LOUISVILLE, Ky., Feb. 27, 2024 – Today GE Appliances debuts its first ever Access Kit, an inclusive tactile offering for blind and low vision appliance owners, created in partnership with the American Printing House for the Blind (APH).

The CDC reports that approximately 6 million Americans have vision loss and 1 million have blindness.[1] As the most comprehensive set of tactile stickers for appliances, the kit of over 400 stickers is designed to meet the needs of users who are blind or low vision and make thousands of GE Appliances more accessible for everyone.

Designed to represent the 80 most common settings across thousands of appliances, the durable stickers are placed directly over existing controls, allowing appliance buttons, knobs and other functions to be identifiable by touch. They are created to be easy to feel and differentiate with a thin and angular tactile design. They are also transparent so the original text can still be viewed.

“Our number one goal with this offering is to make appliances more accessible for everyone,” said Chris Bissig, director of experience brand language at GE Appliances. “Our research showed that a lot of blind and low-vision consumers are devising their own complex systems just to navigate the settings on their appliances, making simple household tasks incredibly difficult. This kit ensures everyone can feel confident using their GE Appliances. We are so grateful to our partners at American Printing House for the Blind, a true authority in this space, for helping us bring this product to life and make everyday living easier for those who are blind or low vision.”

As part of GE Appliances extensive research to maximize impact and provide accessibility, the company also made the conscious choice to include both tactile symbols and braille. While braille is the standard, fewer than 10 percent of the 1.3 million people who are legally blind in the United States are braille readers, so GE Appliances landed on 150 unique stickers - half-symbol, half-braille. The full kit includes more than 400 stickers, comprised of over 150 unique stickers, dozens of universal symbols for countless products in every appliance category and extras of each to cover multiple appliances in the home.

“For over 160 years, APH has been working to empower people who are blind or low vision by providing accessible and innovative products for lifelong success,” said MarySusan Abell, director of communications and consumer engagement at APH. “We’re thrilled to be able to join forces with GE Appliances to bring the most comprehensive appliance-focused tactile access kit to the market. Cooking, cleaning and other daily tasks can be challenging for individuals who are blind and low vision when they don’t have access to the right tools. Our Access Kit helps create a universal solution to make everyday life easier and build a world where everyone is welcome.”

In 2015, GE Appliances introduced an accessory kit of braille overlays for certain ranges and wanted to expand beyond that. In 2022, the company donated a full kitchen for students at Central High School in Louisville who are blind or low vision. By having access to some of these standard household items, some students received their first opportunity to learn some of the necessary skills to achieve independent living.

The kit will be compatible with the majority of GE Appliances products, as well as other appliances. As new cooking and cleaning modes are introduced, GE Appliances will continue expanding the list of available tactile stickers.

The Access Kit can be purchased at www.geappliancesparts.com for $19.99 MSRP. Select tactile stickers will be on displayed on the new GE® Top Load Washer (English) 4.5 cu ft, Dual-Action Agitator, Water Level Control, Cold Water Wash in the GE Appliances KBIS booth #W2317.

Visit the GE KBIS booth or schedule a booth tour by emailing geappliances@allisonworldwide.com. For more information about GE Appliances and available products, visit www.geappliances.com or follow @geappliances on Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, or YouTube.

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/vehss/estimates/vision-loss-prevalence.html

About American Printing House for the Blind (APH)

The American Printing House for the Blind is a nonprofit organization whose mission is empowering people who are blind or low vision by providing accessible and innovative products, materials, and services for lifelong success. The American Printing House is located at 1839 Frankfort Ave., Louisville, KY. For more information, please visit www.aph.org. Follow on Facebook and on X (formerly known as Twitter).

About GE Appliances, a Haier company
At GE Appliances, a Haier company, we come together to make "good things, for life." We're creators, thinkers and makers who believe that anything is possible and that there’s always a better way. We’re a company powered by our people, made stronger through our diversity — allowing us to grow closer than ever before to our owners, anticipate their needs and enhance their lives. Today, our appliances are in 50 percent of all U.S. homes, and our business is committed to serving every family in the country. We manufacture and sell products under the Monogram®, Café™, GE Profile™, GE®, Haier™ and Hotpoint™ brands. Our products include refrigerators, freezers, cooking products, dishwashers, washers, dryers, wine & beverage centers, air conditioners, small appliances, water filtration systems and water heaters. For more information on our company, brands, and corporate citizenship, visit www.geappliancesco.com.