I have written to the Chief Executives of the ten largest supermarkets in the country, encouraging them to go further in their support for blind and partially sighted people.
You can read the letter below.
Dear Supermarket Chief Executives,
RE: Support for Disabled People
I am writing to strongly encourage you to take appropriate extra steps to ensure disabled people across the country can safely shop in your establishments.
As Shadow Minister for Disabled People and Member of Parliament for Lewisham Deptford, I hear from a range of people and charities across the country on access to priority supermarkets lists.
While I appreciate you are busy during this crisis ensuring your supermarkets are fully stocked, I would like to bring to your attention the campaign asks from the sight loss sector, calling for better supermarket access during the pandemic. The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), Guide Dogs, Thomas Pocklington Trust, Vision UK, and Visionary are jointly campaigning so blind and partially sighted people can access the food and basic necessities they need. Combined, the charities submitted a petition with 22,653 signatures calling on more support for people with sight loss.
I strongly encourage you to consider opening priority delivery shopping slots to blind and partially sighted people who need them. I have heard from a range of stakeholders; I know this would go a long way to ensuring better support.
I wanted to take this opportunity to bring the helpful RNIB COVID-19: Supporting your blind and partially sighted customers guide to your attention. I have attached a copy for your ease. It provides helpful information you may want to consider implementing, including small changes to equipment like the recently installed Perspex glass screens.
Can I also please remind you of the importance of ensuring your communication to customers is as accessible as possible. With the ever-changing landscape, good practices can easily be broken when under strain, resulting in customers being excluded from important information and updates. I know you will do all you can to ensure all customers are thought of when planning and delivering services.
Thank you for your ongoing effort during these difficult times. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.
Vicky Foxcroft MP
Shadow Minister for Disabled People