When you are blind or have low vision it can be complicated to make your way through a world that is built for sighted people. It is a common feeling to feel out of place. I am here to say that although it is hard at times it is not an impossible task. The first point that should be addressed on this journey through a sighted world for a person who is blind or visually impaired is the aspect of accessibility. Here are some ways that society can make things more accessible for people that are blind or have low vision.
There are several ways that restaurants can become more accessible to people that are visually impaired. First, they should have accessible menus. A menu in braille and a large print menu should be frequently updated and made available. It is also important to have an accessible website with an up to date menu as some visually impaired people prefer to refer to the site to access the menu. I am visually impaired myself and I prefer to look at the menu before I arrive at the restaurant.
Menus4All is a good resource for restaurants to make their menus accessible.
Second, restaurants should try to offer seating areas that have the option to increase lighting. Low lit areas can be challenging for some people that have low vision. I am one of those people and I think that having adjustable lighting options in select seating areas would be helpful.
Third, restaurant management should train their staff on how to best assist a visually impaired person if necessary. The staff should be trained on how to provide sighted guide if it is ever needed and have a basic understanding of what it is like to be visually impaired.
Movies, TV shows, plays and even concerts and sports broadcasts can be made accessible to those that are blind or visually impaired by including audio description. Audio description is the narration of all the visual aspects of a scene such as the clothing characters are wearing to a detailed description of the scene. This helps to fill in the gaps that the dialogue will miss and helps provide a full experience of the show. Accessible show programs in braille and large print should be provided where applicable.
The internet has become the gateway to all of the information for all aspects of life. It is very frustrating when a website is not fully accessible. Every site should be compatible with screen readers, they should offer the option to change the color contrast and they should be designed to be used with enlarged text. These points apply to apps as well.
Some extra thoughts
These tips can be applied to any industry. I hope that accessibility can become more common and that there will be more education on the need for accessibility in all aspects of society. Everyone can play a part in making this world a more accessible place.
You can learn more about the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge here. Come back each day this month except on Sundays to read my next post for this series. Thank you for reading.