Monday, April 15, 2013

A Step in the Right Direction: Braille Burgers



I'm all for when companies strive for inclusion. The mentality is to provide the best experience for each of their customers no matter their circumstance. These altruistic goals should be celebrated but sometimes the execution of them aren't up to par. I'm testing out a new series of post entitled A Step In The Right Direction which will showcase the inclusion efforts of companies and how they can improve upon them.
The first case I want to discuss is the efforts of the South African burger chain Wimpy. The burger-chain came up with the ingenious idea of making "Braille Burgers". These burgers have sesame seeds arranged in braille on the buns for blind customers. The company felt this would be a great way to get the word out that they would have braille menus at their restaurants. So you might be thinking what's the problem? It's the marketing silly, the marketing.
Wimpy's efforts to promote their company as being accommodating to the blind didn't take in account the limitations of other disabled people. The video featured above was user-made because the original corporate made video lacked narration. The company failed to realize that visually impaired and blind customers consume information in various forms including via video. Not all people who are labeled blind can not see or know how to read braille. For instance I can make out most of the content in the video but I had a difficult time reading the text featured in the video. The nature of my particular visual impairement (low vision) makes it difficult to read what I like to call "fancy fonts". These fonts are designed to more be aesthetically pleasing but for someone who is visually impaired they are difficult to read. Imagine these fonts combined with a color background that doesn't provide for proper contrast and it becomes more difficult. It would of been helpful if the company thought of this before creating their video. Also in the comment section of the original video many commenters pointed out that some of the braille featured in the video was incorrect amongst other concerns.
I do commend the company for taking a step in the right direction by creating the braille burger campaign. I think the company's idea actually helped bring inclusion efforts into focus in the greater world. The more that greater society knows about the disabled the more help we will receive. What do you think about this case? How would you help them out?

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