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For June 2015:

How to make remote control devices more accessible

At the best of times, a remote control is not very accessible to a blind person let alone that it is accessible. This is one gadget that continues to allude the minds and hearts of the developer and we can only hope that this is going to change in the near future. There are a few suggestions that I can offer and hopefully it will help to spark the imagination. My suggestions will focus on those with either total vision loss and those who have some vision. These suggestions can also stand to benefit several others as well.

  • First, Buttons could be placed in such a way as to be easy to use. That is; colors that are easy to see, buttons that are easy to feel and identify, and enough space between rows and columns.
  • Next, that it is easy to understand the order of buttons.
  • Next, that dots could be placed on strategic buttons so as to help someone to easily navigate the remote. Just like on a keypad for phones and computers.
  • Then, that buttons are labelled in such a way that makes it easy to understand.
  • Buttons should be ones that are easy to press so that when pressed they do indeed go down and that the person can feel the down movement.

It would be really great if there can be some sort of voice output so that as buttons are pressed there is a spoken identifier. Of course, there can be other bells and whistles that could be added to remote control devices but this should be a good start. It should be noted that remote control devices with touch screens are not accessible to a person with complete vision loss.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan, your freelance writer and roving reporter wishing you a terrific day.

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