Archive for the ‘personal’ Category

I’m off to ICC the international computer camp for blind students

July 20, 2007

On Sunday I’m off to Finland to lead a couple of workshops in this years ICC camp this is an annual event which shifts around Europe attracting up to 300 visually impaired students from over 30 countries across Two weeks. The first week for 14 to 17 year olds, the second week for 18 to 21s. I’m going along as a member of staff (for the first time) in week one to lead sessions on accessible portable applications, and on running Blogs, not something I know all that much about but hey I’ll be learning too. If you fancy keeping up with the camp then workshop attendees and I will be running a camp Blog at www.ICCcamp.wordpress.com
please comment a plenty so that we all know people are reading.

Hotels.com sued over accessibility

May 24, 2007

IJust picked this up on Outlaw.com Interestingly the online travel company which aledgedly treats accessible hotel rooms as an optional extra because it won’t guarantee reservations for accessible rooms via its Website isn’t being challenged under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) because of previous rulings under that legislation which have brought in to questions its applicability to the Web. Very worrying.

It's an interesting area, companies who make 'special provision' but then offer this on less favourable terms, and one which I'd like to see tested. A situation which I am currently experiencing myself is raising just this question. Vodafone.co.uk offer visually impaired clients a mobile screenreader free of charge on compatible phones. However in order to get the package you can only buy your contract in store, not via there Website from where discount call plans are available. In short if I want the software I must forgo the three months half price line rental and 10% discount for the duration of the contract. Less favourable terms? I think so. One possible solution which has been put on the table is that I buy my package on the Website, take the handset in to the store who will then send it off for the software to be installed, have it returned to the store from where I can collect it one week later. This seems a little long winded given that I can easily download and install the software myself, all I would require from Voda is the licence code.

So the questions I am asking myself,

"Is this a reasonable adjustment?".

and if not

Given that I am saving the £150 it would cost me to buy the software myself (which is more than I stand to lose by purchasing from the highstreet rather than online) would persuing the matter in courts (if a satisfactory solution were not found) be looking a gift horse in the mouth.

or

actually is the bigger picture what counts?

you can't treat someone less favourably on the grounds of disability

Even if you are, offering, a bespoke service.

Blogg revival

May 23, 2007

Just lately I’ve been involved in, or seen several things that have made me think “if only I could be bothered I’d Blogg that” and now at last it seems it’s reached a critical mass. So – here we go again, I’m going to have another go at this stuff and this time I really will try to post regularly on something that comes to my attension or on which I have an opinion to offer in the general arenas of access and accessibility and technology, sometimes but not always Web access. As a promise to myself I’ll try and use the next few days going and build up some momentum. – if you find any future posts useful or interesting go on, gimme a poke to keep me going.

Starting a Blogg, the Tears and the cheers.

November 15, 2006

As you might imagine, or as you possibly discovered for yourself, deciding to “do” a Blogg is the easy part (no surprise). I expect that always having something interesting to say will be a bit more tricky, but I wasn’t quite prepared for was the complexity of actually signing up for and setting up the whole shabang. Or at least thats how it felt whenbattling with my screenreader of choice and Blogger.com – maybe they’re just having a bad day which would account for all the “page not found” errors after completing registration forms and slowness of Emails, but the audible capchure process was most unpleasant too. So I hit the search engines to look for an alternative and ended up here at WordPress. A completely different story. I’ve signed-up, fiddled around with settings and designs (all bee it that there’s more to do still obviously), and am already on my second post all within considerably less than half n hour. So the moral of the story, if you want an accessible Blogg – use WordPress not Blogger.

jumping on the band wagon.

November 15, 2006

So I’ve done it, I’m on the band wagon and have started this here Blogg. It’s so time consuming visiting all those other Websites, Discussion boards, and Bloggs out there to put people right that I’ve decided that the only thing to do is to simplify things and let you all come to me. So here it is, an insiders view on “accessibility” (whatever that is).