NCBI highlighting needs of visually impaired while shopping

Press Release

For immediate release

NCBI highlighting needs of visually impaired while shopping

Monday 23rd March 2020, NCBI is asking all retailers to be mindful of the needs of people who are blind and visually impaired when shopping during this Covid19 pandemic bearing in mind that sight loss is not always a visible disability.

Chris White, NCBI CEO said “We commend the retailers for safeguarding and prioritising vulnerable customers at this time. However, the reality is some of the measures introduced will pose a challenge to those with sight loss. For instance, people may not be able to see the new floor markings encouraging social distancing, or read temporary signage if the print is too small. While others will need a sighted guide to help them navigate the store so will be unable to abide by the two metres apart regulations. We urge staff to act with sensitivity and compassion in these situations.

NCBI’s national helpline 1800 911 250 is operational offering advice, support and information to anyone living with sight loss.


For further information and to arrange interviews, please contact June Tinsley NCBI 01 8821917/ 087 9955076


NCBI is the national sight loss organisation, working for people with sight loss.

We provide practical and emotional support, rehabilitation services and other training designed to help people with sight loss to live independently and confidently.

Services Offered:

  • Emotional support and counselling for people struggling to come to terms with sight loss.
  • Rehabilitation training, including independent living skills and mobility training, which may include using a long cane. Loss of independence is the biggest issue facing people – NCBI gives back independence and builds confidence.
  • Advice and information.
  • Low vision solutions, such as magnifiers and other aids, to help people to read standard print.
  • Assistive technology advice and training to either magnify or read aloud what is on screen.
  • Library – large-print and audio books – giving back the joy of reading.
  • Employment advice.

As a charity NCBI must raise €3 million annually just to keep operating at current levels that equates to €4 out of every €10 we spend on vital services.