In March 2022, two workshops were held in Lausanne and Bern with visually impaired and blind people. A workshop will soon be held in Lugano. These workshops were co-organised with the FSA Swiss Federation for the visually impaired and blind Persons.
The themes of digital accessibility, autonomy and equality in the workplace were discussed with the people. The discussions were first held in plenary and then in small groups focusing on the themes. This approach allowed the group to go into more depth on certain topics, depending on the interests of the participants present.
Through the discussion, those present who are concerned with visual impairment were able to identify needs for which a technological solution should be developed.
These needs will be presented during the Ideation Workshops, which will take place during 2022. These workshops will be an opportunity to invite all those interested in these themes to reflect with the people concerned on innovative solutions. Teams will then be able to form and submit projects together during the next call for projects.
E-Accessibility: Lack of access to information, despite a large number of information platforms
Information on websites has become part of the daily life of most people. People with a visual impairment face great challenges, even if websites are designed in an “accessible” way. Pop-up windows, form filling, digital applications and their various uses, such as reading public transport timetables, are often major obstacles for visually impaired people.
Other needs relate to the “gaming world”. How can games be made more accessible to visually impaired people? The problems often lie in orientation and navigation in virtual worlds.
In most cases, the responsibility for accessibility lies with the companies. The development or provision of accessible software is often not a priority for companies.
Independent living: “a life in which no assistance is needed”.
“All activities for which no assistance is needed, contribute to living a self-determined life”. This is the definition that emerged from the interviews with the people concerned. The free choice to do what one wants should not be compromised because of a disability.
The administration of one’s own life, such as dealing with social insurance, is often very difficult – forms often have to be filled in and signed. For people with a visual impairment, this is a very big challenge.
In everyday life, there is a lot of visual information, such as warning signs or contextual information. These signs and warning signals are particularly important when a visually impaired person leaves their usual environment. Inconsistent signage from one canton to another or guide lines interrupted by roadworks are just some of the problems faced by these people.
Equality and work: equal opportunities is an ambitious goal
It is imperative to make companies and employers aware of what it means to hire a person with a visual impairment. Several adaptations can be put in place to facilitate work. The skills of visually impaired people are great and it is important to put them forward.
Have we aroused your interest? Anyone interested can participate in the next design workshops. More information will follow shortly. If you would like to register your interest and ensure that you receive the information, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.