Accessibility News Blind Related Articles

Inside the First Art Gallery for Blind Artists and Audiences

A few years back, I was at an art gallery in Sweden and leaned a little too close to check out the paint job on a particular piece. Suddenly all sorts of alarms were chirping around me, alerting everyone in the gallery to the fact that I was too close to the art! They didn’t kick me out or anything, but it was a bit embarrassing, to say the least. Because as we all know, art in galleries is meant to be observed, and not touched.

Read more at
https://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/inside-the-first-art-gallery-for-blind-artists-and-audiences/

Rishi Sunak Alt Text Tweet Criticised for Misusing Accessibility Feature

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been criticised for misusing alt text on social media – weeks after big brands were called out for doing it.

Read more at
https://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/rishi-sunak-alt-text-tweet-criticised-for-misusing-accessibility-feature/

‘They’re Everywhere’: Why Touchscreens are Causing Huge Accessibility Problems for Blind People

Nadia Mattiazzo remembers going to her regular cafe one day back in 2016 and trying to buy a cup of coffee. To her shock and dismay, she found there was no way she could pay for it.

Mattiazzo, who is blind, said the cafe had installed a new eftpos machine overnight which had a touchscreen.

Read more at
https://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/theyre-everywhere-why-touchscreens-are-causing-huge-accessibility-problems-for-blind-people/

Student-Developed Smart Glove Boosts Braille Accessibility and Literacy

By Isabela Wilson
The smart glove is worn on the user’s right hand. A camera is located between its thumb and index finger, tracking the movement of the index finger as it traces the braille. Computer vision technology is then used to translate and read aloud the braille that was just traced.

Read more at
https://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/student-developed-smart-glove-boosts-braille-accessibility-and-literacy/

2023 By-Election for Mayor of the City of Toronto- will it be accessible?

By Allan Shaw – 2023-04-26

If you’re a person living with a visual disability in the City of Toronto, you are all too aware of the challenges encountered when trying to vote in a municipal election, everything from the accessibility of the polling location, training of onsite staff and inaccessibility of the ballot and lack of accommodations.

Will this election be accessible, NOT A HOPE IN HELL!

Over the past several municipal elections and their inaccessibility I’ve followed up with my local counsel member and city representatives and were still dealing with the same issues and below is the recent response:

“During the 2022 Toronto general election and for the 2023 by-election for mayor, we have a braille mail-in voting package option available. Voters can apply online or by phone from May 1 to May 26 and indicate they would like the braille option mailed to them. The contents of a braille mail-in voting package are similar to your suggestions below. Further information is available at: http://www.toronto.ca/VoteByMail.
Click on the header for Braille Mail-in Voting Package Requests for specific information.”

“For the upcoming by-election we are also providing Voter Assist Terminals (VATs) at all of our 50 advance voting locations (June 8-13) and at 2 locations per ward on election day (June 26). The VAT provides a braille keypad and many other features to allow voters with disabilities to mark their ballot privately and independently.”

“Toronto Elections will be researching the option of offering braille overlays at all voting locations for future general elections. When we begin planning for the 2026 general election, can I reach out to you? I would appreciate your thoughts and feedback during our planning stage.”

The voting by mail site states:

If you require assistance with the online application process, completing the package and marking your ballot or mailing your completed Mail-in Vote package, call 416-338-1111 and press option 5 to discuss accessibility options.

You are encouraged to seek assistance from a family member, care giver or designate, but a candidate running in the 2023 by-election for mayor cannot provide assistance.

Braille Mail-in Voting Package Requests

You can request a braille mail-in voting package when applying to vote by mail online or by phone starting May 1. Braille Mail-in Voting packages will be mailed out through Canada Post starting May 25.

Additional resources and instructions will be sent by email when the package is mailed out.

Braille package components will include:

  • 1. A declaration/instruction form in braille and print to be signed and returned.
  • 2. A braille overlay template for marking your official ballot.
  • 3. An official ballot.
  • 4. An official candidate list in braille and print that matches your official ballot and overlay template.
  • 5. A ballot secrecy envelope with a braille embossed identifying label.
  • 6. A yellow return envelope with pre-paid postage and braille embossed identifying label.

To an informed, enlighten, insightful, intelligent individual who recognizes and understands the duty to accommodate, a solution for increasing accessibility would be to ensure that all polling locations are equipped with items #2 A braille overlay template for marking your official ballot and #4 An official candidate list in braille and print that matches your official ballot and overlay template but apparently that’s something for the future even though its possible and available today.

When is this idiocy going to finally end?

So here is my recommendation to those living with a visual disability:

Request a braille mail in ballot package which you can complete and mail in or set the braille overlay template for marking your official ballot and the official candidate list in braille which matches your official ballot and overlay template and aside and take them with you to your polling station to vote independently.

Contact your local member of council and demand that these templates be distributed to all polling locations. Members of Council – City of Toronto

Contact: elections@toronto.ca or Call: 416-338-1111 and demand that these templates be provided at all polling locations.

If we don’t take action and ignite a fire under the ass of the Toronto election office, nothing is going to change and our rights continued to be violated!

Blind Man Says He Was Stuck in Atlanta Hotel Elevator Without Braille Due to Digital Control panel

“Being in that elevator I was thrust into living the fact that I had a disability and that I could not overcome this situation because I can’t see,” Bonds said.

Read more at
https://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/blind-man-says-he-was-stuck-in-atlanta-hotel-elevator-without-braille-due-to-digital-control-panel/

I Almost Lost My Friend to a Preventable Accident

The other day my friend was walking home from work using his white cane. All of a sudden he stepped into a hole, dropped 8 feet, and submerged into mud and water covering him all the way.

Read more at
https://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/i-almost-lost-my-friend-to-a-preventable-accident/

Colour Blind Guests to the Van Gogh Museum to Experience Art in Colour with EnChroma Glasses

Today EnChroma announced that colour blind visitors to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam will be able to enjoy the colourful masterpieces of Vincent van Gogh in fuller colour.

Read more at
https://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/colour-blind-guests-to-the-van-gogh-museum-to-experience-art-in-colour-with-enchroma-glasses/

Why is Accessible Travel Necessary for Blind People?

Even though travel can be more challenging and complicated for people without vision, I would argue that it is even more necessary than for those who can see. In many instances blind people have no choice but to physically be present to have similar experience to sighted people. This presence can only be achieved when the entire process of the trip is fully inclusive and accessible. If one piece is missing, the trip doesn’t make sense, or is simply not possible.

Read more at
https://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/why-is-accessible-travel-necessary-for-blind-people/

TransLink Testing App-Based Accessibility Tool for Individuals with Sight Loss

TransLink is set to test the new use of NaviLens, a smartphone app-based tool, for providing passengers with navigational audio and sensory cues to identify their bus stop and the exact point of pick-up. As well, the app provides real-time bus arrival times and service alerts and identifies relevant facilities at a location, such as elevators.

Read more at
https://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/translink-testing-app-based-accessibility-tool-for-individuals-with-sight-loss/