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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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Need to Remember the Buttons

by Donna J. Jodhan

So many times I, as a blind person am challenged to remember the position of buttons and keys. That is, I need to pay particular attention to where each button and key is. Thank God, telephone keypads are all the same but when it comes to other things! That's a different story.

Unfortunately, elevator buttons are not customized across the board and if there is either no Braille or raised print to represent what the button is, then I am in big trouble. Most computer keyboards are similar but sometimes the differences in the positions of the keys are enough to throw me off. The same goes for calculators and remote control devices. The keyboard on an IBM Think Pad for example, is different to the layout of a keyboard on a Toshiba laptop.

My dire wish would be for manufacturers to standardize the position of the layout of buttons and keys. Washers and dryers are also a problem for me in that I have to memorize the buttons. Radios are the same for me. However, most cassette recorders are standardized when it comes to the layout of their buttons and keys but guess what? These are fast becoming obsolete. I am going to give you the url of a website of a company that is doing wonderful things to standardize the layout of buttons and keys of all of their equipment. Visit www.humanware.com to learn more.

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: http://www.donnajodhan.blogspot.com
Weekly Saturday postings on issues of accessibility: http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/blog/blog.html
blogs on various issues and answers to consumers concerns: http://www.sterlingcreations.com/businessdesk.htm

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