Tuesday, May 5, 2009

What's It All About

For a while, I have been collecting items in a virtual folder labeled “Easy On The Eyes,” which I often pull from and share with people I encounter everyday. Over the last few years, I have come to realize that this resource filed in my head has relevance that reaches far beyond the population of people, who like me, have a serious vision impairment, well into the general population.

Most of us experience the same degree of difficulty in reading the text on a cell phone screen, or a Blackberry, or an iPod (until recently). Who isn’t reaching for the readers and the pocket magnifiers?

Happy to report, these issues are not going unnoticed. More and more mainstream corporations and makers of widely used electronic and technology devices are stepping into the arena of accessibility (simply means making things easy to deal with). After all, who can ignore a market 100 million strong and growing?

I am delighted to have the opportunity to launch this blog, and share with you the many wonderful developments in ‘vision-friendly technology.’ A good many things that make life easier for me, I've learned about from others, word of mouth, and I am pleased to be able to pass it along. So here we go, blogging our way to many, many times the numbers that good old word-of-mouth can reach.

There is a lot to cover already…and so much to come. Great news like crossing over of the iPod nano and shuffle with voice over for spoken menus) and the Kindle 2’s six font sizes, text-to-speech option and (soon) a big screen version, over-the-counter cell phones with voice recognition and audio output, talking ATMs and Metro Card Vending machines; and how Disney is making theme parks accessible with descriptive narration and GPS, and how IBM sees personal technology developing in the near term. And, more, more, more, more!
Remember, the fact is, when it’s good for people with impaired vision, it’s actually better for everyone!