[bct] Accessible Recorders

  • From: "Graham Lewis" <Graham.Lewis@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2005 12:17:27 +0100

Another great and inofrmative podcast from Larry and Rob.  Don't be afraid of 
flogging this horse Larry.  I think the topic is still of interest to those on 
this list and to your podcast audience.

Interesting what Larry was saying about cassette recorders.  I have been 
looking around at digital recorders but still use my tape recorder because I 
know it works and I know when it is working.  It is actually an APH Handi 
Cassette machine I bought many years ago at a blind trade fair.  It has 
excellent quality and I often loan it sighted colleagues here who have little 
trust in gadgets that fit in a matchbox.  Off course being the size and weight 
of a brick it is not really suited to mobile podcasting!

In terms of the holy grail of accessible digital recorders and how 
manufacturers of mainstream devices might be encouraged to do more for the 
blind minority:

One of the most useful things that might be added is a decent manual.  I am 
talking here about step by step instructions.  Even better if it could be put 
on the device as an audio file but just a decent print manual could be scanned. 

Part of my work is selling the idea of online learning to academics in 
Universities.  Part of that is selling the benifits of good design for 
accessibility.  Its a pain for individual lectureres to spend the time in 
addition to creating the resources in the first place.  My apporach is to sell 
them on the idea that good design is good design, uasability and accessibility 
are not too far apart and designing in a thoughtful way for that small 
percentage of disabled users usually benifits all the students largely because 
they have gone through the process of thinking about what constitutes good 

I would sell accessibility on the basis that being able to interact with the 
devuce without having to peer at the teeny weeny LCD screen is good for 
everybody.  Rob has already mentioned intelligent design of menus.  With just a 
luttle thought the manufacturers could do a lot better.


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