Some useful information from Remap in N Ireland regarding washing machines .
A client rang who has an old Hotpoint washing machine, and Hotpoint had fitted it with an access board so that she could use it although she and her husband are both blind.
To cut a long story short, the machine has broken down. It is not repairable because it is 20+ years old and parts are no longer available.
Hotpoint said at first that the access board could not be fitted to modern machines.
The woman wanted to know if Remap could supply or make an access board to fit a Bosch – it has the functions that she wants in a washing machine.
I said no, we can’t, because there are no identifiable buttons to press or knobs to turn – only contact areas on a perfectly smooth face. These contact areas have to be selected visually, not by touch. To select a setting the user has to choose a function – program, temperature, spin speed – and then repeatedly press the area until the machine toggles to the desired setting.
The enquirer has come back to tell me that Hotpoint have now told him that they can, in fact, supply a new machine that their engineers will fit with an access board.
Unfortunately it’s an entry-level machine; she wants something more advanced, but it’s not feasible to fit an access board. This is the best that Hotpoint can do.
The point is that if any other Panels come up with this problem, here’s a solution – contact Hotpoint.
ps – I’m now told that Miele do a washing machine that can be used by blind people.
Apparently it costs around £900.
Secretary, Remap NI