Image of dozens of P&G packages

September 14, 2020

CINCINNATI – Clovernook Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired (Clovernook Center) announced it has recently collaborated with Procter & Gamble (P&G) to provide more than 300 emergency relief care packages to people who are blind or visually impaired (BVI) throughout the region.

P&G’s mission is to touch and improve the lives of all consumers, including those with disabilities. William A. Procter, the son of P&G founder William Procter, began supporting the two Trader sisters in 1903, one of whom was blind. Together, they established the organization now known as Clovernook Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired. Today, Clovernook Center is the largest braille printing house in the world by volume and offers various resources to individuals with visual impairments.

In a letter sent with the care packages, P&G says they understand the increased difficulties the BVI community faces in the wake of the new ‘normal’ the pandemic has brought. This includes shopping, as it is more difficult due to social distancing and the inability to touch and feel as much as many usually do.

The program was initially conceived and spearheaded by Susan Baillely, perfumer and a leader of P&G’s global accessibility initiatives. Susan has a special connection to this particular project – as she serves on the board of directors at Clovernook Center and personally has a visual impairment.

“P&G is reaching out to help communities during the COVID-19 pandemic and our accessibility team wanted to make sure we helped people with disabilities as part of the relief efforts,” said Baillely. “The blind and visually impaired have been hugely impacted. Having a personal appreciation for the challenges, our team wanted to provide some essential items for the BVI community to remove at least one layer of stress.”

Image of braille and large print letters included in the P&G packagesCare packages contain full-size personal and home care cleaning products from P&G, a leading consumer goods company with headquarters in Cincinnati. Each care package included a letter both in braille and large print giving background on the contents, printed material was produced by Clovernook Center’s Printing House. Recipients were also offered the possibility to use the BeMyEyes App if they had any questions about the products in their package.  The Clovernook Center team also worked to distribute packages locally to the Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CABVI) and the American Council of the Blind of Ohio.

“People with blindness and visual impairments have been hit especially hard by this pandemic and the precautionary measures that are needed to keep them safe,” said Chris Faust, president and CEO of Clovernook Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired. “They rely heavily on their sense of touch to navigate the world around them, and to this day, there are still so many unknowns on the relative risk of contracting the virus from things like packages, handrails or shopping carts. Many also rely on guides to help them navigate, and social distancing has made that harder to accomplish, as well.”

“We’re grateful for P&G’s dedication to easing this burden for blind and visually impaired customers,” Faust added. “We’ve distributed these to like-minded organizations around town and to our customers whom we know need the extra assistance. We’re grateful to collaborate with Matthew 25 Ministries, the American Council for the Blind and National Industries for the Blind in order to get these products out to others across the nation. It was truly inspiring to see all these organizations and companies working together in a time of great need.”

The public-private collaboration is also delivering more than 2,000 care packages to six hot-spot regions across America and utilizing the assistance of several other collaborators. These include the American Council of the Blind (ACB); P&G; Matthew 25 Ministries; and six nonprofit agencies operating through National Industries for the Blind (NIB): Clovernook Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired in Cincinnati, Lighthouse Louisiana in New Orleans; Alphapointe in New York; Lighthouse Central Florida in Orlando; LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired in San Francisco; and Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind.

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About Clovernook Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired

Since 1903, Clovernook Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired has enriched the lives of people who are blind or visually impaired by helping them develop the skills necessary to lead active, productive, and independent lives. Clovernook Center operates low-vision clinics for youth and adults to provide comprehensive low-vision evaluation and rehabilitation services. It also runs a robust social enterprises division to build skills for blind or visually impaired individuals and employ them in partnership with regional and national organizations. Clovernook Center’s Braille Printing House is the largest volume producer of braille in the world. It prints books, magazines, and other materials for the National Library Services and braille patrons worldwide while providing employment opportunities for individuals who are blind and visually impaired. For more information, visit www.clovernook.org.

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