[tabi] Accessible appliances petition

  • From: "Sila Miller" <silam@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <fcb-l@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2014 05:31:35 -0400

Hi Everyone,
Please forgive the multiple emails if you receive more than once. I believe 
this is a very worthy cause and am proud someone is spearheading the effort! 
Thanks for reading and considering signing.

IFrom: Gene Fleeman [mailto:gfleeman55@xxxxxxxxx] 
Hi everyone,
I've started the petition "Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers: 
Incorporate voice technology, audio queues, and/or tactile buttons into your 
flat panel appliances to make them accessible to the blind and those with low 
vision." Thanks to 500 supporters, the petition is off to a good start. But to 
really make a statement to the Appliance Manufacturers of how important this 
issue is to those with sight impairment, I need your support to make the number 
of signatures to grow exponentially! Lets join together to make our voices 
Thank you,

Will you take 30 seconds to sign it right now? Here's the link: 


Here's why it's important: 
I started this petition on Change.org, because of the perceived lack of demand, 
appliance manufacturers have been reluctant to build inexpensive voice/touch 
technology into their products, thereby making them inaccessible to the blind.  
There are approximately seven million blind or low-vision people living in the 
United States today, and that number is growing every day, due to causes 
ranging from birth defects, diabetes, to combat injuries, etc.  We clean, do 
laundry, iron, sew, and travel independently. We are foodservice managers, 
attorneys, scientists and more.  And yet, when it comes to operating our touch 
panel home appliances we are practically helpless.  Why?, because appliance 
manufacturers refuse to incorporate inexpensive technology that already 
exists­such as those used in smartphones and iPads that make their flat panel 
appliances accessible to the blind. 
By including audio cues, speech output, or tactile buttons, manufacturers will 
reduce the likelihood that a blind or sighted person will inadvertently touch a 
spot on a panel and turn on a burner without knowing it, potentially causing a 
fire or serious personal injury. Without accessible technology being offered to 
consumers, people who were once able to cook and clean independently could well 
find themselves unable to live alone in their own homes.
But it doesn’t have to be this way! If manufacturers incorporate inexpensive 
audio and/or tactile technology into their products, they will make a huge 
difference in the safety of the blind and others as well as the ability of the 
blind to continue to lead their lives independently, while simultaneously 
gaining thousands, if not millions, of newly satisfied customers. This is good 
for blind people who will remain independent; good for manufacturers who will 
sell products that the blind can use and that are safer for all who buy them; 
and good for society, which will not be asked to help normally competent human 
beings live in assisted living or nursing facilities simply because new 
appliances do not have displays they can read.
By signing our petition, you will be showing your support and telling the 
Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers to work in collaboration with the 
National Federation of the Blind to get their manufacturer members to 
incorporate these immeasurable improvements in the quality of life, 
convenience, and safety of the blind and those who are losing their vision.

Again thank you for your support,

Gene Fleeman
National Federation of the Blind

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  • » [tabi] Accessible appliances petition - Sila Miller