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

  • From: "Graham Page" <gpage@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2007 11:47:13 +0100

Hi Steve.

I think you have hit on the issue here, you ask what format the user wants.

Obviously selling products such as the Sonus 1 XT or Olympus DS30 through 
main stream suppliers is a bit different.  while accessible instructions 
would be nice and it would be good if staff did ask, we all know that the 
reality is that this may not happen so providing a CD with both audio 
instructions and the text of the manual is a solution that should address 
the needs of the vast majority of users.

There are however clearly situations where Braille instructions would be 
required or tapes would be required.

It would be helpful if manufacturers could have a code of practice providing 
a means by which people could acces something other than a printed 
instruction book or a pdf of same book if required.


Graham Page
Home Phone: 0207 265 9493
Mobile: 07753 607980
Fax:  0870 706 2773
Email: gpage@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
MSN: gabriel_mcbird@xxxxxxxxxxx
Skype: gabriel_mcbird
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Steve Nutt" <steve@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, October 18, 2007 9:51 AM
Subject: [access-uk] Re: Buying specialist technology without accessible 

Hi Jackie,

I totally agree with you here.  But I can also see the other side.  If you
offer something by default in an alternative format, what format do you
offer it in?  If you give someone a tape, they may not have a tape recorder.
Unlikely, but I have come across it.  If you give someone a CD player, they
may not have the machine to play it on.  Give them a Daisy book, and again
the same applies.  Give them Braille, and they may not be able to read it.

So while I fully agree with you, what alternative format do you give them by
default?  And I stress by default.  If I sell you a Colorino, I know you
have a computer, so I can Email you the instructions.  But what would be the
point in my giving you large print by default, if I know you are totally
blind?  I would ask someone what their format of choice would be and try to
comply as best I can.  But the default access method worries me.  If you
give it to most, but not all, blind people, then at least someone sighted
may be able to read the print in the family, as a stop gap, until they can
request that alternative format.  So I favour the individual requesting the
format of choice, then hopefully, but not always admittedly, they get it.

All the best



From: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
Jackie Cairns
Sent: 18 October 2007 09:41
To: Access UK Mailing List
Subject: [access-uk] Buying specialist technology without accessible

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.


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