Thursday, December 11, 2008

Accessibility Anywhere Based Braille Displays Petition to Braille display manufacturers

This is a very important petition that would allow a blind person to buy a braille display and be sure that is works with their computer. Or any other windows based computer.

A petition has been started by George McDermith at http://www.petitiononline.com/brldis/petition.html asking Braille display manufacturers to base their drivers on the human interface protocol, found on all Windows computers. Such a design philosophy will ensure that users can be certain of having support for their Braille display on any computer, not just one which has been custom-configured for such access, and will eliminate the need to depend on specific screen reader drivers.

The text of the petition reads as follows:

"To: Braille display manufacturers

We, the undersigned, who are Braille display users, friends and family of Braille display users, and teachers of the blind,

*: Believe that accessibility to information for the blind on a par with their sighted piers is a right. Believe that due to this right, and due to the cost of Braille displays, accessing Braille through the use of Braille displays should not be limited by the type of screen reading solution used by the blind.

*: Strongly request that all manufacturers of Braille displays cease basing the drivers of their Braille displays off of particular screen reader drivers, but rather base all Braille display drivers off of the Human User Interface Protocol, which can be found on all Windows computers.

*: This will allow true portability and equal access to information for the blind, as they will be able to use their display with any computer. This will create greater competition in the market for the best Braille display to stand out, grant greater literacy in Braille through greater access to electronic Braille books and other materials, and support the right of all blind people to have accessibility anywhere."

To add your support to this worthy cause, visit the petition web page at

http://www.petitiononline.com/brldis/petition.html

The Serotek Team

Beth Koenig
bethko@gmail.com
Director of Deaf Blind Services
Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center
2960 Main Street A100
Irvine, CA 92614
http://www.deafadvocacy.org/dbs