Holland and Barrett Menopause Hub

Holland & Barrett develops the first official British Sign Language guide for menopause

3rd June 2024 | Author: Victoria Woollaston-Webber

The Holland & Barrett BSL resources have been developed in collaboration with My Menopause Centre and BID Services


Holland & Barrett has launched the first official British Sign Language (BSL) guide designed specifically for women going through menopause.

There are approximately 188,000 people in the UK who use BSL as their first language, with a significant number being women under 55. However, a study by the University of Wolverhampton found that 60% of these women don’t have sufficient access to menopause health information generally, but particularly in BSL.

What’s more, over half of these women are unaware that their symptoms could be attributed to menopause, and 90% lack awareness of the full range of menopause treatment options.

To bridge this vast information gap, Holland & Barrett has partnered with My Menopause Centre and BID Services, a UK-based charity focused on supporting people with sensory impairments, to create a series of menopause-focused, BSL content and videos.

This BSL guide is intended to help users better understand menopause, its symptoms, and treatment options, while also improving communication with healthcare providers.

It’s hosted on the H&B Menopause Hub, and the resources include Frequently Asked Questions and videos that explain various menopause-related terms, common symptoms, healthcare, and lifestyle advice, all using a standardised set of BSL signs.

“One of our key missions at Holland & Barrett is to support women and their individual health journeys,” said Lina Chan, Director of Women’s Health at Holland & Barrett. “Through our recently launched Women’s Wellness Commitment, we are dedicated to increasing equity of access to information and services for all women. Focus groups with D/deaf women revealed the need for a tailored glossary of BSL signs around menopause.”

BSL Menopause videosHolland & Barrett

This initiative follows Holland & Barrett’s recent efforts to enhance women’s health awareness, including training over 600 employees to become women’s health coaches, offering personalised support on menstrual cycles, menopause, and hormonal health.

In a similar vein, MAC Cosmetics recently launched a BSL virtual makeup service for the d/Deaf community in the UK. This service gives d/Deaf people a free, 45-minute one-to-one virtual session with a MAC Artist, accompanied by a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter. The initiative, in collaboration with Sorenson Communications, aims to make beauty services accessible to everyone, regardless of their hearing ability.

Additionally, L’Oréal, Lancôme’s parent company, recently developed the HAPTA device: a handheld, smart makeup applicator designed for users with limited hand and arm mobility. GUIDE Beauty, founded by makeup artist Terri Bryant who has Parkinson’s Disease, offers makeup tools designed to help people with hand tremors apply makeup more easily, while Jecca Blac provides gender-free makeup options and promotes inclusivity for all genders and skin tones. It’s specifically designed to create a safe space for transgender women to get to grips with makeup.

These initiatives highlight a growing trend in the beauty and wellness industries to create products and services that cater to a diverse range of needs, ensuring accessibility and inclusivity for all individuals.

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