31/03/2013

Will Household Goods Ever be Disabled Friendly

In these days of access improvements in the built environment such as access to shops, services and facilities receiving a great deal of attention and many making major changes to meet the needs of the disabled, why are product manufacturers allowed to continue making household goods like microwaves, cookers etc etc with no consideration for the disabled. 

One example is the electronic panels of just about all modern electrical items such as microwaves, cookers, dishwashers etc, the blind don’t stand a chance with these touch sensitive switches that are completely flat and have no raised or tactile sections at all, yes they bleep, the manufacturing world is obsessed with making things bleep but that’s no good if you don’t know what switch/button you are pressing! 

Dishwashers are so un-wheelchair friendly, if you have ever tried to get a wheelchair close enough to fill or empty the dam things you will know what I mean, I have a Neff but as far as accessibility is concerned is more like Naff!. 

So what can we do? Well, in these days of every manufacturer having a website and email address its so quick and easy just to google the company, find their website and then their “contact us” page, finding Neff took me all of 20 seconds and just 2 minutes to fill in my findings and the issues I have with their product. Chances are they don’t even know we have issues with their inaccessible designs but if enough of us spend a few minutes telling them they may well just consider the needs of the disabled in future designs. 

Go do it, complain and make a difference!

1 comment:

  1. You are right. Small improvements in design could change lives of many.

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