the Scottish Government calling for new legislation which builds on this progress and makes braille labelling a requirement for a much broader range of retail goods.
Sight Scotland, which is Scotland’s largest visual impairment charity, organises National Braille Week in the second week of October every year. The Scottish Braille Press is run by Sight Scotland as part of its services supporting visually impaired people, and National Braille Week aims to highlight the importance of providing publications and information in braille.
Marie Harrower is a member of Oban Access Panel and, as a braille reader, Marie has been an active campaigner for greater availability of braille labelling.
Speaking of the need for new legislation, Marie said:
“I feel passionate that blind and partially sighted people should be able to identify products, especially food products, in order to store away shopping, and retrieve products quickly, easily and with the minimum of effort. I wonder what people with sight would think if labels were removed and they had to seek assistance or do some guessing. I am absolutely delighted that the Oban and District Access panel, Sight Scotland and Disability Equality Scotland are vigorously supporting this access issue and campaign to have braille labels on products.”
We hope that you can join us in this campaign and get behind the call for action. We also encourage you to contact your local MSP to help raise awareness of this critical issue. Please feel free to download the poster and share it with your contacts.
Get in touch with Disability Equality Scotland on 0141 370 0968 for more information