how not to design a library for the blind

ADHD_librarian writes "aftenposten reports that the Norwegian Sound and Braille Library is a fantastic library building, unless you happen to be blind. Were you blind (as their target audience may be) you might find it "combining classical neo-Georgian features with the efficiency of modern techniques. The tenants arrive here and are carried along the corridor on a conveyor belt in extreme comfort, past murals depicting mediterranean scenes, towards the rotating knives. The last twenty feet of the corridor are heavily soundproofed. The blood pours down these chutes and the mangled flesh slurps into..."http://www.aftenposten.no/english/local/article112 9225.ece"

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in this case

...perhaps it would've been better to let the blind lead the blind?

s/

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accessibility and usability first, design second

Not too long ago, as an employee of a library which was doing a major new construction, I found myself having the following conversation:

Powers That Be: "Here are the plans for our new library. We would love to have the input of our staff."


"Great! As a disabled student of this fine institution and a disabled patron and employee of this library, let me tell you a little bit about my difficulties using the library's resources, and I'll explain how a few small changes to the design you have here with ease those difficulties."

Powers That Be: "We are assured that this design is fully disabled accessible."

"Well, I am a disabled person, and I assure you that is not accessible to me. Accessible does not begin and end with ramps and large print signs, you know."

Powers That Be: "Bzuh?"

"And by the way, you aren't wheelchair accessible either. Put a button on the goddamn door, already! "

For too many people, accessibility is a pleasant buzzword, and has nothing to do with actual usable design.

Re:accessibility and usability first, design secon

For too many people, accessibility is a pleasant buzzword, and has nothing to do with actual usable design.

And the worst part is when they put in features that create more problem then they solve. Like ramps that are too $%#@! steep.

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