A washing machine specifically designed to help people living with a visual impairment has been launched by domestic appliances company Miele with development insight provided by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).
Features of the washing machine include tactile markings, touch sensors and acoustic indicators, as well as an audio user manual.
The WDD131 WPS GuideLine washing machine includes tactile markings, raised lines and symbols across its fascia to guide users through its range of settings. A large rotary dial displays 12 individual wash programs which are indicated by clear dots.
The machine also makes use of acoustic indications, each program selection and setting is accompanied by a specific signal for smooth operation. Turn the dial to select a program and the unit will sound, turning on automatically. When a wash cycle has finished the machine will audibly alert users to remove their clothes.
In addition, each unit also comes with a USB stick containing an audio user manual in the widely recognized DAISY format for maximum usability.
Aside from its accessibility features, the machine is rated A+++ -10% for energy efficiency and features Miele’s exclusive CapDosing technology, which dispenses the exact amount of specialist detergents for each wash.
Robin Spinks, senior innovation manager at the RNIB, said: “Our innovation team works internationally with consumer brands to facilitate the development of inclusive products and we applaud Miele for recognizing the needs of our community. We’re very excited about the potential of this product and the changes it might bring to the industry going forward.”