I saw this article in Access IT and have taken a quick glance at the Guide
but thought I'd share the article here. The link to the guide is towards the
end of this article:
New guide on home technology launched for people with sight loss
The "blurring" of assistive technology and inclusive design into mainstream
technology is helping to provide both high-end and everyday devices that can
benefit visually impaired people around the home, claims a new guide
Talking microwaves, smart watches, audio thermometers, e-readers and online
banking apps are just some of the innovations featured in 'Assistive and
Inclusive Home Technology: A guide for people with sight loss'. The free
guide has just been published by UK sight loss charity Thomas Pocklington
Trust, and covers a wide range of devices that can improve independent
living. Assistive technology funding information and tips for product
designers are also featured.
Subject areas covered include: household chores; home shopping and finance;
health, fitness and wellbeing; reading and writing; entertainment and
leisure. The guide provides an introduction to the many useful technologies
available for visually impaired people in these areas, as well as explaining
the difficulties and pitfalls with existing devices.
One of these difficulties is the increasing use of digital and touch-screen
displays on household appliances, such as boilers, which can be difficult or
impossible to control for someone with a visual impairment. The guide notes
that: "Modern appliances can be an accessibility rollercoaster, with many
ovens, microwaves, dishwashers, washers and dryers being hard to operate by
people with sight loss."
However, many useful exceptions are explained, such as a combined washing
machine and dryer that uses audio description to tell users about different
Both everyday devices and hi-spec technologies can benefit people around the
home, the guide says - in home security, for example: "Some recent
technology trends threaten to undermine home access and security for
visually impaired people, with concerns that touch-screen-reliant systems
could make front doors inaccessible. On the other hand, biometric security
technology can improve accessibility, with fingerprint locking mechanisms
making it unnecessary for people to have to fiddle around finding the right
key and guiding it into the keyhole. Lower-tech solutions such as keys with
in-built torches and basic intercom systems can also assist people."
A series of real-life case studies are also highlighted in the guide, with
accounts of visually impaired people using assistive and inclusive
technology to help with everyday tasks, like reading books, cooking, mowing
the lawn, and blogging.
Also included in the guide are hints and tips on getting to grips with
technology, a checklist for finding the right device, funding options for
purchasing assistive technology, and a selection of other resources.
The guide is available at the following link, in accessible PDF format:
Read more about Thomas Pocklington Trust at the charity's website: