Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Friday, March 25, 2011

The World of Mobile Devices

by Donna J. Jodhan

So much has opened up for blind and sight impaired persons with the advent of more accessible mobile devices. Devices such as the accessible cell phone that is now able to accommodate access software, GPS devices, PDAs, and now the iPhone and the Ipad.

These are very exciting times and for me it often feels like being a kid in a candy shop not quite knowing what to do or which device to choose and as time marches on, it is only going to get more confusing and even more exciting.

Up until just a few years ago, the world of mobile devices seemed to be a mere blip on the radars of most blind and sight impaired persons but that has all changed and we as blind persons can only hope that with time mobile devices are going to become more accessible to us. It is only natural that some devices may be more accessible than others.

What we have today is a mish-mash of accessibility. Some devices come with software that enables blind persons to navigate menus fairly easily and the help facility is extremely navigable and accessible. Other devices come with manuals on CDs that are also quite informative and accessible while others come with some form of accessibility but they still need to affect improvements in order to make things more usable.

Many mobile devices are multi purpose and this helps to simplify things both for the sighted as well as for the blind. What we have today are devices that offer bundles of functions that includes anything from emailing and surfing to downloading and word processing and texting and picture taking to the playing of music plus so much more. It is only going to get better with time but here is my wish list for the future as it pertains to blind persons.

We need for manufacturers and developers to make their devices accessible all the way. There needs to be a way for blind persons to be able to afford more of these devices. More training needs to be made available to blind persons so that they will be able to take full advantage of them.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a terrific day and encouraging you to go out there and tell the world that yes indeed! Blind persons can certainly enjoy things by using their sense of touch. If you'd like to learn more about me, then you can visit some of my blog spots at:
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all: http://www.donnajodhan.blogspot.com
Weekly Saturday postings on issues of accessibility: http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/blog/blog.html
blogs on various issues and answers to consumers concerns: http://www.sterlingcreations.com/businessdesk.htm

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