sine_nomine: (Default)
[personal profile] sine_nomine
I bought a blender last year. An Oster, because they are -- generally -- high quality and because this particular model had both decent power and reversing blades... the better to make smoothies with.

I'd been out of town for a while so the blender wasn't used for about two weeks or so. Awakened one morning and decided I wanted a smoothie for breakfast. Loaded up the blender, turned it on and NOTHING. Tried another outlet. Nope. Tried re-seating the blender jar. Nope. Removed the blender jar entirely and tried turning it on (because this particular model turns on without the jar in place). Nope. It wasn't just nearly dead. It was really most sincerely dead.

So I called the nice Oster people; it's about a year old. Should still be under warranty. The customer service person appeared to have found my order but she had to have me in the same room with the blender as there was information "on the blender" that they would require. I was driving at the time so that didn't happen. I called back today with the blender in front of me.

Here's where we get into fail:
Today's customer service person (who said she couldn't find my order but at least found the record of the previous call) asked me to look at the metal prongs on the plug. According to her, there would be numbers inscribed on one of the prongs and alphabet letters on the other. They could be on the inside or the outside of the prongs; it varies where they put them.

I couldn't see a thing. And I have 20/20 vision, though focusing is a little slow sometimes. Managed to find something that vaguely magnifies and lo and behold, on the inside of the metal prongs, there was in fact something inscribed. I was clueless, of course, as to what it actually said.

But here's the kicker: She couldn't assist me without knowing what those letters and numbers were. And I can actually see! What if I were a customer who couldn't?!? Would I have to call a friend to come over and read the silly plug? Could there be any worse place on an entire blender to put the very numbers that identify this particular blender than the prongs on the plug?? And on the inside of them, to boot!

I told her it would probably be faster for me to slice off the plug and send it to them. Or, alternatively, to send the whole blender back. She informed me that wouldn't work as I'd be sending the blender back "to the warehouse, not to the Customer Care Center that is trying to assist you."

So we left it that "consumer will be calling back when consumer can access the requisite numbers and letters".

I think, however, that I will instead be hunting down the address of the CEO of their parent company, packing up the blender and shipping it off with a letter that politely says "You have got to be f'ing kidding me! Figure out a way to send me a new blender... and to improve the location of your identifiers because on the plug in teeny tiny letters is ridiculous."
[personal profile] jazzyjj
Hi everyone. Since we already have one accessibility win posted here, I thought I'd talk about my experience calling AppleCare this morning. I had to call them to straighten out something with my Apple ID. I attempted to reset things online, but couldn't quite figure it out so I decided to use the old phone trick. So this morning I got up around 7:15 my time and called, hoping that they wouldn't be busy. Sure enough, I got through right away. The first person with whom I spoke seemed to be a receptionist or something, but was friendly and transferred me to Gary, after taking down some information. I told him my problem, and he said he was sorry I was experiencing the problem but that he'd be glad to help me. So that is exactly what he did. For a bit of background, I am on my first Mac computer and haven't quite had it for a year. I am a VoiceOver user, which is the screen reader built into all Apple's products. It turned out that I had sort of forgotten about a keystroke, and I skipped over some of the steps on their website to reset my Apple ID. But Gary was super nice and professional. He was also very patient with me throughout the call. He even took the time to wish me happy holidays and asked me how I'm spending them. I really appreciated that.
sarah: (traffic)
[personal profile] sarah
The Kengaru is a hatchback electric car designed specifically for wheelchair users: the hatchback opens up, you roll right in, and it's driven using airplane-style controls.

This is a remarkable design, but the story of how Stacey Zorn made it a reality is even more amazing (link includes animated gifs and a video). The initial version is for manual chair users (expected to run ~$20,000), with a second model for power chair users coming next.
dubhain: (kill -9 ubs)
[personal profile] dubhain
This is California. You are a facility belonging to the University of California. Furthermore, you're situated in the capitol of California. Now, given that the rest of the nation considers California to be home of the "Fruits, nuts, and flakes," (and note that I fall into at least one of the first two of those categories, so I'm not disparaging, here,) not to mention a seething hotbed of liberal inclusion, tolerance, and political-correctness (not that this is strictly true — Orange County comes to mind,) one would think that you'd have your act together, when it comes to accessibility.

One would, sadly, be incorrect in that assumption.

Why? Well, let's see: We could talk about your closing-down the parking ramp which gives the most convenient and accessible access to much of the main hospital and turning it into staff-only parking (except, apparently, for one day per week, which isn't actually specified on any of your signage. (The signage, actually, says it's still for patients and visitors, for the most part. Until you try to enter, of course.)) Or we could talk about the the other parking ramp, which has had its handicapped spots moved farther from the doors and replaced with Electric Vehicle charging stations and maintenance vehicles. Because, y'know, fuck the patients with disabilities. You have to encourage the use of electric cars and keep things as convenient for your employees as possible.

Then there's the main hospital, itself: A maze of twisty little passages, all alike. I realize that your hospital, even more than most, apparently, has accreted, rather than been well-planned. However, your hospital is a stone bitch to get through for the people who don't have mobility issues. For those of us who do, it's a freakin' nightmare. "Well, you have to park here, then walk to the entrance there. Then, if it's during regular hours, on a weekday, and you've come in through the main entrance, a volunteer will walk with you part-way to where you're going. [which is frequently at the other end of the complex, down a route with more twists and turns than an Escher print.] Of course, you can come in through one of the closer entrances to the parking ramp, but there won't be a guide. You'll have to follow the signs." The signs. Er...yeah. That's another little matter where you fail spectacularly. I know of at least one hallway junction where there are four signs labeled "East Wing," with arrows. The arrow upon each sign points (and I'm not kidding, here) in a different direction. Is it ahead? Back the way I came? To the Right? Or through that door to the Left and down the stairs? Pick one. Only to go in whichever direction has been chosen, and find a sign with an arrow pointing back the way I came in the first place. (The trick, apparently, is to ignore the signage in that junction, continue straight onward, take the South Elevators, which will arrive in the East Wing. Apparently there are spacial anomalies involved, which would baffle Captain Janeway. And gods know she saw far too many of them in that lousy spin-off.)

Eventually, one hopes, one will arrive at one's destination. Your medical care is, generally speaking, good to excellent. Administratively? Well, your administrative talents rival those of your signage abilities. But hey: Care's the important thing, right?

Unless, of course, one happens to have mobility issues, and is walking forfreakingever down those twisty little passages, all alike. I finally found a way to escape your hospital, by the way: One follows the "Specialty Coffee Kiosk" signs. Apparently they, unlike the signs for, say, the East Wing, aren't designed to be read as a faulty logic puzzle from Alice in Wonderland. Of course, then there's the hike back to the parking ramp, but hey: Exercise is good for people, right? Even when walking for distances is excruciatingly painful. Builds character, and all that.

Seriously, UCD: You're a medical branch of a major state educational institution in the state believed to be the most progressive and accommodating in the entirety of North America. Nonetheless, you fail — and fail spectacularly at that — in so, so many ways. I simply cannot imagine how you can design your medical campus to fail this spectacularly, in so many "WTF?" ways.

Does UCD actually even have any mobility-impaired people on staff? 'Cause y'all need to hire some. Seriously. Preferably in your planning and facilities maintenance departments. Because, y'know, the level of fail in your facilities is approaching critical mass.
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
[personal profile] davidgillon
Really good Huff Post piece on how normies make it difficult for wheelchair users with invisible disabilities. Rings absolutely true.

(And another Bendy speaking out, pro rata we must be one of the most published disability sub-groups!)

fayanora: Rinmarugames (Default)
[personal profile] fayanora
My roommate is under the impression that if you owe student loans, the student loans people can legally take all your paycheck, all your disability if you're on it, all your tax returns, and can even legally take all the tax returns of your spouse if you get married, and so she has decided not to bother trying to apply for disability because of this. I don't know whether to believe it or not, because that sounds not only highly illegal, but extremely unethical. I doubt it's legal to take someone's entire income for a debt they owe. (USA)

But if it is true, that is a MASSIVE accessibility fail.
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Crutches)
[personal profile] davidgillon
A friend just mentioned having done training on using evac chairs, which reminded me of all the shenanigans at work WRT me and evac plans. They're probably worth repeating to prompt everyone to give a little thought to how you would get out of your workplace (or home) in an emergency.

Personally I can do stairs, but because I use crutches I take up a lot of space, and I can be fairly slow moving. OTOH the nature of Hypermobility Syndrome means in a real emergency I'd probably just ditch the crutches and let the pain and damage catch up with me once I'm outside and safe.

Evil Aerospace Inc were fairly good about running fire drills - the rumour was they had to be as they had been told by the fire brigade our warren-like main building would be left to burn in an emergency, it would be too dangerous to send fire-fighters inside. Our office (in a separate building) had a largely open plan area about the size of a football pitch, with several hundred engineers. It was 1st floor (US 2nd floor), but it was an ex-manufacturing building with double height ceilings, so the number of stairs was more like a three storey building. There was one staircase at either end and one in the middle, so call it 100 engineers trying to file out of each.

When we had a fire drill I got into the habit of waiting until the end to start down the stairs, it was just easier than trying to walk with crutches in crowds. Then they got a bit more serious about evacuations and appointed fire wardens for each floor with yearly planning/training sessions. Ours was a good friend of mine, so I was certain my needs would be addressed. After the first training session, she came back and brightly announced:
"Dave, we talked about you, and agreed you have to wait until last to go down the stairs."

Voluntarily waiting until last is one thing, being told to do it is quite another!

"So if you're deciding when I leave the building, then shouldn't I have a formal Personal Emergency Evacuation plan?"

"Oh, no, you're disabled, but you're not that disabled!"

A year rolls around and she goes off to the next planning session.

"Dave, we just had our planning session, and we agreed I can pass you on the stairs to go and report the building is empty."

*Headdesk* *Headdesk* *Headdesk*

Later on I changed teams and was moved to one of our tower blocks, I think I was on the fifth floor - too high for me to manage without using lifts. Despite the fact I was working in QA and we had procedures for everything (and that we had the corporate bosses in the next tower over) no one ever thought to ask if I could manage to get out in an emergency (the answer was yes, just - I stayed behind one night to work out if I could manage the stairs going down).

Moral of the story: corporate attention to fire safety and other evacuation threats (we had at least one bomb scare while I was there that we weren't evacuated for, never mind the suspect device was barely 100m from our office, and a structural failure in our building that took them an unforgiveable four hours to decide to evacuate us) can vary from negligent to overly confident, none of which necessarily implies competent thought has actually gone into it. You are the only person who really understands your accessibility needs, so give some thought to how you would get out of the building if the worst happens, and if management won't address it, then maybe talk to your friends and agree a plan. If you need advice, then I suspect your local fire service can probably advise (they'll definitely prefer finding you outside when they arrive to having to go into a burning building to fetch you), and if there are really egregious safety failures then you may need to consider reporting them to the fire service/Health and Safety Executive/OSHA or local equivalents.

(Also worth remembering, issues won't stop once you're out of the building, you need to get to the evac assembly area, which in most large sites are likely to be 100m or more away, and then get home afterwards. If you need to abandon mobility equipment to get out, particularly wheelchairs if you're taken out on an evac chair, then what happens next? Obviously the ideal would be to have someone bring out your chair/whatever alongside you, but that's only practical if it's safe).

dubhain: I think you're confusing nice and evil again (Nice and Evil)
[personal profile] dubhain
I adore you. You do laundry for a buck a pound, and you're so intensely eager to help that it's almost embarrassing. I'll definitely be back.

I do have one question, though: WTFF were you thinking, when you designed your parking lot? I mean, I get that you've made the parking slips so narrow as possible, to maximize the number of cars it'll accommodate. I even understand why you've made the lanes between parking slips so narrow. Same reason. It makes navigating your parking lot...challenging, especially when folks in pick-up trucks with eight-foot beds park in a slip designed for a compact, but that's life, when one drives in Sacramento.

But why, why, why did you have to situate your one-and-only handicapped parking space in an awkward position, between the sidewalk and the building, with a frimping tree behind it, across the sidewalk?

Seriously: In order to use the thing, I'd have to drive a subcompact car (which I do, fortunately,) pull into the driveway, and jockey back and forth at an angle, repeatedly, crossing the sidewalk every time.

And when I commented upon it, your employee told me "We're very proud of our lot!" Er...yeah. The confused look on her face was priceless, when I pointed-out the difficulty of getting into and out of the handicapped space. The only handicapped space. The one with a frimping tree between it and the street.

I'll still be using you, Awesome Laundromat, because you're such a great laundromat. But...just...WTF accessibility parking fail?
roserodent: Avatar (Default)
[personal profile] roserodent
 I spoke to Megabus to try to book in to travel with my powered wheelchair. Let the stupid commence! I have a very unusual kind of powerchair which folds up without tools and very quickly to fit in the boot of a medium (European medium!) car boot (trunk). But they were not interested in weight or dimensions, electric wheelchairs are too big and too heavy, always. I asked what size of space they have - electric wheelchairs are too big. What dimensions can I take? It's too big, it cannot travel. It fits in a Kia Cee'd so I'm pretty sure it fits in the massive luggage compartment of a coach, what size of wheelchair can I bring? You can bring a "normal wheelchair" - whatever the heck that is. So I said what if I bring the batteries in a suitcase? No, it won't fit. OK, I say, I have changed my mind, I will bring a 32kg non powered wheelchair and a 25kg suitcase. That's fine, says agent, you don't even need to pre-book that. So I ask her does she realise she has agreed to exactly the same wheelchair provided that the batteries are inside a suitcase - instant backtrack: no, I never said you could bring that, I said I will find out for you. Weird, since I use captioned calls and I have a word for word transcript. For anyone who doens't use text, GA means "go ahead" it's like saying "over" on the radio it means the end of what you are saying and time for the other person to respond. I start on each occasion

"It will bbe 32kgg and I can probably make it go in 2 suitacses and one hang luggae. So that's one wheelchair, one suitcase and my hand luggage GA ill pop you on hold thanks.. holding.. Holding... Holding... Holding... thnks for holding for me i have spoken to control again gave themn the weight ive been told its been confrmed the only way we can accommodate that chair is by the passenger being sitting in the chari with the chair going on the bus on standard bus." so it's too heavy when it's 32kg and a suitcase and hand luggage. 

"OK, I changed my mind then,, I bring a 32kg manual chair, a suitacase and my huand luggage, ,how do I book this on the night service  GA if its just an iordinary wheelchair that folds down you dont have to book it  GA You realise you have just said that exactly the same chair fits... If I do not take the batteries and I put them in a suitaase and tell you it's a 32kgg manual chair, suuddently it is much smaller and will fit.  GA so your not going to take the batterys for the chair  GA I will put the battery in a suitacase and then it becomes a manual chair and I have a 25kg suticase with contents which is my personal business  GA your going to put an ordinary wheelchair 32sg in luggage holder and batterys in a suitcase GA Yes, which is exactly what I have been telling you all along but when you thought it was a n eee  electric wheelchair it was all kinds of problems. If it is a manua wheelchair when I give it to you, and I put the batteries in a case, it will fit. So clearly it fitted from the start of this conversation  GA ive not confirmed that yet .. am going to find out for you  GA No, ou said ifi t is an ordinary wheelchair I don't even need to book it. It wil be an ordinary wheelchair. THe content of the case is not relevant to the size, weight or other charactieristcis of the wheelchiar  GA hold on please.."

This is where I hung up...

These are some other snippets you may enjoy: (sorry, my typing sucks on this computer and there is no correct function with live typing)

" HOw about if you put the wheelchair part in teh hold and I book it as a manual chair and I will take the 2 small parts on teh bus with me as hand luggage and you don't nee dto worry about whether it's one things or another, I will hav eth ebattiers and you will handle the part which is not electric into the hold, any better?  GA no there will not be enough space  GA Ca you tell me on what baiss you have decided it will not fit? If a manual chair will fit and this is NOT BIGGER then how cann it suddely not fit?  GA its the weight you are allowed of luggae la allowance one standard suitacase one hand luggage if evreyone has one suitable stuitcase there isn ot not enough space to put the wheelchair parts GA The weight is also not more than I would bring as luggage as I have no suitcase ... yyou are clearly making lots of assumptions rather than asking questions... it is electric so you are immediately obstructive. You have no idea how heavy any part is, how much other                   luggage I have, how much luggage anyne else has, you have no idea what it weighs, but can confidently inform me that it is too heavy [...] you have the legal obligation to carry a wheelchair if it is *possible* not just if it meets some crieria you have decided apply. [...] What do you need to know about mmy chair to find out whether it will fit? Height? Width? Not just that it is electric!!  GA"

A clear case of determination to find electric wheelchairs conform to specific stereotypes and cannot possibly be not those things. The fact they assume it will be heavy does not change its ACTUAL weight! I decided it was not sufficiently worth my time and effort to fight this out this one time in order to go to the event I had wanted to attend, but this is not the end of this, once I have more time to fight them on it. 
[personal profile] jazzyjj
Hello everyone. I thought I'd post about a great experience I just had a few minutes ago with a representative of Christian Record Services for the Blind. This is a nonprofit organization based in Lincoln, Nebraska. They have representatives in several parts of the country, and the one with whom I spoke is in Wisconsin. I had left him a voicemail awhile back concerning a problem I was having with their online registration form to use the lending library. He just called me back after being on vacation, and patiently registered me. I am now going to start receiving materials from them again, including some digital material that I can listen to on my digital talking book machine. I attended 2 of their summer camps several years ago and had a lot of fun at both. We remembered each other from camp. So three cheers for Christian Record Services for the Blind! But please, please fix the registration form on the page for your lending library! The actual form itself was very easy to navigate using VoiceOver, but I think you should check out the "submit" button. When I clicked it I was merely taken back home with no confirmation of my form submission. Not only that, but I never received an email confirmation either.
[personal profile] jazzyjj
Hi everyone. I've been a member of this comm for a couple days and have just been skimming through the entries. However, today I thought I'd post a question. I've been in a rather difficult situation, and I'm wondering if anybody else has experienced being told that they can't have any formal O&M training unless they have a full-time paying job. I think at least some people know what O&M is, but for those who don't it stands for orientation&mobility. Please allow me to explain a bit. It has been several years since I've had a formal O&M evaluation, or any high-quality O&M instruction. In the summer of 2004 I moved out of my parents' house and into an apartment building which is part of an LLC, a limited liability corporation. Since then people have taken me out on walks and briefly shown me around the area. Everybody here is extremely friendly and helpful. I was told rather curtly several years ago by a job coach, that none of these people should be showing me this stuff, unless they are basically certified O&M instructors. This so-called job coach further told me that any non-qualified O&M person would get in "serious" trouble if they showed me around. The thing is though, I haven't been able to convince my state voc/rehab agency that I'm important enough or that this situation is important enough to merit any formal O&M instruction. A few years ago I attended part of a conference with someone else, and we went up to the Client Assistance Program representatives in attendance and I explained my dilemma. They opened up a case for me, and finally an O&M specialist was sent out here to work with me. But we only worked together for a few short lessons, and then she abruptly stopped coming. What she did do though, was ask me what one thing I needed to work on. My response was street crossings. I specifically remember her telling me that aside from advocating like crazy hell for accessible traffic signals in this area, the only other solution to crossing the street independently was a card that basically said: "I'm blind, please help me cross the street." I think I still have this card tucked away in one of my drawers. So she and I practiced a bit with the card. In fact I remember surprising my former roommate, who at the time lived in a building near mine. He was legally blind, and unfortunately he passed away at the beginning of last year. But the building he lived in has a Starbucks in it. So anyway, this instructor and I actually paged him one morning when we had just gotten to his building. He came down in his underwear. I guess he thought the instructor was visually impaired too, which she wasn't. So that was funny. BTW, she never even showed me the way up to his unit, or to the Starbucks. I'm not a coffee drinker, but I happen to be a fan of the other things that Starbucks serves. So my question is what to do here. Should I lodge another formal complaint with the Client Assistance Program, or what? I'd definitely classify this as a means of accessibility fail. Rant over!


Sep. 6th, 2014 02:19 am
dubhain: I think you're confusing nice and evil again (Nice and Evil)
[personal profile] dubhain
I love the concept of IKEA. Really. I do. You have ALL THE THINGS. I like your meatballs. I loathe the fact that you assume your customers all live in aircraft hangers with padded floors, when it comes to assembling your flat pack, but I digress. That's a rant for another time and place.

IKEA, I'm not in a wheelchair, so I understand you might not've noticed I'm mobility impaired. I walk with a cane, which is easily overlookable. But IKEA, one of my major problems is stenosis in my lower back, and I gotta tell you: You don't make it easy to visit your store. In fact, after the hellish amount of pain I experienced today, I won't be back. And that's a pity, IKEA, because I could become a very good, very regular customer.

First of all, those shiny, hard concrete floors? Yeah. Those. They make it hard for folks like me to spend any length of time on their feet in your store. And yeah, you have a couple of little benches outside your "OMG try all the furniture!" section. But the benches aren't very well placed, and there's nowhere to sit, in between.

Furthermore, the meandering, forced path through all your display areas might be fine for young, skinny, athletic yuppies to navigate, but for older folks like myself, with mobility issues? Oh, just fuck you, IKEA. Sideways. With a cactus. And no lube.

Even your "shortcuts" aren't particularly short. Marketing might deem your forced march (in which the customer keeps believing he's finally nearing the end of the nightmare, only to find that...surprise! there's suddenly another entire department, or warehouse, or hangar-sized checkout area that's suddenly appeared ahead) the best idea since someone rubbed two sticks together, but Marketing's apparently never had difficulty walking, or had to deal with excruciating back pain before. Or maybe they just don't think it's important to care about gimps. Because, after all, how much do we really contribute to your bottom line?

And, of course, trying to escape from you, IKEA, because, say, my back is screaming, and if I don't get out and to the car dammed soon, I'm not going to be able to walk at all, is a nightmare in itself. It's apparently inconceivable that someone might want to leave your store without buying anything, so everything funnels through the register stands. I wound-up having to push past a woman in a wheelchair, excusing myself constantly, through clenched teeth, as I could barely speak because of the pain. And then, of course, the checkout area exits to the loading dock, so there's a trek halfway across the parking lot, to get to the handicapped parking, where the car's waiting.

IKEA, I won't be back. I'd love to spend some major time in your store, especially in the kitchen section. I could easily drop a grand there, in an afternoon. But I won't be there because I can't stand the physical pain that visiting your store puts me through. Seriously: A direct, real, shortcut through the building for folks who have trouble walking. A few more places to sit — like, say, one in each department? And a way to get back out the front door, again for people who have trouble walking? You'd be golden. Even with those interminable hard, concrete floors.

I realize that mobility-impaired folks aren't trendy, and I'm not so young, nor so chic as you'd like your target audience to be. But dammit, IKEA, this is bullshit, and with your reputation for both brilliant use of space, not to mention your much vaunted efficiency, you should be doing better. And I shouldn't be unable to walk for six hours after I get home from bailing on a trip to your store because I just. Can't. Stand. The. Pain. Anymore.
jesse_the_k: Callum Keith Rennie shouts "Fuck no!"  (Fuck no sez CKR!)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
Visited grocery service desk to buy bus tickets and discovered several access features (I'd used previously) which had been dismantled:

At the standing-height counter, the wheelchair-height cutout had been filled up with a lottery ticket dispenser. This meant the clerk and I couldn't touch hands, so they clerk had to leave their station and walk all the way around to hand me the tickets. The swipe-and-sign machine for credit cards has a swivel, so I have used independently before. But someone had pointlessly pushed a bookshelf under the counter, so I couldn't reach it.

I brought these issues up to the clerk. I managed to keep my cool. I pointed out that finding accessible features destroyed is very frustrating. Does this analogy work for you? Delighted to entertain suggestions.

Encountering demolished access features is like getting a big delivery of gravel at the bottom of your driveway that you never ordered. When you complain, the response is, "Oh, I'll help you park your car down the street" or "Oh, just wait, I'll round up a group of folks to help you move stuff out of the garage. It might be three hours — is that OK?"

I'm writing the grocery's central office. I suspect the response is going to be along the lines, "well, you were able to complete your purchase, and weren't our staff polite and helpful?" And yes, the clerk was polite, and helpful, and unable to wipe away the psychic spit this encounter smeared over my glasses.
[personal profile] mariness
The Disability in Science Fiction panel at Worldcon/Lone Star Con did not have ramps to the stage. Because they knew I would be there (I use a wheelchair), they set up tables in front of the stage, so at least I could sit at the same level as the rest of the panelists. (At the Prose by Day, Poet by Night panel, which to be fair I was only added to about two hours before the panel started, I was on the floor and the other three panelists were on the stage.) The disability panel also did not have an ASL interpreter.
lizcommotion: a hand drawn/colored happy cane (disability cane happy)
[personal profile] lizcommotion
[All ganked from [personal profile] pretty_panther  because I don't have words yet this morning:]

" is an online map to search, find and mark wheelchair-accessible places. -"
I'm so glad that this is a thing! I don't know if it is an accurate thing but I know you can add info about your own town and such. You can also mark places that are not accessible at all or only have access to certain parts of it and so on. It sounds like it has the potential to be a fabulous tool for wheelchair users [and walker users and stroller users]. Linking because a, I'm excited and b, because a few of you might find it helpful. :)

cross-posting to my own journal
lilacsigil: Deborah Mailman by liviapenn (Deborah Mailman by liviapenn)
[personal profile] lilacsigil
There is a federal election in Australia next month, and in Australia voting is compulsory. Every election, this brings about major accessibility issues - we vote with pencil and paper, so people with visual impairments are immediately disadvantaged, and the fixes for this are crude and rely on either not having privacy to vote or the goodwill of electoral staff. Voting centres (usually schools and public halls) are often not accessible or only partially accessible to people with mobility impairments.

For this reason many disabled people choose to postal vote instead. In my case, I will be working all of election day, so I am going to postal vote. The application form is online, which is great - previously it has been on paper - so I filled it out, only to run into a CAPTCHA at the end. Since forms have to be filled out with correct personal details and then a secret question answered on the actual physical form, I cannot imagine why a CAPTCHA is necessary or helpful. It's a great hindrance to me - and when I went to the feedback form to lodge a complaint, there was a CAPTCHA at the bottom of that too!


Jul. 29th, 2013 09:53 pm
vass: wonder girl facepalming (Facepalm)
[personal profile] vass
Conservative flyers on disabled initiatives contain fake Braille
[hattip to James Nicoll]

"Jim Tokos, a vice-president at the Canadian Council of the Blind, said he found the flyers simply “baffling” — especially since the whole purpose of the pamphlet was to boast about how much the Conservatives were doing to make life easier for disabled people in Canada."
vass: Serpent Guard, caption: "I always get a happy tingly feeling when I see those guys." (Tingly)
[personal profile] vass
So, Centrelink (Australian social services) decided to review my rent assistance (if I don't confirm that my details haven't changed or give them the new details, they stop my rent assistance.) And at the same time the rent assistance part of their website went offline, with no ETA for when it'll be back, so I couldn't confirm that my details hadn't changed on their website.

So my options were print out the form and take it to my landlords to sign (I don't own a printer, and even if I did I'd have to take it to said landlords, and that's social interaction I didn't want) or use their automated phone service. I didn't think it would be that bad. It was.

They asked me to repeat the word 'yes' three times in a row, ON MORE THAN ONE OCCASION because they couldn't understand me. I realise I have mild speech dysfluency issues, I do realise that. [actually, I have a speech pathology appointment today.] But it's not THAT bad. It's never been so bad that a person (or even a machine) literally could not tell whether I was saying yes or no.

Like other people with dysfluencies, I get worse when I'm anxious. Like, if I'm on the phone for nearly an hour and the recorded voice is dictating long strings of numbers in a disjointed rhythm and at different vocal registers and with no pause before or after the dictation, and I need to write those down [I have auditory processing problems too, specifically auditory working memory] and they also want information from me and won't tell me in advance what information I need so I can go get it, and also they can't understand me and I'm talking as clearly as I can, that would be a nightmare affect how clearly I can speak.

Also, sometimes it allowed me to use the keypad to enter numbers, or to use 1 for yes and 2 for no, and sometimes it wouldn't, and it wouldn't tell me when it was appropriate or when it wasn't. And there was a period when it wanted my driver's license and I typed it into the keypad, and it said "I'm sorry, I can't understand you. Can you repeat that?" and it happened TWICE IN A ROW. The KEYPAD. I figured out that it was because I was sobbing quietly. My sobs overrode the keypad numbers. I covered the mouthpiece while I was entering numbers after that.

There was a point where it asked me if I wanted to speak to a real person. I said yes. It couldn't understand me, so it just kept going.

[additional tags: phone]
[personal profile] yarram
I asked work for some training on new software we're rolling out. They send me a web link and a login. I click the link, sign in, and lo and behold, all the training is a bunch of videos. Presented by people with various European accents. There are no subtitles / captions available.

This renders the trainings inaccessible, as I am HoH.

(Fortunately I can understand enough that the PowerPoint slides are useful, but still annoying in the extreme.)
sarah: (not even in the ballpark)
[personal profile] sarah
Yeah, so, I pretty sure they're implying there's a ramp somewhere up the street and around the other side of the hotel, but the sign's still funny:

photo of 'accessible stairs' under the cut )


accessibility_fail: Universal "person in wheelchair" symbol, with wheelchair user holding a cutlass (Default)
You Fail At Accessibility

February 2015

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