Tech Accessibility Features

The latest iPad can be seen as a luxury item for a lot of users.  Many people buy them simply to play games or watch movies. However, for some people, these modern digital devices can be used to change the way they live their lives, and they can open up a whole new world which was hitherto impossible for them to reach.

Cameron Faulkner, the U.S. mobile editor at TechRadar, a website which gives advice on technical devices, recently wrote an interesting piece about how his own eyes were opened when he encountered a woman with a visual impairment. Faulkner recounts the time when he was a sales assistant at a campus tech-shop selling computers and accessories to students. His work involved giving advice on the best products to suit the diverse needs of the students, depending on their own knowledge and their requirements for the various courses. But, it was when a student who is blind asked for his assistance to find an iPad that Faulkner’s light bulb moment ignited, and he saw the ubiquitous tablet in a whole new light. The customer took the iPad and started tapping on the home screen. When it was clear she was not achieving the result she needed, she asked the bemused Faulkner to activate a few of the settings. It was then the tablet seemed to take on a whole new life. Just checking a few boxes in the settings menu allowed the customer to swipe and toggle the curser between app icons as it read text aloud to guide her. Faulkner says he realized then the iPad’s usefulness had grown infinitely with just a few small adjustments. He realized the device was no longer just the luxury item but a meaningful tool which revolutionizes the relationship people with disabilities can have with technology.

Faulkner hopes his reflection on this pivotal moment will highlight the positive aspects technology can have on the world of accessibility, and he hopes there will be even more developments from tech companies to help make the world more inclusive.

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