CES 2009: Touch screen gadgets alienate blind tech fans, says schoolground blind icon Stevie Wonder

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Stevie_Wonder-ces-2009-blind-gadgets.jpgIt’s all well and good you sitting there, staring at the Palm Pre and imagining yourself navigating its menus after having successfully blagged one for free off your provider, but what about the needs of the blind? You haven’t considered them at all, have you, you selfish little shit?

That’s an issue Stevie Wonder is in Las Vegas to raise, highlighting the fact that the new wave of touch screen gadgets is making many of today’s hot new electric toys impossible for blind users to operate.

The key to enhancing gadgets for blind users is simpler than you’d think – different sounds for different menus screens can make a huge difference when operating touch devices, with decent tactile feedback and an easy-to-find reset button also tipping gadgets into usable territory for people with seeing problems.

“If you can take those few steps further, you can give us the excitement, the pleasure and the freedom of being a part of it,” the Motown legend said, adding that his fantasy gadget is a car he can drive.

My fantasy gadget is an impenetrable metal suit that would protect me from damage caused by being hit by a prototype blind-car Stevie Wonder is driving.

(Via Yahoo)

For more CES updates than you can point a camcorder at, visit our CES 2009 mega-page.

Gary Cutlack