Thread Subject: Re: Touch-based controls language
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From: James Elekes
Date: Fri, Aug 24 2007 9:30 AM
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Deb and Peter,
While I can see the justification in each presentation, I have to
agree with Deb. I had the problem of "Voice" brought home this past
week when travelling via Amtrak from NYC to D.C. The only seats
available were in the "Quiet Car". I was expecting a call and, of
course it came in somewhere between the two points. Rather than
fumbling with the touch controls, I used Voice Input and, was
immediately chastised by the Conductor and several around me. I was
encouraged to step into the foyer between cars (Acccella travelling
at 135 mph). Touch Controls were impracticle due to their
design/position (and the instability of the foyer) but, Voice was
equally inappropriate. What's the option?
My apologies if this situation doesn't add to the discussion but, I
believe it's a practical example of the frustration being experienced
in real life by those of us who have visual impairments.
James J. Elekes, Chairman
Telecommunications, Electronic/Information Technologies Committee
United States Access Board
At 10:37 AM 8/24/2007, you wrote:
>Well I'm concerned that this will sound costic, so I need to say up front
>that it is absolutely a serious recommendation with no attempt at sarcasm.
>If speech output is truly an equivalent to silent operation of devices, then
>it should be the primary means of input and the touch screen controls should
>not be permitted at all. I think my point is, that while it's the only means
>of operating devices for some people, and while it's completely adequate in
>some settings for any person, there are often times that an individual would
>be distracting to others in the environment if they had to speak in a normal
>and clear voice to a device. And there are many devices where the devices
>don't respond well. My cell phone, for example, has great speech in
>capability but I rarely use it because in noisy environments or in places
>where there are other people, it poses a problem. So, I'm waiting to hear
>what, other than speech, is going to be used in place of the touchscreen
>----- Original Message -----
>From: < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
>To: < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
>Sent: Thursday, August 23, 2007 2:57 PM
>Subject: Re: [teitac-hardware] [teitac-closed] Touch-based controls language
>Hi, Debbie. Thanks for responding to my proposed language regarding
>alternatives to touch-based controls. I would like to respond to a couple
>of your points.
>* "If an individual uses a touch screen control, the most equivalent
>alternative is a mechanical control (another form of touch control.)"
>I agree, unless the user has a motion disability with limited dexterity.
>In that case, voice control or some other interface might offer the most
>comparable functionality. I think that requiring functionally equivalent
>mechanical controls is too limiting to innovation.
>* "Use of speech reduces privacy which is essential to the operation of
>I agree that use of speech may reduce privacy, depending on the
>environment in which the device is used. In the case of an information
>kiosk, the user cannot choose the environment, which is why user speech
>must not be required. For mobile products, it seems that there can be
>limited expectation of privacy if the user is in a public environment.
>I'm not sure I agree that privacy is essential to the operation of many
>devices, but I agree that privacy is highly desirable for the operation of
>many devices. I am not a procurement official, but I think that if
>privacy is essential to the operation of a device, the procurement
>official would include private operation as a functional requirement of
>Any other thoughts, or suggestions for wording of the provision? Thanks!
>Federal Reserve Board
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