United Airlines Starts Adding Braille to
United Airlines has started
adding Braille to aircraft interiors, helping millions of travelers
with visual disabilities more easily navigate the cabin
The airline currently has equipped about a dozen aircraft with
Braille markings for individual rows and seat numbers as well as
inside and outside the lavatories.
United expects to outfit its
entire mainline fleet with Braille by the end of 2026.
According to the Department of Transportation,
about 27 million people with disabilities traveled by air in 2019.
"Finding your seat on a plane or getting to the restroom is
something most of us take for granted, but for millions of our
customers, it can be a challenge to do independently," said Linda Jojo, Executive Vice President, Chief Customer Officer for United.
"By adding more tactile signage throughout our interiors, we're
making the flying experience more inclusive and accessible, and
that's good for everyone."
In addition to adding Braille,
United is working with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB),
the American Council of the Blind (ACB) and other disability
advocacy groups to explore the use of other tactile navigational
aids throughout the cabin such as raised letters, numbers and
"We applaud United for taking an important step
toward making its aircraft more accessible to blind passengers,"
said NFB President Mark Riccobono. "The flight experience is often
frustrating for a number of reasons, one of which is the amount of
information that is available exclusively through printed signs
and other visual indicators. We hope to continue working with
United to explore additional ways to make flying more accessible
and less stressful for blind passengers."
The rollout of Braille to mainline aircraft over
the next few years is the latest way United has worked to create
accessible solutions for its customers. Others include:
- The United mobile app was recently redesigned to make it
easier to use for people with visual disabilities with increased
color contrast, more space between graphics and reordering how
information is displayed and announced to better integrate with
the screen reader technologies like VoiceOver and TalkBack.
- United's Inflight Seatback Entertainment screens
offer a wide range of accessible features such as closed
captioning, text-to-speech controls, magnification,
explore-by-touch capabilities, audio-described movies, and
adjustable and high-contrast text and color correction.
"United is taking additional steps to create
an accessible airline passenger experience through braille
signage," said ACB Interim Executive Director, Dan Spoone. "We
appreciate the airline's continued exploration of additional
in-flight navigational aids like large print and tactile
indicators, and we encourage all airlines to follow United's lead
in making air travel more inclusive for the blind and low vision
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