SUF for the blind

Has there ever been any thought for making Sufferfest more accessible to blind cyclists?

Strange question perhaps - it’s not a typically blind pursuit. But I have a tandem partner who’s blind (yes, he’s stoker, not pilot:) and during the last year has had to make do with a turbo trainer as he’s in a high-risk category and can’t risk being with others. Turbo training alone is bad enough, but if you’re blind, it’s worse. I know the sound effects help, but any chance of having an audio assist version where the text on screen is read out?

15 Likes

nicktick, I am not blind but have found myself wishing for the same thing often - can get an awfully sore neck looking up at the TV and since I chew stem so much I tend to miss a lot.

I hope this request gains traction! Kudos to your friend.

:joy: Love your clarification! Bet there’s a fundraising challenge in there somewhere though…like the blindfolded spouse lawn-mower driving games etc…

imo that’s an excellent point. I see the Sufferlandrian philosophy as being open to everyone (even Couchlandrians), we just have to make it happen. why shouldn’t a vision impaired / hearing impaired / otherwise challenged person be able to ride with us? the challenge we have to now accept is just help them to make it possible. right… not terribly easy I guess, but why not give it a go? find a way? I’d love to help!

2 Likes

Suff has been my primary means of maintaining fitness since losing my vision several years ago. (Just smashed ToS nuclear-style and in my best shape since I used to race.)

Between erg mode, sound effects, and music, the software helps me get the work in. Sometimes I feel like I’m missing out on the workout prompts and video. It’d be a game-changer if the software team could spend a bit of time on the workout player layout so that the prompts could get picked up easily by screenreaders. There’s also a bunch of bugs with things like unlabeled buttons. I reported this all years ago, but I understand that the software team has been slogging through their current rewrite cycle or whatever - I’m hoping that whatever’s coming will lead to more improvements.

On a more positive note, Norway was a truly phenomenal workout and I felt pretty included and immersed. Lots of attention put into details that translated for those who can’t see, from the audio mastering, DS instructions, erg and gradient simulation, and the realism of the effort itself. It stirred up a lot of nostalgia for me and I’m super grateful.

16 Likes

Thanks for your post @nicktick! The workout player will hopefully :crossed_fingers: be undergoing a refactor in the not-too-distant future, and accessibility will be a key component of that.

Well done on smashing the Tour @zeejaws - you rock! :metal:

6 Likes

That’s awesome zeejaws. How do you go with cadence targets? Does you screenreader tell you when the cadence changes? And how do you know if you are on the right cadence?
congrats for kicking ToS nuclear. I am dissapointed I had to pull out with 1.5 stages to go, but the combination of being sick, work, having to organise and run a real life race, and having young children took me out. :frowning: Next year!

Chris

Yeah, staying on top of cadence targets is challenging. With a screen reader you can navigate to read the current target, but it’s tough to do when you’re in the middle of a hard effort, and in cases where there’s a target shift you can’t really tell.

I’m really thankful to hear that there’s time planned to work on the workout player’s accessibility. I feel like there’s a few super targeted things that could be done that could make a huge difference. I’m always happy to help with any sort of usability feedback or testing. :slight_smile:

5 Likes