advocate for access
 
The Blind Spot was a joint effort between students in the Community Based Design Class at Metropolitan State College of Denver (Metro), and students at the Colorado Center for the Blind (CCB). The CCB, located in Littleton, CO, is one of only three facilities of its type in the US, where innovative teaching techniques are employed to help lift students who are blind to new levels of independence.
We focused our dialog through the filter of technology and communications, and worked together to find a way we could use our design skills to make an improvement in this area. Students demonstrated how tactile markers help them use the iPhone, and expressed the need for similar markers on many other types of technology.
Blind Spot advocates for positive change. It enables people who are blind through the use of “spots” which call attention to inaccessible features in our shared environment. They can log the locations they have spotted on our website as a way of helping others. The website will offer resources for businesses and public organizations to help them learn how to improve accessibility. 
Another hot topic for the CCB at the time was Denver’s RTD (Regional Transportation District), the public transport system. They cited several things that RTD was doing right, such as a uniform layout which puts all northbound tracts to the east and all southbound tracks to the west. However, they also cited areas for improvement; they suggested a better, more logical layout, Braille, and succinct audio instructions for the buttons on the kiosk where passengers purchase tickets.
 
Furthermore, RTD had proposed route changes which would affect the students’ ability to get from the apartment building most of them live in to the school. As a result of their concerns, we decided to launch our project during a public event at an RTD station. We brought all of the materials we had designed, and allowed the students to demonstrate our website and read our Braille collateral to the audience.
We sent out a press release and launched the program at the Littleton RTD station on December 7, 2011. A reporter came from the Littleton Tribune and wrote a story about the Blind Spot project. Since that time, we have also received press in the Denver Post and This Week @ Metro. 
 
The class has applied for grants to allow this program to hire a webmaster and go live. This program is fully scalable and we hope that it will became a reality, and spread across the country. 
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