Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Monday, November 01, 2010

Problems at the Check Out

by Donna J. Jodhan

It appears that there is an unstoppable trend towards stores using check out systems that are of the touch screen variety. All well and good for those who can use it but for someone with a sight problem; the blind and sight impaired, this is a problem. It is a problem because as of now, blind and sight impaired persons are unable to master the touch screen technology. If they are unable to use a touch screen, then they are exposed to issues of privacy and confidentiality.

If they go into a store that uses touch screen technology as their point of sale method, then blind and sighted persons would need to depend on sighted assistance to help them input their banking details. In many cases, store personnel are very willing to help and can be trusted but this is not really the point. Touch screen technology is a hindrance to the confidentiality and privacy of information for blind and sight impaired persons and it is probably time for the blind and sight impaired community to make their concerns known to the appropriate quarters.

Touch screen technology at check outs is not only affecting those with sight problems, it is also affecting those who are afflicted with dexterity problems. Persons with certain types of learning difficulties, and those who have difficulty reading screens with small print. In short, more than just a few. This problem is only going to become more acute with time because of a rapidly aging population and this may be the time for manufacturers to start taking note. Or, start taking action.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a terrific day and encouraging you to go out there and tell the world that yes indeed! Blind persons can certainly enjoy things by using their sense of touch. If you'd like to learn more about me, then you can visit some of my blog spots at:
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all:
Weekly Saturday postings on issues of accessibility:
blogs on various issues and answers to consumers concerns:

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