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10 Tips for Businesses Balancing Social Distancing and Vision Impairment

As our local economy continues to reopen in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Sight Center of Northwest Ohio calls on all businesses to balance safety measures with accessibility for people who are blind or visually impaired.

Social distancing and a “hands-off” approach aren’t easy for people who have limited vision, but those same people, who make up over 6% of our population. are customers, visitors, guests and even employees of nearly every business in the area.

Inspired by a 97-year legacy and motivated by a unique mission to empower independence and enrich the lives of people who are blind or visually impaired, The Sight Center has released a list of ten recommendations that every organization should consider implementing.

They include:

  • Add visible decals to clear plexiglass barriers
  • Make signs large, bold and eye level
  • Offer assistance with clear verbal instructions
  • Give service animals space to work
  • Make hand sanitizer stations prominent
  • Incorporate audio announcements
  • Include tactile floor markers when possible
  • Educate staff about vision loss
  • Assist customers lacking internet access to participate in
  • online only” shopping
  • Offer priority service (delivery, appointments, etc.) for customers who rely on others for transportation

“Since every organization is developing new safety procedures” said Stacey Butts Executive Director, “now is the perfect time to make sure those changes reflect the needs of people who are blind or visually impaired.” Commenting on the list of recommendations, she added, “Number 11 is to call The Sight Center if you need more guidance.”

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us at (419) 720-3937 or info@sightcentertoledo.org.

Thank you for helping us as we all do our part to keep our  loved ones safe and independent.