Do washing machines and printers count as gadgets?
I’m not sure but, for me, they certainly fall into the category of things that should make daily life easier.
There is one big proviso for the person with low vision and that is that they must be accessible.
The reason I regard them as gadgets is that, nowadays, they have so many features some of which seem gimmicky and which seem to distract from the main function.
After several hours online and limited in store research, I got out my plastic and headed for the high street.
First the washing machine. Faced with a confusing display of white goods, mostly located either too high or too low for examination of their controls with a magnifier, I sought help from a salesman.
I explained my limited vision and my washing machine needs (in no particular order)
1. Easy to see dials and digital window
2. Simple to use
3. Energy efficiency
5. Price and feature comparisons
He did his best, disappearing from time to time to print out information too small for me to see but his attention was elsewhere and I gave up and went next door for a printer. No problems there, helpful salesman, simple demonstration; printer, paper and ink bought after mild discussion about the cost of ink.
Encouraged, I returned to have another try at buying a washing machine. A different salesman admitted his ignorance and handed me over to a saleswoman. Instant success – functions clearly explained, comparisons made, delivery and installation options settled on. No pressure. I hope I have made the right decision. It would have been easier if the machines were displayed at ground level and I could have seen the controls.
I am waiting for a friend to set up the printer and for the washing machine to be delivered and installed. Will I find them accessible? Watch this space.
Now the vacuum cleaner has gone on strike!