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“Making Fashion More Inclusive:” Fashion Magazine Launches Braille Edition

For the first time in its 107-year history, British Vogue has released a braille edition of the magazine, beginning with its May 2023 issue. The publication is available in audio and braille formats to increase access by people who are blind or have low vision. According to editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, “readers are now able ‘to be sent the audio file, to print a Braille file of the issue at home for free or to register (their) interest in receiving a physical Braille copy.’” Enninful underscored the intent of this move, stating that “’The time has come for us to get real about who we are as a society, and for fashion to build a better, more accessible and inclusive industry.’” The introduction of this format has drawn positive reactions from a number of advocates from the blind and visually impaired (BVI) community. Kim Charlson, executive director of the braille and talking book library at Perkins School for the Blind, noted that this is a “’game changer,’” since “fashion and design publications, in particular, lack accessibility…It benefits the community and makes information available to us that probably other people kind of take for granted.’” Virginia Jacko, president and CEO of the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, “a nationally recognized accessibility expert” who is blind, also affirmed that she is a “’strong proponent of access’” to this kind of information. Jacko told Yahoo Life that she considers herself “’kind of a fashionista,’” and that “’It’s a sighted world. Sighted people need to accept the blind or visually impaired and people with disabilities. And people with disabilities have to learn how to fit into a sighted world.’” For more details, read the Yahoo! Life article announcing that British Vogue is available in braille. Blind ‘fashionistas’ react.