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Washing Machine Research for Blind and Visually Impaired People

As a partially sighted or blind person, can you find an easy-to-use washing machine?

Yes, you can now, thanks to unique research from the Research Institute for Disabled Consumers (RiDC).

The research reveals the top ten washing machines which are the easiest for blind and partially sighted people to use.

With funding from Thomas Polkington Trust (TPT) RiDC ran a workshop with blind and partially sighted people to find what their ideal washing machine would be. RiDC researchers also spoke to washing machine manufacturers.

The research highlights the seven top features which make washing machines accessible for people with little or no vision. These include simplicity of use, audio output, tactile information, and good visual contrast on the controls.

After analysing data for more than 80 models which consumer tests show are the best performing, RiDC researchers shortlisted the top ten most accessible washing machines on the market.

This unique practical information will be of great use to many people thinking of getting a washing machine and to those shopping online and in stores. The information is available in a number of formats. It can be accessed online here, it can be requested in Braille by phoning 0208 9950 880 and can also be accessed as an audio recording over the phone by telephoning new RiDC InfoLine which costs the usual landline phone rate on 0330 223 53 55.

RiDC and TPT hope that, with the increasing use of smart technology in our everyday lives, designers will continue to provide good visual and tactile features ensuring that future washing machines are simple and easy to use. On user reported:

“This really is a cracking bit of work you’ve done. I’ve read the product reviews for some of the washing machines, and the information you’ve included is just the sort of information we, as blind people, need in order to make informed choices when buying equipment like this.” (UK blind tech user)

RiDC is an independent, national research charity. It doesn’t sell products. You can find all this unbiased information on the RiDC website along with more information about consumer research with disabled and older people at www.ridc.org.uk.


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