Friday, August 8, 2008

Are we going too far?

So I'm taking a break to go grab a cold drink from the vending machines. As I'm standing there, I notice that the snack machine has raised Braille on the number pad. My first thought was, "Hmm, interesting." Then it was "Wait a sec....WTH?"

For mental picturing purposes, the vending machine is a big box with a plexi-glass front. You look into the machine, decide what you want, look at the little number under the item you want, put in the appropriate amount of change, and key that number into the keypad, your item is dispensed.

Notice how many times I said 'look' there? It's kind of an integral part of the process. So why are there Braille numbers on the keypad? If it was a different kind of machine, with a Braille read-out for what product is in each slot, and whether or not there was actually anything in that slot, then I could understand having Braille numbers on the keypad. However, it's not that kind of machine. It's designed for people who can see what they want. heck, that's the idea behind the whole sales pitch, if they see it, they will want it. So why have adaptations on the payment end for someone who can't see to choose what they want, how much it costs, or how to get it? There's nothing else on the machine in Braille to even explain what kind of machine it is or what it's for?

Is it just me, or is that down right odd?

Don't get me wrong, I have the highest respect for anyone that can actually read Braille, I can only imagine the amount of dexterity and fingertip sensitivity required for such an endeavor. But the placement of Braille numbers on the keypad of a machine that's pretty much useless to anyone who's blind, well, it brings to mind that old saw about teats on a bull.


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