In 2019 a photo was shared online of a visually impaired woman out with her cane and using her phone. It had the caption "If you can see what's wrong say I see it" and was shared over 33,000 times where people claimed she was faking her disability because she was using her phone. At the time, a #BlindPeopleUsePhones social media campaign was created to share how it's possible for blind and visually impaired people to use their phones. Technology is our lifeline, accessibility features within them allow us to do the same things as everyone else. A few years later and people still wonder how people with sight loss like myself, use technology. This post is is the beginning of a series, where I share how I (,a visually impaired person) use my phone to do things in my everyday life.
Mobile Phone Accessibility Features:
- Voiceover: screen reader that tells you everything that's on your screen from notifications, to messages, links and alt text on photos, Voiceover will read it out loud. It can describe people, objects, text and graphs in greater detail and has particular gestures you need to make to navigate your phone without looking at the screen.
- Siri: is a feature that allows you to find what you're looking for without needing to see what's actually on the screen. You can ask it to open apps, set reminders, turn accessibility features like Voiceover on or off and more.
- Audio Description: this setting automatically plays a movie or TV show you're watching with the audio description already turned on, so you don't need to find the option on whatever app you're using yourself.
- Talkback: screen reader that allows you to hear everything on your screen from notifications, apps, text and even your battery life.
- Magnification: Triple tap the screen to zoom in and make text and images larger and easier to see
- Lookout: use your phone camera to point at an object and find out what it is