Vision impaired and the green button

A few months ago I first looked at the delayed rollout of LED next train displays around Melbourne railway stations, the uselessness of the green buttons that serve as their substitute around the rest of the network, and the difficulties it presents to the disabled.

Over at Southern Cross they have put a little more effort into their timetable information / emergency assistance intercom, with braille text being added alongside the normal instructions.

Timetable information / emergency assistance intercom on the suburban platforms

Unfortunately the usefulness of the braille translation is debatable, as a commenter on an earlier blog post of mine has pointed out:

If you can read braille and you look at the braille underneath the text on the emergency assistance panels on each platform at Southern Cross you’ll find that the braille reads *exactly* the same as the text i.e. “Press the *green* button for timetable information, press the *red* button for emergency assistance” which is of course *really* useful if you’re blind, one suggests that Left and Right would have been better choices…

Here is a closer look for those playing at home.

'Press green button' spelt out both in normal writing and in Braille

With “Press green button” translating to the following in braille:

Press green button

Yes – the sign may meet the Disability Discrimination Act requirements, but the usefulness of it is debatable.

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10 Responses to “Vision impaired and the green button”

  1. Matt says:

    It’s better than this:
    http://tinypic.com/r/5jsa55/8

    I took that Photo at Edithvale Station Platform 2 in 2011 :p

    • Marcus Wong says:

      From the look of your photo, it seems like the red and green buttons were installed the wrong way around – the text on the mounting ‘brick’ and the backboard looks correct:

      Sticker indicating the red button on the PRIDE box can be used for customer assistance, not just emergencies

  2. Charlotte says:

    My favourite unusable accessibility addition would have to be the braille on the myki machines. It’s right above the touchscreen, which you obviously cannot use if you’re vision impaired or blind. If it says anything beyond “speak to station staff” it’s useless, as I assume it probably says “use touchscreen”

    • Philip says:

      So this appears to be a failing in the Disability Discrimination Act. Not surprising, since the whole Act is named the opposite of what it is supposed to achieve.

      If they can put Braille messages like that on a machine without actually making the device compatible with disabled access but still be deemed to comply with the law, the law is a waste of time.

      I pushed the green button once and was connected to the phone line for the red button. The man who answered was extremely rude and abusive, so it must have connected me to the nearest staffed station.

  3. […] Thanks a Real Lot ∞ […]

  4. Eugene says:

    Good thing that regardless of which button you press, you should be able to get some help.

  5. Gord says:

    Also not that the buttons discriminate against Red/Green colourblind people.

  6. […] all sites fine, until there is dreaded red text on a green background or instructions that are to push the green button not the red button. Thankfully this is a lot less common though still not unheard of (though some train stations in […]

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