I just listened to the podcast myself last night before going out for a
speaking engagement and then pizza. I found the podcast very interesting and
informative. I once owned a HandiCassette machine, but for some reason the
door kept popping off and the alarm kept going off even after I had charged
the thing for the required amount of time. My mom had sent it back twice but
it still never worked properly. Maybe it was just me though.
----- Original Message ----- From: "Graham Lewis" <Graham.Lewis@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, 26 October, 2005 6:17 AM
Subject: [bct] Accessible Recorders
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 design.
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.