Mobile Assistive Technologies for People With Low Vision and Blindness
While smartphones and tablets are helpful in everyday life, those with low vision and blindness may find it difficult or even impossible to use them. Fortunately, smartphone manufacturers and software developers are aware of the problem and work to implement many accessibility features on mobile devices so people with low vision can use them.
Accessibility Features Included in Mainstream Devices
Smartphones are available in many shapes and sizes and come from a variety of manufacturers around the world. However, many consumers use mainstream smartphones and tablets made for use with Apple and Android operating systems. Fortunately, there may already be accessibility functions on your phone that you may not know about.
Third-Party Apps for People With Low Vision and Blindness
Unfortunately, not all smartphones offer built-in visual assistance apps, or if they do, they are mediocre at best. Luckily, there are many third-party apps that can help people with low vision use their smartphone to its fullest capacity. These apps can help users with low vision identify items in front of them, read digital text, write, and detect light and color.
Accessible Phones and Accessories
There are also smart devices and accessories specifically designed for people with low vision and blindness. Accessible phones must be made to support a range of vision impairments and can include amenities like big buttons, different colored buttons, high contrast screens, and voice recognition technology. These companies have created and optimized phones and accessories so that people with low vision can use smartphones to their full advantage.
Assistive Smart Home Technology
Automated home technology first emerged in the late 1990s and early 2000s. A smart home allows homeowners to control appliances, thermostats, lights, and other devices through an internet connection with one remote. Smart home technology offers many benefits, including:
For people with disabilities, this technology offers unique benefits, including:
People with low vision or blindness can take advantage of smart home technology designed with their impairment in mind.
Accessibility Feature Resource
Not only are there devices with accessible features, but there are also many resource organizations created to help people with a range of vision impairments too. Many of these organizations offer resources beyond mobile technology, including articles, programs and services, monthly meetups, and guides to ensure blind people are included in today’s modern technology.