La Casa launched the first menus for the visually impaired on Thursday afternoon at La Casa Iris from Cluj, located at 117 Oașului Street. The menus will be available in all 34 La Casa stores and restaurants across 4 counties in Romania.
“The preparation of these menus took several months. We partnered with a social enterprise where visually impaired employees worked together with the team of sighted individuals, ensuring that everything was done under their careful observation. The visually impaired individuals provided feedback and suggestions throughout the project,” said Tudor Scripor, the inventor of the tactile color alphabet, to Cluj24. The social enterprise Inclusive Access, which employs visually impaired individuals, physically produced the menus.
“Our visually impaired colleagues inform us about their needs, so I wouldn’t say it was a difficult process. We are also in the process of creating educational materials, games, and similar items. The number of customers is not increasing, but we continue to do this because there are still needs that we try to meet by offering the same level of accessibility to everyone.
We were delighted by La Casa’s willingness to carry out a project in this regard. Another project we take pride in is the creation of inclusive greeting cards in the same print format, including Braille and the tactile color alphabet. We are the only ones offering such inclusive cards that also incorporate colors,” explained Andrei Nicu, the manager of Inclusive Access, to Cluj24.
Alexandru Debreczeni, a representative of La Casa, emphasized that it is normal to provide such things so that visually impaired individuals can have access to all facilities, just like any other customers.
“We had a discussion with Scripor Alphabet and Inclusive Access to help visually impaired individuals. We will continue to collaborate with them and create menus for the Special School for the Visually Impaired. We are also working on developing projects for them, including products and presentations to understand colors.
As for La Casa, we have provided training to the staff at the location to ensure they can assist the visually impaired and be responsive to their needs. They will have a layout plan of the premises, allowing them to navigate like any other person.
Our slogan is ‘Home when you’re not at home,’ and we embrace it through actions, not just declaratively,” he stated to Cluj24.
The menus, another step towards normality
At the same time, they hope that the menus launched on Thursday will serve as an example for other retail chains or restaurants.
“We are talking about something that should be part of normality. As long as there are solutions, we hope that the menus will be an example for others.
Visually impaired individuals were pleased to see more products than they were accustomed to reading in mobile applications. Through these menus, they have found a wider range of products,” he noted.
A relevant example is Geo Câmpian, a visually impaired member of the Scripor Alphabet Association.
“I believe that the launch of the menus marks another step towards normality, as it is based on the principle of providing equal access to services for the public. Therefore, I was happy about this initiative.
Before, I used applications to scan texts, which were then converted into audio messages. With the menus, it is much more efficient because, in the gastronomy section, for example, at the top of the page, I have a color that helps me know where to navigate, instead of scanning each page separately,” he explained to Cluj24.