What I Think Should be Sendero's top Priority for Development and why
By Scott Davert, 12 July, 2013
Sendero Group has published a poll asking users what they would like to see as the next 2 features present in their next release of the Seeing Eye GPS app. It's great that they're taking user feedback seriously, but one of the things that people can vote on seems like it should be a higher priority than the others listed, as it's an accessibility issue.
In Applevis Extra number 14, this author posed the question to Mike May regarding the fact that braille support is challenging in certain areas. Namely, the fact that messages flash across a braille display for a few seconds and are then gone. Mike acknowledged this limitation and further indicated that they were also working on a vibration feature for the app, and that it had been already introduced in an early beta build. This is to compensate for the fact that the auditory alerts present in the app would not be something a deaf-blind user can access. Also, with regard to new information being presented on the display, while an individual who can hear the speech can know that there is new information, someone who cannot hear the speech has no idea when new information is available within the app.
It is my view that this should not be a feature to vote on, but that it should be made a priority in development so that the accessibility of this app can be presented to a wider audience. As Mike indicated that this functionality was already part of the app in an early build, it already can be a work in progress. However, this is one of the eight choices to vote on. I would think that increasing the accessibility of the app to a wider audience would make sense from a business perspective since selling more subscriptions would be good. However, it is listed as a choice. For those who require this functionality, they’re not left with one at all. I certainly understand not wanting your phone to vibrate all the time, as it could put some drain on your battery, it can be quite annoying to some people, which is why I also think it should be a toggled feature, like many other functions of this application already are.
With that in mind, I urge all Applevis members to vote on this as one of the “features” Sendero should implement. While this may not impact you directly, think about the times when an accessibility issue has denied you access to part of an app. Wouldn’t it have been nice if others, outside of those directly effected by your accessibility issues would have joined you in supporting this goal? I thank you for your time and consideration in reading this post, and hope that this will be something Sendero will seriously consider making a feature for those who rely on such notifications to access this type of information.