What Next? Blind people driving cars?

Yes, we’ve all heard a variation on that theme when someone questions why it’s necessary to make such adjustments to web sites for blind users. Would we do the same for cars to make them driveable? The answer is, of course, no - people realise that would never happen. But what about flying machines?!

Well, this news just in - a blind pilot has flown from England to Australia:

Miles Hilton Barber story in the BBC News web site

So, time for a disclaimer- he was flying with a fully sighted co-pilot! All the same, it’s a massive achievement but not the first one that Miles Hilton-Barber has had. Among the list of achievements, he has:

  • Completed”The Toughest Foot-race on earth” - 150 miles across the Sahara Desert in the Marathon des Sables
  • Climbed to 17,500 feet in the Himalayas
  • Climbed Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt. Blanc- Africa’s/Europe’s highest mountains
  • Circumnavigated 38,000 miles around world using 80 forms of transport
  • Set the Malaysian Grand Prix lap record for blind driver in 200kph Lotus

Not a bad list of achievements, eh?

Apparently the microlight aircraft is equipped with ’speech-output technology’ (as BBC News put it) to enable him to pilot it. Amazing stuff, but I was a little surprised to see this:

Click here link to Seeing is believing

Did Miles write this page himself or did someone else do it for him? I suspect the latter, as Miles would almost certainly balk at the idea that ‘click here’ links were in use on his own site (why ‘click here’ links are bad). Kind of ironic that the ‘click here’ link goes to a site called Seeing is Believing.

Filed under: Accessibility
Posted by Ian on Monday, April 30, 2007


  1. What’s wrong with blind drivers? There’s a blind taxi driver in Australia….


    Ok, so maybe it’s a joke - but that was the first thing I thought about when I read this post of yours. Still, not to take away from the achievements of the pilot - very impressive!

    Added April 30, 2007 at 11:44 am

  2. So says Craig Francis

    Sorry if this is pointing out the obvious… however, there are quite a few, erm, individuals, don’t quite understand this.

    So to clear things up a little, I would suggest:

    …If you would like to sponsor Miles, please goto the [Seeing Is Believing Website].

    Where the square brackets mark the link.

    Added May 2, 2007 at 8:57 am

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