Nothing symbolizes the marginalization of the visually disabled than the fact that the latest lines of audio players and turntables today come with touch screen interfaces which cannot be operated by the blind at all. Though the push button mechanism of the audio players that were in vogue a few decades ago were a lot simpler and could be operated by the blind who could use their fingers to understand operations, the extensive digitization of music has rendered those music players obsolete and the blind usually have to make use of voice commands to play music. But that takes away all the sensuality of interacting with a music player physically. To counter this disengagement of senses while using a music player, designer Sarah Blott has created the Tactile Turntable.
The Tactile Turntable is basically a record player that allows the blind to interact with record players more intuitively without requiring assistance from a sighted person. Since the experience of playing can be very sensual yet requires some precision and dexterity with one’s hands and fingers, the Tactile Turntable was designed in a manner in which the blind user can “understand” how to use it as he begins to touch its various parts. The turntable allows a blind user something like a guided tour which allows them to gather a sense of what it looks like and how it functions without needing instructions or labels printed on it in Braille.
The turntable is based on a circuit system in which one operation flows onto the other and as the blind user explores the device, he discovers how to play it intuitively. The Tactile Turntable engages both the hands of the blind user which helps them explore the form of the player via its broad outer surface. The device is designed to eliminate the possibility of the user unintentionally triggering any elements.
Source: Sarah Blott