[tabi] braille kit now available for G.E. electric ranges

  • From: "Chip and Allie Orange" <acorange@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 22 Mar 2015 20:32:51 -0400


GE Works with Kentucky School for the Blind to Design Braille Kit for

 Artistry™ Electric Range




 LOUISVILLE, Ky. — March 19, 2015 — The simplicity of GE’s Artistry™ Series

 of appliances—an affordable suite of appliances targeted to first-time

 homebuyers and Millennials—lends itself to a unique market segment: the

 visually impaired. Working with students from the Kentucky School for the

 Blind, GE engineers and designers in Louisville, Ky. developed an accessory

 kit of braille overlays for the new Artistry electric range controls that

 helps the visually impaired use its cooktop and oven functions.



 According to an American Foundation for the Blind article, stoves are the

 least accessible class of appliances.¹ Many ranges today have smooth, push

 buttons on a back control panel. The ADA-compliant Artistry range offers

 front-control knobs that are within reach, and a straightforward design

 lends itself to a braille accessory kit for the blind or visually impaired.



 “Both my parents taught special education,” says Lee Lagomarcino, a GE

 product manager who initially championed the project and observed Kentucky

 School for the Blind students interacting with ranges. “As we developed the

 Artistry electric range, we knew its simplicity made it more universally

 appealing and ideal for a braille application.”



 High, low and off heat settings were added to the braille overlay on GE's

 Artistry™ range controls to help the visually impaired use the cooktop




 Student input leads to product concept



 Students from the Kentucky School for the Blind helped the GE team

 what was needed—a high, medium and low heat setting for the cooktop, and a

 low, 350 degree and broil option for the oven. With those readily

 features to serve as a baseline, the oven can be adjusted to a recipe as




 A focus group of students at the school came up with ways to make ranges

 more user friendly—using puffy paint and brightly contrasting colors to

 showcase their ideas. GE took those ideas and turned them into the

 custom-designed Braille kit. Students also tested the initial designs for

 ease of use.



 Kentucky School for the Blind Program Coordinator Paula Penrod said, “Many

 times, manufacturers will introduce a new product, then seek comments from

 consumers with disabilities. Consumers who are blind and visually impaired

 have unique needs when using appliances. By working with GE during the

 production stage, our students were able to demonstrate the type of Braille

 modifications that would be most helpful. We appreciate GE for seeking our

 students’ input on the front end of GE’s Artistry range project.”



 As a thank you to the Kentucky School for the Blind and its students for

 their help, GE donated a full suite of Artistry kitchen appliances to the

 school’s campus on Frankfurt Avenue in Louisville, Ky.





 Pricing and availability



 The GE Artistry electric ranges and Braille kits are available in black and

 white and can be purchased nationwide where GE appliances are sold. For

 locating a dealer, go to www.GEAppliances.com and use the Dealer Locator

 tool or call the GE Answer Center at 1-800-626-2000. The estimated retail

 price of the Artistry electric range is $599, and the braille kit is

 $15.75.* (Retailers - Pub number 4-A034 fits the black Artistry range model

 ABS45DFBS , and pub number 4-A024 fits the white Artistry range model




 In addition to the braille kits for ranges, GE offers a standard braille

 for common buttons on its microwave ovens. The kit (pub number 4-A212) can

 be ordered where GE appliances are sold.



 ¹ As a group, stoves are the least accessible class of appliances we

 evaluated. The vast majority have flat, inaccessible oven controls. -

 American Foundation for the Blind







 * Retailers set their own prices.


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