Being the champion in technological accessibility, as I have mentioned before, Apple has opened many doors for people, including those with disabilities. No one is left out. I became a Mac user in elementary school. In fact, it was the first computer I had ever owned. I was re-introduced to the Apple line in 2010, when I was on the market for a new phone. This time around, I was a blind user, unlike my experience in elementary school, thus my needs were different. When I was in the market for a new cell phone, I had done research on the best accessible phones for those with visual impairments, and the iPhone came up as one of them. Although the accessibility feature for the iPhone was fairly new for the iPhone, Apple was generating buzz. Particularly, for their built in screen reader, VoiceOver.
Initially the sales person, through my cell phone carrier, was hesitant in selling me the phone because of the touch screen. I told him about the positive reviews I have heard about it, to which I was told that if it didn’t work out, I could bring it back. Let’s just say that I did not take back the phone, and in fact, I have had several iPhone models since then. Here are 10 ways the iPhone is accessible.
1. VoiceOver ~ Built in screen reader for those with visual impairments. In addition, some people with dyslexia use this feature as well.
2. Zoom Text ~ Magnification capability for those with low vision.
3. Magnifying glass ~ A real magnifying glass, but on the phone. Point the iPhone to whatever needs to be magnified.
4. Camera ~ Allows independence for taking pictures. People have the option to set a timer for selfies, while telling how many people are in the frame. The camera also tells the position of the people in the frame.
5. FaceTime ~ Allows people the option to see each other when conversing, such as hearing impaired individuals. Sign language is at a person’s fingertips.
6. Dictation ~ This feature is not only a time saver and convenient, but it helps those who my not be able to type for varying reasons, such as a disability.
7. Siri ~ The built in assistant that many have grown to love. You can ask Siri anything, to which she always has a clever response. Information gathering made easier.
8. Hearing Aids ~ Made for iPhone hearing aids allows a person to control what they hear through Bluetooth technology. A person can adjust volume, etc., making participation in conversations easier.
9. TTY Capability ~ Built in software allows a person to make TTY calls without added hardware.
10. Switch Control ~ Allows people to have access to their phone with no need to touch it. Good option for those with physical impairments that impact movements.
These are just a few accessibility options that the iPhone has to offer. So, as a tribute to 10 years, how about you take full advantage of the iPhone, by noticing all that it has to offer?