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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Friday, February 25, 2011

Products Being Sold without Accessible Manuals

by Donna J. Jodhan

This is one of my pet peeves and I hope that my message gets out there. Too often, when products are sold and manufacturers beat their chests with pride because they swear that theirs are products that can be used by blind persons, there is one very important component missing; manuals are not in a format that we can read. It is very frustrating to purchase a product because the store has told you that it can be used by a blind person then when you take it home and open it up guess what? There are no manuals in Braille, or large print, or on CD, diskette, or on cassette.

How many times have I run into this situation and I am not alone. I purchase a calculator that is supposed to be blind friendly and there is no manual that I can read. I have to depend on sighted assistance. I have to ask someone to show me how to set the clock because there is no manual for me to read. Everything is in print. I buy a microwave and despite reassurances that I can hear the options in the menus, this is not the case. Only 75% of the menus have been designed with talking features.

Of course, the stores are not going to stand up for us. They sell a product that claims to be blind friendly and that's that. If we complain, then they tell us to go back to the manufacturer ourselves. Very frustrating indeed. I am going to give you two urls that you can visit in order to purchase products for the blind that come with manuals in alternate formats.

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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