Tactile Access to the iPhone Is HereBy Olivero, Tony; Braille Monitor, Vol. 52, No. 10, pp. 829-838
Publication Date: November 2009
Review of the iPhone 3GS evaluates its features from the point of view of accessibility to blind and low vision users. The 3GS version of the handheld computing, telephony, and information access device is touted as the first of its kind to provide built-in screen access. Incorporating a version of VoiceOver, the iPhone provides blind users access to built-in software applications including email, text messaging, the Safari Web browser, and the telephone function. Accessibility features called Zooms, which provide magnification, and White on Black, providing reverse contrast video, are helpful for users with low vision. Activating the Universal Access button, located under the General tab on the iPhone content pane, allows the user to turn on the accessibility features. Users interact with the iPhone almost entirely by using the touch screen; advice is given on interacting with the screen via gestures including (1) tapping for identifying and opening an application; (2) using a moving gesture called a flick to move between elements and to explore an application; (3) swiping downwards with two fingers to activate VoiceOver speech output; (4) using a pinch gesture to increase or compress the amount of selected text when performing a copy function; and (5) tapping techniques for enabling and disabling the Screen Curtain, a function for blanking out the screen so nothing is visible to passersby. Also discussed are techniques for text entry, using the Safari Web browser, and managing email, as well as navigating within the iPod application to play music and podcasts and using the iPhone's telephone features.
Published by: National Federation of the Blind (Website:http://www.nfb.org)
Link to text: http://www.nfb.org/images/nfb/Publications/bm/bm09/bm0910/bm091005.htm
Link to audio: https://www.nfb.org/images/nfb/Audio/Braille_Monitor/2009/November/05_Tactile_Access_To_The_Iphone_Is_Here.mp3