Tech Chat on Zoom

Tech Chat on Zoom

As part of our April Tech Chat on Zoom we were joined by Dick Watson who for many years has been working hard to secure ongoing funding and support needed for the Totnes to Dartington Access for All pathway.

Previously our clients from the Totnes Talk and Support group had joined Dick and walked the pathway to give feedback on ways in which the path could become as accessible as possible for people with sight loss. This was a very useful exercise which identified areas such as  signage formats, the provision of higher tap rails and areas of difficulty for people with sight loss such as cattle grids, tactile underfoot indicators for keeping to route when pathway splits, low bollards and over grown paths. Dick was delighted to report that he had been successful in receiving practical and financial commitment to the maintenance and improvement of the pathway and that all the recommendations had since been actioned.

Staff and clients embracing a new way of communicating via Zoom

The next stage was to ensure that the webpage for this pathway was also accessible.

Dick had asked our clients to review how user friendly the Dartington Website and in particular the pages relating to the Totnes to Dartington Access for All pathway. This webpage also has an audio description of the whole walk describing views, history and local fauna and group participants were able to feedback to Dick how they had managed to navigate the website and audio files. Our sight loss Advisor Richard had accessed the website using Windows and android platforms and Dan a group member had done the same using ISOS platforms.

Group members were also able to discuss with Dick the different apps and equipment that could support with signage along the pathway. Dick was interested to find out if there was any programme or app that could describe or read a map of the route. He was advised that the map could be magnified using the accessibility function of the webpage but there was no programme or app that would be able to read a map and suggested a text description of the map to add for people with little or no useable sight. There was also a discussion about tactile maps that are used in some National Trust Sites or the use of apps such as Lazarillo where a route is laid using GPS this can then be shared with other users.

Dick will take all the feedback and recommendations given to his next meetings with the organisations responsible for the pathway.

The group have also planned to re-walk the pathway as a planned activity once the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. This will be an opportunity to review how well route planning apps such as Lazarillo will work along the route.