I have been lax on the postings lately because I underwent Lasik surgery on my eyes to correct bad near sightedness. It was an interesting experience from a technology perspective. At one point they do a full refractive analysis of my eye -- how is my lens is bending the light into my eye. I sit in front of a device that measures my prescription, and maps the surface of my eye -- all the minor imperfections I have come to know as my vision. They capture this data, burn it to a DVD and insert the data into the laser to program the device to burn my lens to just the right refractive properties. It was fascinating to see the map of the refraction, and to walk throught the process of capturing the data through to burning my lens.
The whole experience really brought to light (pun intended) the importance that technology can play in the lives of people -- particularly in healthcare. As I sat there in the waiting room, around me were people who were losing their sight from macular degeneration, from cataracts, and glaucoma. In each case, technology was being brought to bear to help them keep their vision.
The other thing that happened for me was to realize how vision-based our technology is today. Many times in recovery from this procedure, I have not been able to sit and look at a monitor. Not being able to do so has meant not being able to get much work done. My technological environment is not very accessible to someone who cannot see well. Moreover, I have been reminded that despite all the technology and all the multimedia, so much of what we do is read at work -- even in meetings we read presentations, white boards, and notes.
I am now going to be paying a bit more attention to other media and how we make accessible our content to people who cannot read for long periods.