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. This washing machine information is available online and, on request, in Braille. It is also available over the phone as an interactive listing on the RiDC Infoline all for the cost of phoning a landline. Dial: 0330 223 53 55 and follow the instructions.
With funding from Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT), RiDC ran a workshop with blind and partially sighted people to find what their ideal washer 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, RiDCresearchers 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.
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.
“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)
There’s no spin. 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
RiDC is a national charity, a leading expert in person-centred research involving disabled and older consumers. www.ridc.org.uk
It has a UK-wide consumer research panel of nearly 1,000 disabled and older people who assist us by taking part in surveys or interviews or by trying out products and services. People can join the panel at http://bit.ly/RiDCjoinhere.
Thomas Pocklington Trust can provide Braille information on request. Phone 0208 9950 880
The washing machine information is available as an audio recording over the phone. Ring the new RiDC InfoLine which costs the usual landline phone rate on 0330 223 53 55. The RiDC Infoline:
- Costs the usual landline phone rate – check your phone package includes 0330 numbers
- Let’s you move through the audio by using your phone keypad
- Allows you to easily leave a phone message to give your views
Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT) is a national charity for people with sight loss. Its research programme commissions and funds social and public health research initiatives to identify ways to improve the lives of people with sight loss. www.pocklington-trust.org.uk
Accessible washing machine information is often listed under the description ‘convenience’. In addition, CHOICE, the leading consumer advocacy group in Australia, has a guide to choosing an accessible washing machine for people with disabilities, vision impairment or cognitive impairment at: https://www.choice.com.au/home-and-living/laundry-and-cleaning/washing-machines/articles/washers-accessibility