Glasses, Gloves Simulate Geriatric Impairments

Photo: Lauren Pond for the WSJ

Wall Street Journal writes about a sensitivity training that puts marketers in the old peoples' shoes, literally: "Before walking into a Walgreens drugstore here, Todd Vang [a Walgreens VP] donned glasses that blurred his vision, slipped un-popped popcorn into his shoes and adjusted tape that bound his thumbs to his palms."

"Current store layouts present challenges for elderly shoppers, experts say. Worsening eyesight makes finding items more frustrating, arthritis complicates browsing and reduced balance intensifies the strain of stooping or reaching for products.

Dallas-based Kimberly-Clark runs the program to let retail executives experience how difficult shopping can be for older adults."

The training kits were developed by Lee Memorial Health System for its SECURE Project for Sensitivity Training. You can order a master kit for about $500 and additional sets of gloves that simulate arthritis and glasses that simulate vision under glaucoma and other impairments for between $5 and $15.

Half of Americans have poor eyesight. Over eight percent of people are also color-blind.

Here's the Project's promo video:


  1. Great post. Thank you for this information.

  2. Alejandra Fitzsimons20/9/09 3:53 PM


  3. With all of the baby boomers getting older, this sensitivity training program for marketers is not only smart but necessary if your any of your consumers fall into this demographic. I would also believe that a lot of Americans have poor eyesight and are colorblind, I just found out that I am acutely color blind! This sort of training will only help marketers in the future!


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