Accessibility challenges when recycling
18th November 2009
Accessibility Consultant Mark Palmer filmed a short movie with blind user Ken Reid, discussing difficulties Ken faces when recycling. The video was received very positively by visitors.
The main issues encountered by Ken were as follows:
- Ken had a system of identifying his recycling bins using tactile sticker 'bumps'.
- Certain aspects of recycling were just beyond Ken as they involved lengthy journeys across town to potentially hazardous locations (e.g. recycling and refuse plants).
- Not enough was being done to provide information to blind residents in accessible formats.
- This compounded issues Ken already has with determining the eligibility of certain items for recycling e.g. CD's.
Monty Lilburn, who is also blind, was on hand to answer any further questions relating to recycling, before carrying out a demonstration of accessibility issues faced using carbon offset calculators. The calculators were disappointing in terms of accessibility.
- The government sponsored 'Act on CO2' site was not accessible in any way. In fact, screen readers cannot read it back at all.
- Other calculators had accessibility issues in abundance, particularly around the entry of information into the calculator forms.
- None of the calculators offered a satisfactory experience for a blind user. Monty would have given up on all calculators long before ever reaching a calculation.
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This article was written by Mark Palmer . Mark is an Accessibility Consultant at User Vision, a usability and accessibility consultancy that helps clients gain a competitive advantage through improved ease of use.