Comments from David Bates

The following comments were submitted by David Bates, a subscriber to our Blog, which he sent through by Email.

 

I have been a computer user since 1990 but in 1998 I lost the ability to read, and purchased a copy of JAWS, for both business and home use.

In my business I was used to staffing an exhibition stand and talking to trade buyers who had prepared themselves before handso that they could appraise the products on offer very quickly.

I therefore find the organisation of ‘Sight Village’ very frustrating and unprofessional.

Because I am now blind I cannot browse for interesting products, I cannot refer to the catalogue as I walk around, and I cannot even obtain details of new products a week or two beforehand so that I can prepare for my visit. I have therefore given up visiting the exhibition and instead send for the CD afterwards.

I get the impression that Sight Village is organised principally for Social Workers and university researchers, although I expect that some exhibitors are seeking visually impaired custommers who are actually prepared to buy their products.

If it was considered desirable, this exhibition could be marketted easily to visually impaired customers by sending a master tape or CD to all relevant associations and talking newspapers, containing a 40 – 60 second audio piece from each exhibitor giving product details, Company name, phone number and stand number. If a copy of this could reach most visually impaired people by early June, they could phone relevant exhibitors for further details of products of interest, and then perhaps choose to visit the supplier’s stand to examine the product.

It is likely that most of the voluntary newstape organisations would co-operate, and the most likely problem would be congestion caused by too many visually impaired visitors attending the exhibition, perhaps requiring a move to a larger venue in future years.

 

End of Comments

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