[bct] Re: Owasys 22C Cellular Phone for persons who are blind

  • From: The Scarlet Wombat <coconut@xxxxxxx>
  • To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 01 Dec 2005 11:59:58 -0500

One would think that with the baby boomer population ageing and many developing diabetes and at some point, blindness, there would be a move towards accessible consumer electronics, but this seems to not be the case.

It would be wonderful if manufacturers could be convinced that it is to their advantage to make electronics accessible, but they appear to be mostly uninterested. The R&D costs are minimal and speech chips are so inexpensive now that the price of an item would change very little for the addition of speech to most consumer electronic devices.

Sadly, it may require some legislative interference to force the issue. I dislike seeing this, but corporations are against the free market so they must be forced into competition and free market modalities.

The corporate strategy is profit at any cost. In this, they ignore the purpose for their existence, which is not primarily to enrich stockholders, but to provide services and products that allow society to run smoothly and effectively. Making a product as accessible as possible would meet those ends and not interfere with profits in any meaningful manner, yet all the bean counters can see is that they might make $2.50 less on a microwave, so they will not make it speak. This is why government intervention may be necessary if the industry continues to refuse to produce accessible products.

Such intervention is by no means new, it is done to the auto industry all the time. It will be argued that the majority should not have to pay for an accessibility addition that the minority use. I can argue right back that we pay for their accessibility all the time in the cost of displays, menuing software and even light bulbs of which we have no use.

Since corporations were declared legal persons back in 1886, they have had the idea they can do as they please with no consequences whatever. It is time this idea be disabused and that they be required to produce items that benefit the most in society it is possible to benefit.

Dan


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