To the blind all is sudden

Sunday 1 of advent Swedish cities have “skyltsöndag“. This is to get the Christmas feeling starting. The shops are open and display Christmas decorations in the windows. Some serve “glögg och pepparkakor” (mould wine and ginger bread).  According to wikipedia the first skyltsöndag was in Stockholm 1953. had together with Shiva Tea House also opened and I served glögg and “æbleskiver” from 12.00-18.00. Æbleskiver is a Danish tradition/delicates and are mostly enjoyed at Christmas time served with icing sugar and jam.  Translated to English æbleskiver is apple slices but these days there is no sign of apples in it. It’s a small ball made of a sort of pancake dough. In the old days (1700) it was slices of apples fried in flour and butter.

Among all of the visitor there was a very nice, happy and friendly blind couple. They were born blind and could only distinguish between light and dark. I served them æbleskiver and glögg and tried to explain what it was. The challenge was when they asked what kind of shop is – what kind of interior decoration is it? It was really a big challenge because how to describe a pink drawer, grand-pa watches, silver glossy tin cans, multi coloured patch work blankets etc. to someone  who always been blind?

We also had a talk about the internet. Even if they were blind they surfed the internet. Some blind people use “read back” that read the content on the page. This couple used a Braille pad where they read the content on the page with their fingertips, incredible. This made me think about the importance of web accessibility. Just think about a small detail as a phone number written 12345678 which is twelve million three-hundred and forty-five thousand six-hundred and seventy-eight instead of 12 34 56 78  – twelve thirty-four fifty-six seventy-eight…

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