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.

    World Usability Day - Recycling for the blind from User Vision.

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.

The eye tracking has given us a clear insight into the most popular products and our most prominent displays areas

Area Manager, Edinburgh & North Berwick., Visit Scotland - Visitor Services.