Virgin Atlantic has announced a global airline first, launching a fully accessible inflight entertainment system for customers with sight loss. Virgin Atlantic is pioneering new technology, which will enable blind customers to enjoy the full range of on board entertainment via specially adapted iPads. Working with UK tech company Bluebox Aviation Systems and representatives from Guide Dogs for the Blind, the innovative iPad-based platform has been developed to benefit users with blindness, partial vision and sensitivity to brightness. It contains audio descriptions, large type and consistent layout and controls. The technology will be offered throughout the fleet serving destinations across North America, the Caribbean, Africa, China, India and the Middle East.
John Welsman, Policy Business Partner for Travel and Transport for the charity Guide Dogs, said: "We know that something as simple as an in-flight entertainment system with voice overs and audio descriptions will help passengers with sight loss to enjoy flights just like anyone else on board. As someone with sight loss who flies quite often myself, I think it’ll be wonderful to access entertainment and information on Virgin planes without needing to ask for help. Not having to call for cabin crew, or disturb fellow passengers around me who might be sleeping, will be great. The charity Guide Dogs works hard to make sure that people who are blind or partially sighted are not left out of life, and so we’re delighted that Virgin Atlantic is helping passengers with sight loss to be more independent on board their planes by providing accessible in-flight entertainment."