Access for Blind Yamaha MX User

The MX series combines Motif XS sounds, USB Audio/MIDI connectivity and advanced DAW/VST controller features at a ground breaking level of affordability.

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Saul
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Re: Access for Blind Yamaha MX User

Unread post by Saul » Wed Nov 07, 2018 4:43 pm

Hi JosePiano, welcome to yamahamusicians.com :)

As a sighted person I can only begin to imagine what it is like to be totally blind and you are quite right, just closing ones eyes will never get close because as you say we are all geared up for using our sight where a blind person is used to navigating the world in a very different way.

Thanks for the info on how to use the MX. Probably buttons are still the way forward for now although I am sure there are some features of a touch screen that a blind person would be able to use?
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Re: Access for Blind Yamaha MX User

Unread post by Logan9Fingers » Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:33 am

I would like to put my own two pennies worth into what has been said so far.
First, a touch screen is not inaccessible in itself. Only the people developing the software cause them to be inaccessible to visually impaired people. Cue Apple, and more recently, Android. I am a blind IOS and Windows 10 user, and I assure you that there really isn't anything a blind person cannot do with touch screens using these operating systems, provided the third party developer has considered accessibility from the start of the develpment process. There are exceptions, but very few...one of which would visual games, where the object of the game relies entirely on visuals. Even those such games could be designed in such a way that would make it possible for a visually impaired person to play them...but that's another discussion.

Apple, Microsoft, Google, Panasonic, and Samsung, have all released main stream products, such as smart phones, computers, TVs, and much more, that have been developed using a touch screen that uses voice over for pretty much 95% accessibility. Where there is text or values involved, you can use a screen reader/text to speech engine, to read it aloud, as you run your finger over the screen. When this functionality is switched on, the touch screen no longer operates on first touch, but instead it takes a double tap to activate the item. Further gestures such as swiping up/down/left/right, will allow navigation around the screen, not forgetting that moving a finger over the screen will allow the screen to read out what the finger is touching, only activating once it is double tapped. This is pretty much standard across the market. Apple, for example, have worked out the clear benefit to expanding their market potential across all the world's blind people. Not only do you expand the market, but they also worked out that in this barren wasteland of very few accessible devices, if they were to create something accessible, the word would spread like wildfire throughout the blind community across the globe. We blind people are using computers, social media, smart phones, and as such, that word spreads very quickly.

Even smaller companies that produce smart speakers, bluetooth headsets and other peripherals, are using voice driven menus to use those products. Companies are cottoning on to the fact that including a relatively inexpensive speech chip (adding pennies to the total cost) to their products is a no brainer from a marketing point of view.

Believe me when I tell you that there is no technical reason why even keyboard workstations couldn't be fully accessible. Right now, if Yamaha were so inclined, they could add speech to all their touch screen keyboards, and even the button controlled displays on keyboards like the Tyros 5. The chips are already out there. It's purely a mindset. Where there's a will, there's an easy way.

If Panasonic and Samsung can do it (direct rivals of Yamaha), and Apple and Google too...then Yamaha can certainly do it.

If you all want to help and are genuinely sympathetic, think of all the blind, or even partially sighted people you know that would benefit from this technology. All of you, individually write to Yamaha, and tell them what I've said. Even if they don't see the value in giving blind and partially sighted people access to a way of utilising their hearing, by making music, then let them see how financially it is a win win situation for them.

Remember, there is no reason why a touch screen cannot be used, in full, by even a totally blind person...just ask a blind iPhone user!
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Re: Access for Blind Yamaha MX User

Unread post by Saul » Tue Nov 13, 2018 10:03 am

Hi Logan9Fingers, a very warm welcome to yamahamusicians.com :)

I absolutely agree with you that there is no technical reason why a sight impaired person should not be able to navigate touch screen devices and indeed you have given some great examples of how this can be achieved.

I will be happy to forward your post to some people I know at Yamaha and I would encourage others to do the same.
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Re: Access for Blind Yamaha MX User

Unread post by Chummy » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:17 am

Hey sorry if this has been already said as I skimmed the thread. but the MX series is definitely the choice to go for her!! anything with a touch screen is out of the question IMHO. The MX layout reminds me of the DX7's: lots of push buttons , not many other rotary encoders/sliders and easy to split/layer without diving into a hundred menus (even easier on the MX actually than DX). I wouldn't have suggested any other board.



Here's what Ray Charles used to do on his KX-88: he put Braille stickers on it to represent functions he would memorize in his head (thus it's like muscle memory for him). The KX-88 retrains the "mass buttons" design that both DX7 and MX still utilizes which is why I'd say go for it!
I wish they wouldn't keep instruments like that in the museum as they are meant to be played rather than sit and eat dust behind a glass wall.
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