Where the blind can see, the deaf can hear...

2018 03 02

No, I am not going to talk about heaven! Though I myself Believe in complete reconstruction and that I will experience hearing as a part of a happy and whole life. But now you will read about pretty earth-bound things. Here comes a little sensitization!

First make ourselves aware of that we see not with our eyes, hear not with our ears but our other senses are also only to receive stimulus. Instead, we hear and see with our brains. So if one of our senses get damaged or doesn't work, the brain can work up the information forwarded by the remaining senses. A well-known example for this is Braille writing. With this system blind people can read by touching, instead of sensing visually.

Furthermore, to make it more complicated, sometimes happen that the senses can function perfectly but there is a problem in the process of the brain. In this case, you can help the recovery of the work of the brain by the appropriate stimulation of the healthy senses.

But the point is that the principle in internet accessability is to make the site able to bbe sensed as widely as possible. It is not by accident that the sites called "blind-friendly" are thought to be accessible as well, because we get the information from the internet through a screen, visually. That's why many people think that if clicking a button the screen can be changed into a contrasted, minimal style, that is blimd-friendly as well. The truth is, it's all the same for a blind personn, though it can help sensing in the case of certain eye diseases. If you see this icon on a website, you can be almost sure that it is not accessible but wants to look like, using the title "blind friendly". Accessible websites don't use this label but certify their accessability by other ways. You will read about it later.

For a blind person information comes describing a thing with words or through senses other than the eyes. This is why they use screen reader softwares that read out the content if the website is able to co-operate with the screen reader. For example the pictures are subtitled in a way that is invisible for average users but not for a screen reader so it can "translate" for the blind what is on the picture.

It is important to have buttons of function and an arrangement to be easy to handle. Or that the website be usable without a mouse, the content and the functions reachable with a keyboard. A mouse can make operations quicker and easier for those who can see and use their hands well but useless for others.

Have you ever thought, using your mouse so obviously, of those who has no hands or unable to grab the mouse? Or do you think of the deaf who may cannot interpret written text? And what about deafblinds? And other disabled people? How to make websites perceptible and useable for them?

Next time we continue sensitization, opening up a special world with special solutions, in the name of attentiveness for each other.