[nabs] Employment and Technology Affordability
Birkir Rúnar Gunnarsson
birkir.gunnarsson at gmail.com
Fri Dec 24 19:11:13 GMT 2010
I think we need to keep pushing for accessibility featured to be mainstreamed.
When we buy a PDA like the BrailleNote or PacMate we are paying
between 5000 and 7000 dollars for a device that has much more limited
functionality than an iPhone with a braille display ($700 for the
iPhone unlocked, $2000 for a Bluetooth Braille display).
We need to push more for companies either having accessibility built
in, or that our technology people adopt a sighted device to our needs,
rather than building a blind friendly device just for blind people.
If we stick with the blind specific devices it means the market for
them will be small and prices high.
If we modify a device that is already mass produced for the sighted
market and make demands of the manufacturer that they aid us (such as
iPhone or an Android based device) we get the quality and low
production cost of the big market and our needs are met.
Yes, I know a braille display with an iPhone is not as convenient as
having all in one package and does not have a braile input device
(though that could be changed by writing a piece of software for the
iPhone), but isn't that inconvenience worth the $4000 savings, not to
mention all the cool functionalities you get, GPS, tons of
applications, many of them accessible out of the box?
Just look at audiobooks, now that Audible has gained popularity with
sighted customers the market has grown and you can get a quality audio
book, read bya professional reader, for around $15 a month and there
are thousands of titles to choose from, and books often come to
Audible the same day they are published.
That is such huge progress from just 10 years ago and an example of
how we should try to approach our needs, I think.
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