A new video made the round on social media, in which visually impaired user Kristy Viers uses her iPhone through the accessibility features. Kristy uses various functions like 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 that show her using her iPhone or iPad as a visually impaired person. The first video she posted about using her iPhone went viral and she followed videos showing her using her iPad with Braille input and rotor adjustments.
I thought I would tell how, as someone with a visual impairment, I use my iPhone.☺️ pic.twitter.com/wPI9smOIq0
– Kristy Viers 🦯 (@Kristy_Viers) July 26, 2020
The beauty of Kristy’s videos is that it makes users aware that technology can also be experienced by people with disabilities. Kristy’s Twitter Comments and YouTube Comments were filled with many users asking her questions and learning about these features for the first time, many of whom would benefit from these features too. Many users didn’t even know that the iPhone and iPad had a braille keyboard. Note that Google also added a braille keyboard to Android earlier this year, with a few other accessibility features.
Apple places a huge emphasis on the accessibility features in its software. macOS and iOS have a range of accessibility features that can help people with visual, hearing and mobility problems. For visually impaired users, Apple has built VoiceOver, magnifying glass, color filters, and other display accommodations that allow users to navigate their device. Other features such as Text to Speech to Voice Control, Switch Control and Siri also help users use their devices.
Sarah Herrlinger, director of Global Accessibility Policy at Apple, spoke with TechCrunch to talk about the accessibility features of iPhone:
“The historical impact of the iPhone as a mainstream consumer product is well documented. However, what is less understood is how life-changing iPhone and our other products have been for communities with disabilities, ”said Herrlinger. “Over time, the iPhone has become the most powerful and popular tool ever. It took the form of earlier thinking because it showed that accessibility could in fact be seamlessly built into a device that all people can use universally.”
The company had recently reflected over 30 years of Americans with Disabilities Act. It highlighted stories from musicians, activists, and Apple employees about how they use technology, how the law helps, and where society needs to go to improve. It is enlightening and helps understand how accessibility features in technology are changing the lives of many people for the better.