This blog is about how the world is viewed by the visual and the visually impaired. The intent of this blog is to bring the two worlds together. It is administered by two fabulous sisters, Toni, who is sighted and Robin, who became visually impaired in 2002 at the age of 18 due to misdiagnosis.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Mainstream Making Products Accessible...
Props go out to Apple for making products accessible to the visually impaired! There is the Mac OS X which comes with a built in screen reader, voice commands and a lot of other bells and whistles. There’s also the iPod nano with spoken menus and the new iPod shuffle that talks to you AND the iPhone has special features for the visually impaired (once someone hears about this I’m sure she will be trading in her Nokia N75). Also, big ups to Verizon for coming out with the Moto Q 9c with Talks…this phone is screen reader enabled. However, our fav is AT&T, when searching for an accessible phone they were the first that we know of to come out with a screen reader, Mobile Speaks, N75 was the compatible phone at the time but it looks like there’s more variety now. When Robin became blind finding items that would make her life a little bit easier was difficult. I had to search high and low. Unfortunately, things aren’t that accessible or don’t exist, and the ones that are available do not come cheap. There’s a device called a Note Reader, it tells you what type of currency you have for $300…crazy when all the government has to do is add an indicator on the bills, but I won’t even get into that…that’s a whole other blog! Robin is blessed that she is able to get the aides she needs to function independently. It would be nice if these items were available to all socioeconomic groups. Hmmm…gives me an idea, wonder if any of these companies would be willing to donate any aides to those in need, but cannot afford it. Stay posted! I’m all about helping the underprivileged! Where we live there is 1 store that sells the products/technology she needs...not the cell phones or Apple products, those are accessible, but the other everyday independent living aides, like color detector, level detectors etc. There’s a place in NY that I order her aides from as well and they are really good because if they don’t have something if you tell them about it they will get it for you. It was so difficult to find something as simple as a watch. The watches that are available for the blind…functional yes…cute, NO! And the alarms that are built into them OH MY!!! Robin left her watch at my house one time…not the cute pink one I got her…but the hideous black bulk of a watch…the alarm went off early in the morning…it scared me and my husband nearly to death!!!! It was a LOUD “COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO”!!!! We’re looking around wondering what is that!!!! It goes off again, we’re looking around, finally find it …it was Robin’s watch! She thought it was just so funny…I told her “don’t you ever leave that thing over here again!” Her payback is coming LOL! Hopefully more companies will follow Apple’s lead and keep the visually impaired in mind when developing their products…they knew that a 25 year old visually impaired woman would rather be walking around with a cute pink iPod shuffle that she could utilize just like everyone else in her age group instead of a big old school walkman! Apple has definitely raised the bar! Much love!
Posted by Toni at 3/22/2009