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Marks & Spencer Launches Braille Gift Cards

By Robert McHugh
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Marks & Spencer Launches Braille Gift Cards

UK retailer Marks & Spencer has announced the launch of a ‘Happy Birthday’ braille gift card, developed in consultation with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

Three braille greeting cards, covering different celebrations, have been added to the retailer's gift card range.

Each greeting card and gift card design is plastic-free, made of FSC Certified paper and fully recyclable. Customers only need to remove the glue dots from the gift card.

The braille gift card features an embossed outer sleeve to communicate the ‘Happy Birthday’ message and an embossed gift card enclosed within the sleeve, which can be used online or in over 700 M&S stores.

The British retailer said the rollout of the braille range was accelerated following suggestions from five colleagues through M&S’ CEO suggestion scheme.

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One of the colleagues who made the suggestion, Elizabeth Abudu, who works as a team manager at M&S’ Streatham Hill store was inspired to submit the idea while assisting blind and partially sighted customers who regularly visit the store.

Hidden Disabilities

In 2019, M&S became the first UK retailer to introduce the sunflower lanyard scheme for customers with hidden disabilities, as a means of indicating they may need some extra support.

The retailer is also marking five years since the launch of its specially made Easy Dressing range of adaptive clothing for children, which has grown to include over 50 products.

“Our customers are always at the heart of every product we design, and we hope our first-of-its-kind braille gift card and range of greeting cards will make it that bit easier for customers to show their love and appreciation for friends and family members with sight loss,” said Kathryn Turner, product development director at M&S.

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'Inclusive Experience'

RNIB estimates more than two million people in the UK are living with sight loss, of which 340,000 people are registered blind or partially sighted.

"We’re delighted to have worked with M&S on their range of braille cards," said Ali Long, director of consumer and business services at RNIB. "The rollout of their braille range will make such a difference to their customers who are blind or partially sighted."

"This is a really positive step in making shopping and the giving of cards an inclusive experience for people living with sight loss."

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