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For April 2015:

How to make thermometers more accessible

There are all kinds of thermometers ranging from the one that gives you indoor and outdoor temps and this one may either sit on your window ledge or on the inside of your balcony door, to the one that sits on your wall and displays just the indoor temp whenever your heating or air conditioner is on, to even a meat thermometer plus more.

So how can you make these more user friendly to a person with vision loss?

Here are some tips for your consideration.

  • Include voice output on control panels so that when buttons are pressed whatever is displayed on the screen during change or set up modes are spoken.
  • Make buttons easier to find; in colors that are bright and buttons that are easy to push or press.
  • Make display screens bright and ensure that font sizes and types are easy to read.
  • Make sure that contrast is distinguishable; that is, foreground and background are distinguishable from each other.

Your end objective is always to ensure that a person can interact with and work with your product with the least of assistance.

Finally, make your manuals available in alternate formats; large print, on CD in accessible file types such as word, text, accessible PDF, and HTML.

Make sure too that your manuals are written in easy to understand language and keep it as simple as you can.

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

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