Customers have their say
Blind and partially sighted people are the best source of knowledge about the lives of our customers.
We facilitate ongoing consultation with blind and partially sighted people through dedicated panels. This page gives information about these customer panels and how those involved have contributed their expertise to influence the design of products and services for the benefit of all blind and partially sighted people.
The Inside View panel focuses on issues of accessing mainstream media and technology. Panel members have been involved in several projects targeted at creating a step change in the reality of fully accessible services. Since the panel was established in 2010, Inside View has discussed a wide range of topics including the accessibility of mobile phones and eBooks, and user testing Windows 8. Inside View has helped to secure:
- the inclusion of a free text enlarger and contrast solver for BlackBerry handsets
- the inclusion of a screen reader for mobile phones that might also be free
- changes to Amazon's Kindle to make it more accessible
- British Midland making the drop down menu feature on their website accessible.
Inside View members are very encouraged by these successes and eager to engage on a broader range of topics.
P3A: Panel of the Third Age
P3A is a new panel launched in September 2014 and consists of 8 members aged 60 plus. This panel contributes to projects in development by way of feedback and advice on issues such as housing, eye clinics, peer support and reaching target audiences.
Phone Watch aims to give blind and partially sighted people the opportunity to engage directly with manufacturers and software developers from across the mobile industry. Industry experts are invited to attend and speak about the latest developments in mobile technology and forthcoming innovations in mobile accessibility. Phone Watch panel members have a highly interactive, hands on experience with the latest mobile devices and accessibility software and can immediately give feedback to industry experts so that more blind and partially sighted people will be able to confidently use mobile technology.
Phone Watch is one way of allowing us to keep abreast of users' needs, enabling us to keep a finger on the pulse of current consumer experiences and gather important feedback for future developments.
Since the sessions are highly interactive, participants exchange lots of ideas with one another. We will work to document this information to share with other blind and partially sighted people.
Engagement with Young people
Listening to young blind and partially sighted people is helping us to build up our understanding of the issues they face, to learn about what is important to them and what they want from us.
This engagement has enabled us to:
- shape the research we do with young people
- influence Action for Blind People's services for Young people
- develop our plans for transition services for young people across education, independence and employment support
- work with young people on campaigns issues
- inform "Seeing it my way" - an initiative to ensure that every blind and partially sighted person has access to the same range of information and support.
We are working to establish a Young People's Forum to give young blind and partially sighted people a more formal route to raise the issues that matter most to them and to influence the future direction of our work.
Consumer View panel
Launched in January 2014, Consumer View engages directly with service providers to assist in making the services and products they provide accessible to blind and partially sighted people. The panel has experienced early success via consultation with Dolphin Computer Access Ltd and Google Belgium.
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