Articles for the Blind is a service that lets you send items for the blind free of chargeSome banks may charge., for example books and maps. These letters and parcels for the blind can be sent both within the UK and overseas.
Who can use the Articles for the Blind service?
To use the Articles for the Blind service, either the sender or the recipient must be a registered blind person or a partially sighted person with spectacles of N12 or less.
Organisations working for the blind can also use the Articles for the Blind service to send materials that are specially prepared or adapted for the blind.
If you are blind and unable to get to a post box or a Post Office® branch, Royal Mail can collect your item for free. Call the Royal Mail Customer Service Centre on 0845Calls to 0845 numbers may be charged at up to 5p per minute from a fixed line and calls from mobiles can be considerably higher. Calls may be monitored or recorded for training and compliance purposes. 611 2970* or textphone 08457 223 355 to arrange collection.
What can you send using Articles for the Blind?
You can use this service to send items for the blind such as:
- books and papers either embossed or in large print (minimum font size 16pt)
- relief maps
- devices used to produce tactile information
- letters that are not confidential or sensitive in nature
You can send other things – such as talking books and special CDs – if you ask in advance.
How to send Articles for the Blind
When packaging Articles for the Blind:
- Clearly write ‘Articles for the Blind’ on the package
- Include a return address
- All mail posted with Articles for the Blind is subject to inspection, so:
- leave the container open
- use a see-through container
- or use packaging that is easy to open and re-seal
The only exception is where heavy or fragile itemsSuch as glass, china or resin.
are posted using the service and it is unsafe or impractical to send them unsealed.
Sending packages overseas
To send a package overseas, mark the outside with ‘ARTICLES FOR THE BLIND: CECOGRAMMES’ and attach a Customs declaration label to the outside of the item. Include your name and address clearly on the outside of the package as well as the address you are sending it to.
What items need prior agreement from Royal Mail?
If you would like to send any of the following Articles for the Blind, please contact Royal Mail for permission first:
recordings of readings from printed sources, such as ‘talking’ books and newspapers
equipment used to play or record media such as ‘talking’ books and newspapers
computer discs and CDs that have been prepared for blind people
spoken audio, video (with added commentary) and electronic media
electronic and optical magnifiers
games, calculators, watches, clocks, timers and measuring equipment designed for blind people
stationery for tactile information or for mail
mobility aids including sticks and guide dog equipment
embossed or blank plates for producing tactile information
What items cannot be sent through Articles for the Blind?
You cannot use the Articles for the Blind service for:
personal communications, except for letters impressed or prepared for blind people
recordings with more than two minutes of music or where music or entertainment features take up more than 10 per cent of the total recording time
You cannot send printed material in a font smaller than 16 point, unless:
it is a faithful copy of information that has been transcribed into Braille, tape, CD, or large print – the transcription must accompany the printed material
the material relates specifically to an Article for the Blind item in the same shipment – this could include instruction booklets, guarantees and technical documentation
What are the penalties for sending restricted items?
You may have to pay a charge if:
you use the Articles for the Blind service and you or the recipient do not qualify for the service
you send an item that is not allowed
Any restricted itemWe reserve the right to refuse any other item banned by law or that in our opinion may be harmful or dangerous to our customers or employees. If you send dangerous goods and do not comply with the applicable terms and conditions and legal requirements then we may deal with the goods as we see fit including destroying or disposing of the relevant goods. sent with a return address will be returned to the sender without charge. The correct postage must be paid before reposting. If there is no return address, the recipient will be asked to pay the surcharge.
Some countries only allow Articles for the Blind to be sent from, or addressed to, officially recognised institutions for the blind. Anything addressed to an individual may not be delivered or there may be a charge.
For UK Articles for the Blind
Size limit for rectangular packages: 61cm x 46cm x 46cm max
Size limit for cylindrical packages: the length must not exceed 90cm and the length added to twice the diameter of the container must not be more than 104cm in total
Weight limit: 7kg max
For international Articles for the Blind
Minimum size for rectangular packages: each surface must be at least 90mm by 140mm
Maximum size for rectangular packages: 60cm per side with a combined length, depth and width of under 90cm
Size limits for cylindrical packages: the length must be between 10cm and 90cm, and the length plus twice the diameter must be between 17cm and 104cm
Weight limit: 7kg max