This is How Visually Impaired Users Use iPhone via Accessibility Features
A new video has been making the rounds on social media which shows visually impaired user Kristy Viers using her iPhone through its accessibility features. Kristy uses various features such as VoiceOver and Braille Keyboard to use apps like Twitter and Safari on her iPhone.
Kristy Viers, on Twitter as @Kristy_Viers, shared a few videos which make show how she uses her iPhone or iPad as a visually impaired person. The first video she posted of using her iPhone went viral and she has followed up with videos showing how she uses her iPad with Braille input and rotor adjustments.
I thought I would share how I, as someone who is visually impaired use my iPhone.☺️ pic.twitter.com/wPI9smOIq0
— Kristy Viers 🦯 (@Kristy_Viers) July 26, 2020
The beauty of Kristy's videos is that it is bringing awareness to users that technology can also be experienced by people with disabilities. Kristy's Twitter responses and YouTube comments were filled with many users asking her questions and learning about these features for the first time, many of whom would be able to benefit from these features too. Many users were not even aware that the iPhone and iPad included a Braille keyboard. Note that Google also added a Braille keyboard earlier this year to Android, with a few other accessibility features.
Apple puts a tremendous focus on the accessibility features in its software. macOS and iOS have a suite of accessibility features that can help people with visual, hearing, and mobility impairments. For visually impaired users, Apple has built VoiceOver, magnifier, color filters, and other display accommodations that help users navigate their device. Other features like Text to Speech to Voice Control, Switch Control, and Siri also help users with using their devices.
Sarah Herrlinger, Director of Global Accessibility Policy at Apple, spoke to TechCrunch to talk about iPhone's accessibility features:
“The historical impact of iPhone as a mainstream consumer product is well documented. What is less understood though is how life changing iPhone and our other products have been for disability communities,” said Herrlinger. “Over time iPhone has become the most powerful and popular assistive device ever. It broke the mold of previous thinking because it showed accessibility could in fact be seamlessly built into a device that all people can use universally.”
The company had recently reflected on 30 years of Americans with Disabilities Act. It highlighted stories from musicians, activists, and Apple employees on how they use technology, how the law helps, and where society needs to go next to improve further. It is an enlightening read and helps understand how accessibility features in technology change many people's lives for the better.