[vicsireland] Re: What's so wrong with buttons?

most of the time the music in the gym i go to is down low, due to people complaining about the loud music,


i will have to invest in a walkman that will play my talking books, or my own music, although i must say i will feel silly listening to my walkman when the trainer is standing there right beside me. ----- Original Message ----- From: "Cearbhall O Meadhra" <cearbhall.omeadhra@xxxxxx>
To: <vicsireland@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, July 30, 2007 2:37 PM
Subject: [vicsireland] Re: What's so wrong with buttons?


Hello, Tim,

As you know, many people use a walkman to help pass the time while treading. It would be nothing to use your own earphone and then you would never impose
on neighbouring athletes and you would hear the machine comfortably
yourself.

All the best,


Cearbhall

"Good design enables - Bad design disables"

Tel: 01-2864623 Mob: 087 9922227 Em: cearbhall.omeadhra@xxxxxxxxxxxxx


-----Original Message-----
From: vicsireland-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:vicsireland-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Tim Culhane
Sent: 30 July 2007 13:58
To: vicsireland@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [vicsireland] Re: What's so wrong with buttons?

Hi Susan,

I think you might struggle to hear a talking treadmill in the gym I go to!

Anyway, you really don't need to know all the bells and whistles available in most gym equipment these days. I'd just be happy to be able to feel the
buttons.  I can remember what  they do.

Tim


-----Original Message-----
From: vicsireland-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:vicsireland-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Susan Curry
Sent: 30 July 2007 13:53
To: vicsireland@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [vicsireland] Re: What's so wrong with buttons?


hi Tim,.

I don't know why they don't make the treadmills and other gym equipment
talk, after all there is talking clocks,watches, timers and a host of other
things talk, surely it must be quite a simple thing to do.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Tim Culhane" <tim.culhane@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <vicsireland@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, July 30, 2007 9:27 AM
Subject: [vicsireland] Re: What's so wrong with buttons?


Hi Ccearbhall,

I can tell you now  that gym managers are not going to be too keen if you
take a sharp stylus and start scratching their nice new  fancy treadmills.

The same goes for putting super glue on the surface.

I have attempted to use  those bump ons you can get from  NCBI.  However,
the surface of the control pannel  for these machines is deliberately non
stick,  and the bump ons don't stay  in place for long.

What I've resorted to doing is putting some blue tack on the buttons, and
then putting the bump ons over  the blue tack.  This seems to work, but I
doubt it will last for long.

Tim


-----Original Message-----
From: vicsireland-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:vicsireland-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Cearbhall O Meadhra
Sent: 29 July 2007 23:46
To: vicsireland@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [vicsireland] Re: What's so wrong with buttons?


Dear Martin,

I am, like you , very disappointed to hear that other users are vandalising
the equipment that you worked so hard to get adapted.

Thinking about this issue, I really cannot see why a special template is
necessary. I strongly believe that we should not support those who are
producing such expensive solutions.

As I see it, the point of the template is to allow you to find the contact
area by touch. This is information that you know by its location. Either it
is on the top row, in the middle or along the bottom edge. It will also be
in the centre or to the left or to the right.

Arrows are useful for visual prompts. I think they are not necessary for
tactile prompts. If the user knows what function the button is to operate,
then they should recognise it by its position.

I can think of two very cheap ways to convey the tactile information. 1. A
tiny bump on the plastic surface. This can be produced by the tip of a sharp
knife or by a tiny blob of a quick setting glue such as superglue.

2. By a circle surrounding the tactile area of the button. This can be
raised by scratching a circle with a stylus such as that used in Braille
graphics. Equally, it can be achieved by using an overlay of a thick plastic
sheet in which holes have been made exactly over the buttons.

Obviously, the manufacturer could solve the whole thing by moulding the
plastic sheet as part of its production process. In that case, there would
be no cost at all.

I think arrows on the template meet the need of visual service providers to
convey the visual information to the blind user. The problem with this is
that the blind person is not operating in a visual mode but rather is
operating in a non-visual mode. Would I be mistaken, Martin, if I say that,
although the other users have picked off the arrows on the template which
you use, their removal makes absolutely no difference to your knowledge of
which button to press and when to do so?


All the best,


Cearbhall

"Good design enables - Bad design disables"

Tel: 01-2864623 Mob: 087 9922227 Em: cearbhall.omeadhra@xxxxxxxxxxxxx


-----Original Message-----
From: vicsireland-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:vicsireland-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Flor Lynch
Sent: 29 July 2007 20:57
To: vicsireland@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [vicsireland] Re: What's so wrong with buttons?

Ah, it sounds like some people are over-exerting themselves a bit in
that-there gym!  <sorry 'bout that>
----- Original Message -----
From: "martin kelly" <mrmartinkelly@xxxxxxxxxx>
To: <vicsireland@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, July 29, 2007 8:30 PM
Subject: [vicsireland] Re: What's so wrong with buttons?


Hello Susanne!

I could tell you lots of wee stories around the infamous template but
rather than bothering you with insignificant drivel, i 'll just cut to the
chase...

As far as I know, there are several companies in the market for supplying
adaptive gym equipment and I vaguely remember telling my local gym of the
availability of such templates. Like most stuff which is specially produced for the disability sector, these templates cost far more than necessary but
unfortunately, us guys have to pay a premium for any accessories that help
us to get on with life.

I'm not sure where your gym is located but as Mike Meany already pointed
out, a chat with the appropriate member of staff could sovve the
accessibility problem for you guys.  I was on "my treadmill" earlier today
(in the gym) and I discovered that a second arrow has been removed from the
template which cannot be an easy task.  Its a shame that other gym users
need to interfere with the template, as it doesn't cause the "normal user"
the least bit of bother.

Anyway, I suggest that you ask the gym staff about purchasing this piece of access to technology for you guys and if there is any problem about locating a template provider, just let me know and I'll get more detailed information
for you.

Yours in sport

Martin K.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Susan Curry" <SusanCurry@xxxxxxx>
To: <vicsireland@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, July 29, 2007 2:17 PM
Subject: [vicsireland] Re: What's so wrong with buttons?


hi martin,

where did you get the template, did you have to purchase it? or was it
a company of some sorts?

this would prove to be most useful to joe and i as we attend the gym
three days a week and we are unable to work the tredmills ourselves.

susan


----- Original Message -----
From: "martin kelly" <mrmartinkelly@xxxxxxxxxx>
To: <vicsireland@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Saturday, July 28, 2007 4:59 PM
Subject: [vicsireland] Re: What's so wrong with buttons?


Cearbhaill!

I became aware of various adaptations to gym equipment when i
attended an Adaptive  Physical Activity (APA) Conference in Kerry in
May 2005.  On that occasion, there were a number of companies
exhibiting different types of adaptive equipment aimed at the
disability sector, including, templates for making digital displays
accessible to VIP users.  As you can imagine, there was a pretty
serious premium on all of the gear on display and these templates
don't come cheap.  So! I was quite satisfied when my Gym agreed to
purchase one for me.
These templates sit over the visual display and have raised arrows
(up and down) to allow the user to alter the various options on the
treadmill...the incline, speed and so on.  For the "normal user" to
pick off these arrows is quite difficult so the culprit must ider be
bored on the treadmill or have annalistic tendencies to undertake
such destruction of public property.

In a nutshell...the templates are relatively expensive, quite
indestructable but really effective for the VIP user.

Don't hesitate if you wish to pursue this area any further as I am
keen to promote access for al...by the way, the gym (Sports Centre)
installed a lift earlier this year after we at NAG (Newbridge Access
Group) highlighted the need for a lift for many years.  So the good
news is that things are changing, even if it is needs nagging and
letter writing to bring it about.

Cheerio just now

Martin K
----- Original Message -----
From: "Cearbhall O Meadhra" <cearbhall.omeadhra@xxxxxx>
To: <vicsireland@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Saturday, July 28, 2007 4:09 PM
Subject: [vicsireland] Re: What's so wrong with buttons?


Interesting!

Did the gym mention an actual figure for the adaptation? It would be
useful to know how many machines are involved.

I would be interested to know just what the template looks like if
you don't mind explaining it? I would think that a template
consisting of a plastic sheet with holes where the buttons go would
be sufficient to give a blind person access to the buttons and give
the others nothing to pick at. What do you think?

All the best,


Cearbhall

"Good design enables - Bad design disables"

Tel: 01-2864623 Mob: 087 9922227 Em:
cearbhall.omeadhra@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

-----Original Message-----
From: vicsireland-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:vicsireland-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of martin kelly
Sent: 28 July 2007 15:12
To: vicsireland@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [vicsireland] Re: What's so wrong with buttons?

Hi again Cearbhaill

Thank you for getting back with such a considered response to the
question of making products accessible to VIPs...

Having had a similar experience to Tim, i felt that he should at
least be aware of the adaptions to treadmills etc.  While the ideal
would be to place templates on all of the equipment in the
particular suite, the cost of this small effort at reasonable
accommodation was highlighted to me. Naturally, I advised that the
Gym purchase bumper dots to overcome my difficulty but my advice was
ignored.  Would you believe that people are picking off the raised
arrows on my particular template so you can just imagine what would
happen with bumper dots.

Don't worry, i have my own supply of chewing gum to stick on the
treadmill if the occasion arises

Keep up the good work on advocating for universal design and some
day we will all have nothing to moan about...don't you agree?

Martin K
----- Original Message -----
From: "Cearbhall O Meadhra" <cearbhall.omeadhra@xxxxxx>
To: <vicsireland@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Saturday, July 28, 2007 1:42 PM
Subject: [vicsireland] Re: What's so wrong with buttons?


Hi Martin,

I have struggled for years to get my gym to provide a template but
without success. The problem with a fixed template is that you are
forced to use only one particular machine. Why not ask for a
template to be put on every screen. If you are right and nobody
notices the adaptation then it shouldn't interfere with anyone's
use of any machine which has your template on it.

I have such a machine at home. This has a flexible plastic cover on
it and

I
found that I could rub my finger around and feel the button
underneath the cover on a good day. Other days I could not find the
buttons. Finally, I got my 10 year old to glue tiny points of
superglue on the plastic cover, carefully placed over the centre of
the buttons. Now I have free and easy access to all the controls!
This could also be done in the gym don't you think? Tiny spots like
this leave the visual appearance unchanged and leave the surface
easy to clean.

All the best,


Cearbhall

"Good design enables - Bad design disables"

Tel: 01-2864623 Mob: 087 9922227 Em:
cearbhall.omeadhra@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

From: vicsireland-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:vicsireland-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of martin kelly
Sent: 28 July 2007 10:46
To: vicsireland@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [vicsireland] Re: What's so wrong with buttons?

Hi Tim!

As I'm just home after the hols. you have probably sorted out your
difficulties around using your ultra modern treadmill but I'll tell
you my story as it may help other folk in the same position...

My Gym went up-market and replaced all the older but very tangible
screens with the latest versions of these machines.  However, after
requesting that one of the treadmills be made accessible to VIPs, I
eventually needed to suggest that the Equality Authority would be
interested in this type of localised discrimination.  I had made
enquiries (and seen) various templates which have been designed to
address this very problem and I informed the "powers that be" their
existence.

To make a long story shorter, I can now work away on my own with
the aid of the template, the only problem is that other folk don't
even realise that the machine has been adapted and hop on board
although several others are lying idle.  So! i occasionally need to
ask folk to move over but in a "nice way" so that everyone can get
the best from their membership fees.

You've excuse now Tim, so stay up with the pace?

Martin K

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ed Harper" <goat@xxxxxx>
To: <vicsireland@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2007 10:31 AM
Subject: [vicsireland] Re: What's so wrong with buttons?


Hi tim I fully sympathise, but I suspect the reason is that with
everything covered by smooth plastic there is less to get gunged
up and go wrong and
its probably easier to give a touch screen a wipe down.   But I doubt
many
of the things which have touch screens will survive long enough
for that to be really significant.

Ed

-----Original Message-----
From: vicsireland-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:vicsireland-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of Tim Culhane
Sent: 11 July 2007 09:37
To: vicsireland@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [vicsireland] What's so wrong with buttons?


Hi,

***  warning this is a major rant,  so if you're not in the mood
then delete this now ***

I was told in the gym I go to last week that they were getting new
threadmills this week.  Sure enough,  when I arrived in last
night, there they were.

I had made a private bet with myself that these new machines would
be the type that use touch sensitive controls, rather than good
old fashioned buttons.  And guess what,  I've had to pay out to
myself!

The control pannel on the machines is a featureless mass of smooth
plastic. Even if your fingers had the sensitivity of an exposed
root canal treatment, I doubt they would be able to detect the
buttons on the machine.

I just can't understand what designers of these devices have against
buttons.   Ironically the only button on the machine is the stop
button,
which is a huge plastic affair  which you could probably press
with your elbow, let alone your finger.

It seems that more and more these days  buttons  are just not the
in thing. For example, Apple's new IPhone has a touch sensitive
screen rather than the traditional phone keypad.  The machines
which were slated for use in electronic voting had touch sensitive
controls and now  even  the damn threadmills  can survive without
a button in sight  .... Or  even touch.

Where will it all end?  Even now   somewhere I bet they are designing
shirts
which have coloured dots on the material which you line up in
order to "button"  up your shirt.  The fire alarms  will have a
helpful notice beside them saying brake glass and move your finger
gently over the green circle below.  I'll be there, flames licking
around my legs, trying to  find the green circle.

Oh for the days  of nice clearly discernable buttons.    The nice big
square
plastic ones, or those funny shaped squishy rubber ones. I even had
a
remote control once  where the buttons were actually in the shape
of the print numerals!

Its not even  that the  threadmill control pannel is particularly
small or
the display screen needs to be particularly big. I reckon you could
fit

a
decent size piano keyboard  on to the control pannel.  So I have
to assume that the only reason these machines are designed in this
way is to make them look "fancy". Just another example  of design
for nobody  except those  with a pathelogical hatred of buttons.

Anyway,  I'll finish up now,  but  if I ever meet one of these
anti button designers,  I'll personally burn their eyes out with a
red  hot poker and then make them  use there "fancy" new machines.

Tim


-------------------------
Tim Culhane,
Critical Path Ireland,
42-47 Lower Mount Street,
Dublin 2.
Direct line: 353-1-2415107
phone: 353-1-2415000

Tim.culhane@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
http://www.criticalpath.net

Critical Path
a global leader in digital communications
------------------------





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