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Tech failing to serve blind-deaf users

Marc Perton

brailleA survey by the U.K. charity Sense has found that the tech needs of people who are both deaf and blind are not being met, despite the fact that the majority of the country's 23,000 deaf-and-blind individuals rely on assistive technologies for their daily needs. Among the areas representing the most concern were items such as remote controls, stoves and cellphones (the survey group included those with some limited sight and hearing, who can use devices such as cellphones without requiring a TTY hookup or Braille printer). In particular, respondents cited the ever-shrinking size of cellphones and inconsistent controls as ongoing problems — one individual inadvertently started a grease fire in his kitchen by turning a burner up to its highest setting instead of the lowest. It turned out that the rear burners used a clockwise orientation, while the front ones went counterclockwise.

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