Interface unit for blind telephone switchboard operators, 1977

Made:
1977 in London
maker:
Imperial College London

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Telephone exchange for use by blind operators, made by Imperial College and the RNIB, London, 1977. Consisting of
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Special interface unit for blind telephone switchboard operators, made by the RNIB, NRDC and Imperial College, London, England, 1977.

In 1977, a project was begun at Imperial College, in partnership with the Royal National Institute for the Blind, to develop an interface unit that would allow blind telephone operators to use modern telephone exchanges. Previously, blind operators had relied on touch, with the standard flashing lights of a telephone exchange unit being replaced with pins that would protrude to indicate different functions. However, this was proving inadequate for the levels of information being made available by telephone exchanges. A new interface unit was designed by Graeme Wood, a post-graduate student at Imperial College, which instead gave basic audio instructions to blind operators. This set was the pioneer equipment that was installed at the Royal National Institute for the Blind.

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Science Museum: Information Age Gallery: Exchange

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Details

Category:
Telecommunications
Object Number:
1989-816/2
Materials:
metal (unknown), paint, plastic (unidentified)
type:
switchboard
taxonomy:
  • component - object
credit:
Donated by The Tana Trust

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