By: Bruce Stover
It makes perfect sense, but I never gave it any thought. Thank goodness that Mel Scott did.
This is one of those “why didn’t I think of that ideas.” Mel got tired of coming across exercise video commercials on TV- or listening to sighted friends talk about how great they felt after working out to an exercise video – and then trying to order or use one only to find out they are not accessible. You have heard it, that loud barking announcement, “CALL THE NUMBER ON THE SCREEN”… but without actually announcing the number to call. Again, not accessible.
To make matters worse, when she did find or borrow an exercise video, many times, she couldn’t get past the inaccessible on-screen menus with her remote control. After asking someone for help, she found the instructors didn’t effectively describe the movements, making it impossible to for fitness nuts who are blind or visually impaired to engage in the exercise. In the absence of accessible work out programs, she decided to take action.
Mel Started BlindAlive, a company with a mission to create top quality, well designed fitness programs for the blind and low vision community that are truly accessible. BlindAlive Exercise Audios are available for purchase and download on the company website www.blindalive.com and the fitness audios are fully tested by BLV people to ensure they are totally accessible.
Now we all need to be supportive and put the word out as far as we can to help BlindAlive catch a little traction. It would be nice if everyone who reads this would post it somewhere, check out the website, download a fitness audio or two and send them to someone who could use them. If anyone out there has a connection to the people who created all the massively successful inaccessible fitness videos, please put them in touch with Mel so she can help them create some accessible fitness audios that deliver the same fitness to the BLV community.
As CMO for Discover Technologies, I spend a good portion of my day thinking about section 508 and accessibility challenges and opportunities. I am constantly learning by meeting and talking with a lot of great people and putting them in touch with other inventive thinkers in the accessibility space. Still, it’s always great when someone like Mel comes along with yet another, “Why didn’t I think of that?” great idea. Again, folks – let’s help her help others.