A Message from Marie Harrower

On World Braille Day (4 January 2023) Disability Equality Scotland, Oban and District Access Panel and Sight Scotland launched a campaign calling on the Scottish Government to introduce new requirements on retailers to provide braille labelling on food products.

We are asking for a statutory duty to be placed on businesses and retailers to provide braille labels on food products detailing the name of the item and the use by/sell by dates. This is an essential requirement for blind and partially sighted people, which would allow visually impaired individuals to safely identify, buy and use food items in both retailers and when at home.

As part of the campaign, a Scottish Parliament petition was created which currently has a total of 1,290 signatures. In the latest response to the petition, Food Standards Scotland stated that legal food labelling requirements need to be considered on a UK-basis. However, due to work arising from the UK Government’s Retained EU Law Bill, progress on braille labelling work is unlikely to be possible in the short term.

As a campaign group, we are determined to highlight why a review of food labelling should be considered as a priority. Therefore, responses to this week’s poll will contribute to developing the braille campaign further. If you would like to share your experiences and contribute to a case study, please leave your contact details below.

The Scottish Parliament petition remains under consideration by the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee. You can sign and share our petition using the following link: https://petitions.parliament.scot/petitions/PE1997

Our question this week: Do you think food package labels are available in formats that meet your accessibility requirements? Yes/No

Please share any comments you have on the accessibility of food packaging, for example the size of text, colour contrast, the use of QR codes.

We are also keen to hear directly from braille users. Please share your contact details if you wish to contribute to a case study to help further promote our braille labelling campaign.

You can respond to our poll online: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/AccessibleFoodLabelling

or contact:

email [email protected] or call us on 0141 370 0968

Please note the poll will remain open for a further three weeks, it will close on Friday 4th of August, your support will be very much appreciated.