A record spinning on a Technics SL-1210 record player. The light is reflecting off the grooves of the black vinyl and in the foreground the speed controller is set to 33 1/3 RPM

Agatha Christie to Aretha Franklin: From talking books to LPs and the benefits of accessible design for all

Last time out we looked at the concept of disability not being a medical term, but a social construct in the article Disabled in an Abled World. This time, I’d like to delve into this further, exploring what can be done to make a more accessible space for everyone and how the benefits of inclusive …

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A view from the window of a train travelling north to through southern Scotland. In the foreground is a river running through fields with rolling hills in the background

Twelve hours to Glasgow – One blind person’s account on travelling during a heat wave

What a week, after starting it with the hottest temperatures on record, I had the unenviable task of heading north for work. Whilst my colleagues all flew, I opted to catch the train because, although slower, having the choice between travelling by train or air with a visual impairment, I always opt to stay as …

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A LED light driver and a strip of dotless LED lights on a reel

Letting the (brick) dust settle – Part 5: Lighting it up

It’s almost 30 degrees Celsius and we’ve just finished checking in over 100 boxes from Friday’s kitchen delivery. Aside from one or two discrepancies everything seems to be just about in order ready for installation to begin tomorrow morning. It’s been 7 weeks since we last had a “proper” home-cooked meal in our own home …

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A white sheet with the letters W, I and C written in braille

Letting the (brick) dust settle – Part 4: That perfect souffle

Surely the most straightforward part of designing a kitchen is choosing the appliances, right? For some it’s simply a case of going for a preferred manufacturer, for others it will be what works the best and for some it will be driven by budget. Still others may spend hours on end trawling the review websites …

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Letting the (brick) dust settle – Part 3: Opening up to nature

This week was an exciting one in the ongoing kitchen renovations as it came with the installation of one of the key components – bifold windows. The importance of this is twofold. Firstly, it demonstrates how big and bright the space will be and, secondly, it creates that direct link between the inside and outside …

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An open space with a large blue steel beam across the middle and a smaller red beam bolted to it at right-angles supporting the floor above. Along one wall is a series of electrical wiring and a clock is above the open door

Letting the (brick) dust settle – Part 2: The design

As mentioned in last week’s post, over the next few weeks I’d like to showcase some of the elements of our new kitchen design that will hopefully ensure the space remains suitable long after the decline in my sight reaches its inevitable conclusion. going to focus on the actual kitchen layout. It goes without saying …

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Exposed ceiling joists being held up by acrow support posts with a broken wall to the side

Letting the (brick) dust settle – An introduction into accessible kitchen design

When talking about modifying a space to make it more accessible, one typically conjures up images of a clinical, functional space littered with those chunky white plastic grab handles like someone has just finished kitting out a nursing home and have a job lot of handles left over! But if TV shows like DIY SOS …

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An iPhone resting against a laptop screen, both screens are open at the Blind Man with a Backpack homepage. The laptop has accessibility software open showing a zoom level of 6x

The Cookies Banner and the Screen Reader – The ongoing conflict to make the Internet accessible to all

Recently I’ve been spending an extraordinary amount of time sat in railway waiting rooms and the usual way to pass this time is no different to anybody else - staring at my phone, browsing Facebook or Twitter, playing some random game, or simply doing a bit of online shopping. The difference is that I use …

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Chris, a white man in his forties with a greying beard is stood, wearing a tweed flat cap, wraparound sunglasses, green jacket and blue jeans holding a long white cane. he is stood on a viewing platform next to The Iron Bridge at Ironbridge, Shropshire.

The latest member of the Severely Sight Impaired Club

The last of the old articles and a huge milestone for me. Things are continuing to change which is an ongoing adjustment with using new accessibility tools and finding ways to adapt to different environments. First posted: 6 January 2022 Once more, I’m sat with pen in hand on a train, this time waiting at …

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