RNIB launches national quality assurance mark

New cards from RBS will be first products to achieve RNIB Approved status

The UK’s largest sight loss charity RNIB has launched a new quality assurance mark which will identify products that are easy –to-use if you are blind and partially sighted.

Products and services which are granted RNIB Approved status will have gone through a rigorous process which involves testing by accessibility experts before being reviewed by a panel of blind and partially sighted people.

RNIB Approved has been developed with the expert advice of Dr Gabriella Spinelli, Reader in Design Innovation, from the Department of Design at Brunel University. It has been launched by the charity in response to demand from customers with sight loss as well as from businesses which want to ensure their products and services are accessible.

New debit and saving cards launched this week by Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) will be the first products to receive this new approval. RBS have been awarded the mark after developing the new cards in partnership with RNIB.

The cards are the first of their kind to be completely accessible for blind people. They feature a number of accessibility features to ensure customers with sight loss can use them independently and with confidence. A notch on the bottom right corner aids with orientation and different braille characters in the top right corner indicate whether the card is a debit or savings card.

Steve Tyler, Head of Solutions, Strategy and Planning at RNIB, said:

“It’s really important that blind and partially sighted people can go about their everyday business, like banking and shopping, with ease and confidence. It can be frustrating and time consuming process to find products that work for you and we hope that blind and partially sighted will come to recognise RNIB Approved as a mark they can trust.

“We are delighted to have worked with RBS on making debit and savings cards more accessible. The very basic requirement of identifying the right card and quickly determining which way the card slots in to a machine or payment system has been solved by this development. Simple as it is, creating a card with tactile indicators that identify the card type as well as the way in which it should be used, is an engineering challenge, particularly to ensure that it doesn’t disrupt machinery.”

RNIB Approved is now open for applications, to find out more contact Nick Lalaguna at RNIB on 0207 388 1266 or nicolas.lalaguna@rnib.org.uk.

About RNIB

Every 15 minutes, someone in the UK begins to lose their sight. We are the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and we’re here for everyone affected by sight loss – that’s almost 2 million people in the UK. If you, or someone you know, has a sight problem, RNIB can help. Call the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999 or visit www.rnib.org.uk

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