Making Printers More Accessible to the Physically Impaired

All of us know the importance of printers. We all use them to produce hard copies of our needed documents. For example, we use printers to produce legal documents that we shall have notarized at the local notary public. We use printers to produce copies of our white papers for school. Yet another use for them is to print out application letters and resumes that will be used when one is applying for work.

The use of printers also goes beyond personal. They are also useful for business. There are some people who cannot afford printers and use an Internet café’s printer in order to have their important documents printed. That is just the most common use of printer for businesses. There are other uses as well.

One such use is digital photo printing. Digital cameras are on the rise nowadays. Because of that, there also arises a need for professional printing with these devices in mind. The use of darkrooms to process films and negatives are almost gone. Instead, they are now replaced by digital photo printers that are capable of reading pictures from directly the camera through USB connection or through the memory card. These printers are also capable of connecting to a mobile phone through Bluetooth or infrared. This way, the pictures can be transferred and printed.

Another use for printers in businesses is through variable data printing, arguably the most important use it has for business. The variable data printers allow a business to produce customized marketing materials that can help make the correspondence with the client intimate and personal, something that marketers will recognize as a very useful tool for building a good business relationship with a client and even with a prospect. These printers make it possible for those marketers.

In short, everyone can use printers–everyone, that is, unless you have something that hinders your effectiveness. With that in mind, how can one make printers accessible to the physically impaired?

Who Are the Physically Impaired?

First off, the ones with the greatest physical handicap to using the printers are the blind. The deaf can use the computer to type and to print. You can’t dictate documents to them, but you can write a draft that they can type up and print. People confined to wheelchairs, obviously, still have use of their hand and can still type and print.

The blind, however, cannot see. So how can you make computers and printers accessible to the blind?

The Braille System

The answer is to provide printers and computer keyboards that make use of the Braille printing system. This is a touch-based mechanism used by the blind in order to read documents. Instead of letters, the document will feature a series of dots that only the blind will be able to understand. They “read” documents by touching the dots, a certain configuration of each representing a specific symbol or ASCII character. The Braille system, fortunately, has already been used in some customized printers that spew out Braille symbols that the blind can use. Some computer keyboards also make use of Braille symbols in the keys instead of or together with the ASCII symbols.

Improve Your Business ROI with VDP (Variable Data Printing)

The concept of variable data printing, or VDP, has been popular among businesses these days. That is because of the many convenient and useful features that the on-demand printing has to offer the business.

VDP is a fully automated process that allows for bulk printing of paraphernalia while allowing for customization for each individual piece of printed material. For example, in a batch of 60 letters, each letter can have a different letterhead or printed information pertaining to the individual recipient of each letter. It’s basically just like applying the basic layout of a letter into different letters with different recipients and information. The only difference with the customization is that the entire process is fluid and nonstop.

How does a VDP machine do that? It feeds upon an external device that provides it with a set of information to be printed in each individual printed material. Hence, it is possible with this sequential information for the process to go on smoothly while the printer’s onboard computer handles the switching from this information to the other and printing them onto the medium.

In the marketing circle, the presence of variable data printing is said to be a very big factor for the business’s ROI activities. ROI means “return on investment” and is a measure taken by the company to make sure that the investment they made on marketing will be returned through profits and revenues. This means that ROI activities include making follow-ups with potential clients—leads–so that they can get back the money they spent for marketing.

How does VDP help in that exactly? Here are some of the instances:

1. Variable data printing allows you to become more personal with your marketing approach with your clients. Since you are specifically addressing him in the letter, despite having a basic layout similar to all the other letters in the series, it gives the feeling that you are trying to build a personal relationship with them. That can give leads the impression that you are serious with them. Simply put, variable data printing is very useful for building trust that ultimately leads to brand loyalty.

2. VDP allows you to customize the appearance of each letter. Following a basic layout, several parts of it can be customized in order to address a specific client’s preferences. They can introduce graphics and even images that can capture the fancy of a customer.

3. Even after the client has closed a deal with you, you can let them know that you still care. You can use VDP’s capabilities to come up with a follow-up letter that is suitable for his purchase. For example, if he bought a digital camera from your shop, you can use the capabilities of your variable data printer to come up with a reminder or a guide that tells him about taking good care of the camera.

In other words, the customizing capability of the variable data printers is vital in coming up with intimate and personal correspondence with your leads or potential clients. This personal and intimate relationship can really make a difference and is more rewarding than having a robotic or synthetic relationship with your clients.