How To Make A Shop Accessible For Blind And Visually Impaired People

Opening a new shop, whether you're selling fashionable clothes or home-made candles, can be a really exciting project. However, you need to make sure that your shop is accessible and welcoming for those who are blind or visually impaired by following the three simple tips below.

Educate Yourself And Staff

In order to make your shop accessible to blind and visually ipmaired people, you need to make sure you understand blindness. As Vision Australia explains, there are very specific criteria a person needs to fulfil in order to be legally blind, while people are said to have low vision when their eyes cannot be corrected with glasses and their eyesight impacts their daily life. Spend some time learning about blindness and listening to the stories and experiences of blind people, especially those that relate to shopping in and navigating the world. You should also train your staff and teach them about these issues. Make sure they know how to sensitively offer help to visually impaired people and that they know that guide dogs are allowed in your store.

Invest In Braille Tactile Signs

Getting braille signs is a great way to help make your shop accessible to blind people, as it allows them to have the same experience of reading as sighted customers. The National Construction Code explains how best to install braille signs, explaining that they should generally be installed 120 to 160 centimetres above the ground. There are other rules on where they should be located, as well as what the sign should look like – for example, it should have rounded corners to prevent injuries. There are many companies that sell custom braille tactical signs and supplies that will allow you to convey important information to visually impaired customers.

Keep The Floor Clear

The idea of tripping over clutter on the floor is a big worry for a lot of blind people. Many people have a cane to try and overcome this, but it is still possible for people to trip if your floor is too cluttered. Luckily, there are lots of ways to display the things you have for sale without having things piled on the floor – experiment with shelves, tables and hooks to display your goods. Search online for great visual merchandising ideas that will be safe for everyone. You should also tell your staff to keep the floor clear and not pile newly delivered boxes or goods where people could fall over them.

If you keep your floor clear, educate yourself and your staff on blindness and invest in some braille signage, your blind customers are more likely to feel safe and welcome in your new shop.