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visually impaired community, wish to lay before the appropriate parties the following grievances and to respectfully request the implementation of measures
to address them.
We feel that the software and technology designed and produced by specialist companies to improve the lives of visually impaired people is ridiculously
Much of this software and technology is essential to visually impaired people who wish to have equal opportunities in both the work place and in everyday
life as sighted people. However the price of these things often renders them unaffordable to the majority of those with a visual impairment, many of whom
are on fixed incomes. A computer is an essential tool for most visually impaired people, giving them access both to employment prospects, education and
entertainment. Yet we are compelled to pay almost twice the cost of the computer for the special screen reading software which we need to be able to
use it. We are told by the companies that produce this software that prices are so high because we are a limited market, and while we acknowledge there
is some truth in this, we feel that if prices were lowered, many more people would purchase their products and so their market would increase.
We feel ourselves held to ransom by the very people who are supposed to be helping us as we have nowhere else to go for this software and technology
which is essential if we wish to maintain a good quality of life. We wish to see more mainstream companies such as microsoft make their software accessible,
therefore relieving us of the need to purchase expensive screen reading and other software. And we would like to see the price of accessible technology such as braille
displays and accessible PDAs greatly reduced, in order to allow the majority of visually impaired people to take advantage of what today's technology has
to offer, instead of just the lucky few.
We feel that these measures would benefit all concerned, as reduced prices would greatly increase the market for these products since many more people
would be able to afford them. And this in turn would open up the wider world of work and pleasure to many hundreds of people around the world.