In honor of World Sight Day on October 10, 2019, Herbal Essences is expanding the brand’s use of tactile markings. There are 253 million people around the world who are vision impaired, according to P&G, but only 4% of businesses are actively creating products with disabled people in mind.
Beginning in January 2020, all Herbal Essences shampoos and conditioners, such as the Hello Hydration, Color Me Happy and Smooth Collections, will have tactile differentiations to alleviate in-shower confusion and help consumers, especially those with low vision, confidently perform daily tasks.
Pioneering the Effort -- P&G's Accessibility Leader, Sumaira Latif
Herbal Essences first introduced tactile markings last year, designed to help differentiate between shampoo and conditioner for those with a vision impairment.
This innovation was spearheaded by Sumaira “Sam” Latif, P&G’s accessibility leader, who has been with the company for over 18 years and is herself blind. She pioneered this effort to help low vision consumers distinguish between shampoo and conditioner products through the sense of touch, with raised stripes on shampoo and circles on conditioner on the bio:renew line-up.
Latif says, A universal tactile marking seems like such a small thing, and yet as a blind woman it’s the little things that make such a big difference in my life. I’m excited to broaden the positive impact this has had for the vision impaired community..."
Watch Latif explain more about inclusive design in the video below.
Utilizing Alexa & A Collab with YouTuber Molly Burke
Herbal Essences is introducing an Alexa skill and offering specialized help on the Be My Eyes app.
The brand is also partnering with blind YouTube star Molly Burke to collaborate on inspiring content related to overcoming daily beauty challenges.
Burke says, “I know one of the most difficult things for me as a beauty and lifestyle creator has been finding products with cognizant packaging and designing a routine that works for me. I hope this content will serve as a helping hand for those who are figuring that out.”
New Website & Social Media Features
The Herbal Essences website will also be accessible for assistive technology users (such as screen readers) by January 2020.
The brand’s Instagram page is also currently accessible for this community through Instagram’s Alternative Text feature, which utilizes Apple’s VoiceOver capability to allow users to listen to in-feed image descriptions.