star wars themed plastic cup

3 Thoughts On iPhone Accessibility

You want to know something incredible?

  1.  Accessibility of iPhones 

Have you ever really looked through the accessibility features on the iPhone? I have recently purchased the iPhone 6S and the features are incredible. I often wondered how persons with visual impairments may be able to navigate touchscreen phones. My friend Sarah was very fluent with the Blackberry and I imagine she navigates well with the touchscreen phone. I found a voiceover feature, and it was challenging. However, after learning some of the accessible hand gestures for the voiceover feature, it was impressive. You swipe left or right to go up or down the apps, and double-tap to select. The voice would tell you what apps you had selected and provided options for you to open, close, or other internal options of the app.

2. Accessible Apps 

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AccessNow is an amazing app that allows you to pin point accessibility and determine (even before you go) if a place is accessible and to what degree: Accessible, Partially Accessible, Patio Access Only, Not Accessible.

screenshots of the accessnow app

The AccessNow team will contact the restaurant or organization to recommend reviewing their accessibility and provide recommendations to overcome those barriers. Best part is that anyone can use the app – anyone can be apart of that change and empower others with that independence.

I found another interesting app called TapTapSee, and there are so many others that offer similar features. I took some screen shots of TapTapSee:

You take a picture of whatever it is you want to identify and the app will create a description based on what is captured. You can see the descriptions are very accurate:  The first identifying the extra-virgin olive oil as “1 liter splendido cold pressed extra virgin olive oil” and the second identifying Kraft Peanut butter as “Kraft smooth cremeux.” star wars themed plastic cup

I took a picture of one of my awesome silly cups that my friend bought for me, and the app went so far as to recognize that it is Star Wars themed AND plastic! The picture is incredible blurry too (from my slightly shaky hands) and the app was still able to identify the black blur of Kylo Ren and the blurry storm trooper as Star Wars characters. Seriously, the integrity of the description is just amazing.

There are other apps like “Be My Eyes” that work as a live video feed that translates the physical object to a description of what it is.

Be my eyes app front page

The advancement of technology is so mind-blowing (and there really is no other adequate word for it). I was completely taken aback that the app recognized the cup is plastic, let alone the image on the cup.

The first thing I thought was how useful and empowering this app would be for someone with visual impairment grocery shopping. This app would be so useful to identify different canned items, or other packaged non-perishables like pasta noodles and sauces that are difficult to determine based on touch.

     3.  Our lack of awareness of things we do not use

Being able-bodied, I shamefully admit that I have never taken the initiative to explore accessible features on accessible devices like the iPhone. Other than using the display accommodation to invert colours for nighttime use of my phone, I never honestly knew the accessible capacity of the iPhone. @MaayanZiv really brought it to my attention that a lot of the technology we use today are assistive devices. The iPhone has so many features that are assistive. I took a few screenshots to capture my exploration:

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Yes! The iPhone has Braille!

Technology is amazing and while it is continually growing and developing, accessibility is something we have to keep in mind to ensure everyone is able to use them. If you would like to read more accessibility features see The Website of Luiz Perez

2 thoughts on “3 Thoughts On iPhone Accessibility

    • theaccesscode says:

      I am so happy that the iPhone is compatible with these accessible apps! It only makes sense to have useful apps, for sure 🙂 (I cannot comment on Androids)

      Have you used any of these apps, or do you have any app recommendations?

      Like

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