[access-uk] Re: Buying specialist technology without accessible instructions

Ray, RNIB are seemingly at a loss full stop, but that's another matter altogether so I won't go there.


I have to say that our local Society does a tremendous amount to ensure that the needs of clients are met regarding formats, digital switch-over, DAB, DAISY and whatever else. Our Chief Executive must be one of the luckiest blokes on this planet to have such a loyal, hardworking band of staff who go a few extra miles for their clients.

The population of registered blind or visually impaired individuals in Fife has a very high percentage of elderly people, and I'm still always hearing a lot of them saying they want their tapes for everything.

Food for thought indeed.  I'm off to get some lunch (smile.)

Jackie
----- Original Message ----- From: "Ray's Home" <rays-home@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, October 18, 2007 11:48 AM
Subject: [access-uk] Re: Buying specialist technology without accessible instructions


Jackie, your comments are true enough;  but we are bound to see a more
rapid increase in the take up of digital playback devices from now on,
I think.

Many people now have DAISY machines, which, amongst other things, can
remember where you got to on a CD.  I don't know what percentage of
the registered blind population do in fact have one, but RNIB talking
book membership is 40,000 or more now, or so they tell us, so, am I
right in thinking this represents a fair chunk of the VI community?

I would hazard the opinion that RNIB might do well to make a DAISY CD
player available at a substantial discount - a Victor or Plextor - so
that we might fairly assume that a large proportion of the market
needing accessible instructions could, at least, read them in this
way, as well as a print manual being supplied.

I might add too that RNIB could see such a subsidy in the light of
being able to communicate more easily with its own customers too!
(RNIB themselves seemingly are at a loss to know the best way of
keeping in touch with the majority of customers, given a thread on the
RNIB Arena list recently.)

The  local vol orgs could do a lot more too I think.  Too many of them
seem, to me, to stay aloof from the needs of their users, including
getting involved with help and advice over suitable replacements for
audio cassette which, like it or not, like digital switchover, people
aren't going to be able to bury their heads in the sand for much
longer.

Cheers,

From Ray
I can be contacted off-list at:
mailto:ray-48@xxxxxxxx

-----Original Message-----
Jackie Cairns


In an ideal world Dave that would be great, but the reality is it will
never
happen, and if it does, it'll be long after our time (smile.)

As I've said, I think there is a good and fair point of view expressed
by
all contributors to this thread.  I did use the word personally
earlier, and
my view is to see at least one accessible format included in access
technology equipment big or small.  But what format that is will
always be
up for debate.  I just know from years of experience, and my voluntary
involvement with our local Society for the Blind, that a lot of people
still
want tape.  It's not my format, but they argue that it can be put into
a
deck and played.  Then, when they go back to it later on, it stays in
the
same place, and is easy to rewind.

Asking what the person wants is always preferable, but some don't ask.

Anyway, I'm getting sore from trying to sit on the fence so I'll climb
down
now (smile.)  It's an interesting one.

Jackie
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ankers, Dave (UK)" <Dave.Ankers@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, October 18, 2007 11:11 AM
Subject: [access-uk] Re: Buying specialist technology without
accessible
instructions



Jackie,

You are quite right! It amazes me how manufacturers of products for
blind, vision impaired equipment forget who the end user is when it
comes to packaging and instructions.   We don't want fancy coloured
font
and pictures on packaging and why on earth do they include small print
instructions?  Surely they should have the common sense to include
instructions in at least 16 point Arial font and an audio CD, plus a
website where the operating instructions can be read or downloaded
from.

Something I would like all manufacturers to build in to all electrical
products, is an audio describer switch, which when in use, describes
the
position or operation of switches and buttons.
Imagine using a standard washing machine fitted with this function,
with
the audio describer turned on, all the buttons can be pressed until
the
required button is found and dials turned to the required position,
then
when the audio describer is turned off, the buttons pressed again with
audio confirmation of the function and the machine started.  Now apply
that to remote controls, microwaves, cookers, central heating
controls,
mp3 players, basically anything.  If manufacturers built the feature
into all their products, then the cost would be minimal and when
someone
looses their sight, they won't loose the ability to use their
equipment
and have to fork out lots of money to get something that is
accessible.

Dave

On the subject of buying specialist technology with inaccessible
instructions, I'll be very careful how I phrase this because it's
something I've beefed about for years, and it still goes on.

In my personal and humble opinion, wherever a company - no matter who
that retailer is - sells a product or service to someone with a visual
impairment, the instructions accompanying that item should be in an
alternative format to standard print.  How can we have the DDA in this
country if those who have direct influence to ensure accessibility is
met don't in fact comply?

We have invested a lot of money on access technology over the years,
yet
I still find myself having to request materials in my preferred
format.

Using the examples of both the Colorino and talking tape measure from
Caretec, neither has accessible instructions, even though I have
sussed
out how to use them satisfactorily.  But that isn't the point.  If I
could read the instructions, I could surely see to use an ordinary
measure and not need a detector to tell me my colours?

That's where I'm coming from anyway, and I mean no disrespect to any
retailer or individual on the list.  Most companies that deal with
specialist equipment do offer alternative formats, whether it be
through
intuitive help on the device itself, or instructions and quick start
references that accompany it.  But there is still an issue with this.

Jackie

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