I was listening to a talk on Monday about accessibility. The speaker was talking about how to make web content accessible to people with all kinds of disabilities including those without sight, hearing, or the abilitity to control their hands. One of the more interesting parts of the talk was when he pulled out his business card which is printed in text and also brailled. The point of the brailling is not so that his card can be read by blind people, in fact only about 10% of blind people actually read braille, it’s to remind people, generally sighted ones, to think about the fact that a standard business card can’t be used by everybody and that a lot of things that we use and expect other people to use aren’t always universally accessible.
I noticed the e-mail signature for a friend at work does the same thing. Below her title and contact information reads: “Please consider our environment before printing this e-mail or its attachments–thank you!!” I rarely have the need to print out her e-mails or attachments but just the idea that the line is in there reminds me to stop for a second and think about my use of the resources around me. I like the idea of small ways to remind me to be more aware of the people and things around me and look forward to stumbling upon and incorporating more of them into my routine.