[nabs-l] New iPhone Model Now Accessible to the Blind

T. Joseph Carter carter.tjoseph at gmail.com
Tue Jun 9 18:26:00 UTC 2009


So, I think I'm hearing you say that you've been an anti-apple-snob 
and they finally came out with a device that even you think sounds 
really cool?  *grin*

Honestly, Apple and the hardcore Apple fan base really kind of ask 
for it sometimes, I freely admit.  But what has me excited about the 
iPhone 3GS is not that it has a screen reader, but that it has the 
screen reader built-in to a device that sells for $199 with contract.

Of course, AT&T will make you pay for their data plan with the phone 
and I'm not even remotely sure how useful the data plan would be to a 
blind user since I don't see how the iPhone 3GS handles text entry 
without a tactile keyboard.  But if Apple's got that figured out, 
it's a $200 smart phone, accessible out of the box.

That's something to get excited about.  Now put a real camera in the 
thing Apple, so we can have iKNFB Reader.  *grin*


On Tue, Jun 09, 2009 at 12:56:46AM -0400, Brice Smith wrote:
>I'm happy with my N82.
>I've always resisted Apple; I think it's a bit over rated.
>I've always looked down on macs and the masses that buy them; IMO, the only people who really need them are those who do lots of film or digital editing or other high-level processes -- PCs are perfectly fine for basic computing, which is all most people do anyway. Macs are just a popular craze.
>I've always thought iPods were nothing special, inferior to other, less popular but more feature-filled products.
>But this ...
>For what it's worth, I don't think I've been more interested by a press release concerning accessible technology since the KNFB Reader.
>> Date: Mon, 8 Jun 2009 20:58:09 -0500
>> To: david.andrews at nfbnet.org
>> From: dandrews at visi.com
>> Subject: [nabs-l] New iPhone Model Now Accessible to the Blind
>> Vision
>> The revolutionary iPhone also includes an equally 
>> revolutionary screen reader, and other innovative 
>> accessibility features that make it easier to use 
>> for those with impaired vision.
>> VoiceOver
>> iPhone 3G S displaying VoiceOver settings. The VoiceOver and Sp
>> The same VoiceOver screen reader made popular on 
>> the Mac is now a standard feature on the iPhone 
>> 3G S. It’s the world’s first gesture-based screen 
>> reader, enabling you to enjoy the fun and 
>> simplicity of the iPhone even if you can't see the screen.
>> What makes VoiceOver on iPhone truly remarkable 
>> is that you control it using simple gestures that 
>> let you physically interact with items on screen. 
>> It’s easy to learn and fun to use. Instead of 
>> memorizing hundreds of keyboard commands, or 
>> endlessly pressing tiny arrow keys to find what 
>> you’re looking for, with VoiceOver, you simply 
>> touch the screen to hear a description of the 
>> item under your finger, then gesture with a 
>> double-tap, drag, or flick to control the phone.
>> VoiceOver delivers an experience unlike any 
>> screen reader you've ever used before. 
>> Traditional screen readers describe individual 
>> elements on the screen, but struggle to 
>> communicate where each element is located or 
>> provide information about adjoining objects. This 
>> contextual information is very important but 
>> typically filtered out by other screen readers. 
>> For example, “off-screen” models used by 
>> traditional screen readers to represent 
>> applications and web pages intentionally strip 
>> away contextual information and describe web 
>> pages as a list or menu of items. But with 
>> VoiceOver on iPhone 3G S, you'll experience something entirely new.
>> Because VoiceOver works with iPhone’s 
>> touchscreen, you interact directly with objects 
>> on the screen and can naturally understand their 
>> location and context. So, when you touch the 
>> upper-left corner of the screen, you'll hear 
>> what’s in the upper left corner of a web page, 
>> and as you drag your finger around the screen, 
>> you'll learn what’s nearby, providing an amazing 
>> new sense of context and relationship between the 
>> items you hear. For many, VoiceOver on iPhone 
>> will provide, perhaps for the first time, a true 
>> sense of how things appear on screen, not just descriptions of what they are.
>> You'll hear descriptions of every item on the 
>> screen, including status information such as 
>> battery level, Wi-Fi and cellular network signal 
>> levels, the cellular network provider, and time 
>> of day. It even lets you know when the display 
>> changes to landscape or portrait orientation, and 
>> when the screen is locked or unlocked.
>> The speaking rate is adjustable so you can set it 
>> to a speed that best suits your listening 
>> ability. VoiceOver uses distinctive sound effects 
>> to alert you when an application opens, when the 
>> screen is updated, when a message dialog appears, 
>> and more. And, when Voiceover is talking, the 
>> volume of background sounds and music are 
>> automatically lowered, “ducking” under the voice, 
>> so you can clearly hear what VoiceOver is telling you.
>> It speaks your language
>> VoiceOver includes built-in voices that speak 21 
>> languages including Chinese (Cantonese), Chinese 
>> (China), Chinese (Taiwan), Dutch, English (US), 
>> English (UK), Finnish, French (Canada), French 
>> (France), German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, 
>> Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), 
>> Portuguese (Portugal), Russian, Spanish (Mexico), Spanish (Spain), and Swedish.
>> Getting started
>> VoiceOver is built right into the iPhone 3G S. 
>> There’s nothing extra to purchase or install. All 
>> you need is the iPhone 3G S, iTunes 8.2 or later, 
>> and a Mac or PC. You can activate your iPhone and 
>> enable VoiceOver without sighted assistance using 
>> iTunes with a compatible screen reader like 
>> VoiceOver included in Mac OS X and GW-Micro 
>> Window-Eyes® for Windows XP and Windows Vista 
>> (sold separately). When you activate iPhone using 
>> iTunes, you can enable VoiceOver on the iPhone to 
>> start using it right away. Sighted users can also 
>> enable VoiceOver for you directly on iPhone using 
>> the Accessibility menu in the Settings application.
>> How it works
>> With VoiceOver enabled, you'll use a different, 
>> but simple set of gestures to control the iPhone. 
>> For example, instead of tapping to click a button 
>> or select an item, you tap to hear a description 
>> of the item you touch and double-tap to click or select it.
>> When an item on the screen is selected, a black 
>> rectangle called the VoiceOver cursor appears 
>> around it. The VoiceOver cursor is displayed for 
>> the benefit of sighted users with whom you may be 
>> sharing your phone. When you prefer privacy, 
>> VoiceOver includes a screen curtain that turns 
>> off the display so no one can read it without your knowledge.
>> In addition to touching and dragging around the 
>> screen, you can also flick left and right to move 
>> the VoiceOver cursor precisely to the next or 
>> previous item on the screen­no matter how big or 
>> small it is. By flicking, you have precise 
>> control of what you hear even when it might 
>> otherwise be difficult to place your finger on it.
>> Two iPhones. The iPhone in the background shows the home screen
>> Entering Text
>> When you’re typing text, such as an email message 
>> or a note, VoiceOver echoes each character on the 
>> keyboard as you touch it, and again to confirm 
>> when you enter it. You can also have VoiceOver 
>> speak each completed word instead of and in 
>> addition to individual characters as you type 
>> them. A flick up or down while typing moves the 
>> insertion point cursor left and right within the 
>> text so you can edit a word just as easily and precisely as typing a new word.
>> Two images side by side. The first shows a text-suggestion bubb
>> To help you type more quickly and accurately, 
>> iPhone features word prediction and suggests the 
>> correct spelling when you type a word 
>> incorrectly. With Speak Auto-text enabled, you'll 
>> hear a sound effect and the suggested word spoken 
>> automatically. You can just keep typing to ignore 
>> it, or press the space key to have iPhone type it for you.
>> The Rotor
>> Two fingers touching a iPhone display and a counter-clockwise a
>> VoiceOver features an innovate new virtual 
>> control called a “rotor.” Turning the rotor­ by 
>> rotating two fingers on the screen as if you were 
>> turning an actual dial ­ changes the way 
>> VoiceOver moves through a document based on a 
>> setting you choose. For example, a flick up or 
>> down might move through text word by word. But 
>> when you choose the “character” setting, each 
>> time you flick up or down VoiceOver will move 
>> through the text character by character ­ perfect 
>> when you’re proofreading or editing text.
>> You can also use the rotor to navigate web pages. 
>> When you’re on a web page, the rotor contains the 
>> names of common items, such as headers, links, 
>> tables, images, and more. You select a setting, 
>> then flick up and down to move to the previous or 
>> next occurrence of that item on the page, skipping over items in between.
>> Applications
>> VoiceOver works with all of the built-in 
>> applications that come with iPhone 3G S, such as 
>> Phone, iPod, iTunes, Mail, Safari, and Maps. So, 
>> you can place and receive calls, surf the web, 
>> text and email your friends, check your stocks 
>> and the weather, and much, much more. Apple is 
>> also working with iPhone software developers so 
>> they can make their applications VoiceOver 
>> compatible. 
>> <http://www.apple.com/accessibility/iphone//iphone/iphone-3g-s/>Learn more
>> Two iPhones. The iPhone in the foreground is displaying the Voi
>> Voice Control
>> In addition to gestures, you can use your voice 
>> to play music and make a phone call. Just press 
>> and hold the home button, listen for the audio 
>> prompt, and speak the name of the artist, album, 
>> or playlist you want to hear. You can pause, 
>> play, change tracks, even shuffle your music.
>> When you want to make a call, speak the name or 
>> telephone number of the person you want to call. 
>> iPhone 3G S understands 21 different languages. 
>> <http://www.apple.com/accessibility/iphone//iphone/iphone-3g-s/voice-control.html>Learn 
>> more
>> Zoom
>> Two iPhones. The iPhone in the background is displaying the wea
>> While many iPhone applications let you zoom in 
>> and out specific elements such as images in Mail, 
>> or webpage columns in Safari, Zoom lets you 
>> magnify the entire screen of any application 
>> you’re using to help you see what’s on the 
>> display. Zoom can be enabled on iPhone 3G S using 
>> iTunes when you’re setting up the iPhone, for 
>> yourself or someone else, or later, using the 
>> Accessibility menu in the Settings application on the iPhone.
>> Zoom works everywhere, including the Home, 
>> Unlock, and Spotlight screens­even with 
>> applications you purchase from the App store.
>> Two iPhones. The iPhone in the background is displaying the Acc
>> A simple double-tap with three fingers instantly 
>> zooms in and out 200% and you can double-tap and 
>> drag three fingers to dynamically adjust the 
>> magnification between 100% and 500%. Even when 
>> zoomed, you can continue using all of the 
>> familiar flick, pinch, tap and other iPhone 
>> gestures to run your favorite applications. Zoom 
>> can also be used with white-on-black (reverse video) and speak auto-text.
>> White On Black
>> For those who need or prefer higher contrast, 
>> iPhone 3G S provides an option to change the 
>> display to White On Black. This reverse video 
>> affect works in all applications including the 
>> Home, Unlock, and Spotlight screens and can be used with Zoom and VoiceOver.
>> Speak Auto-text
>> When typing, iPhone suggests a word before you 
>> finish typing it or a correction when a word is 
>> misspelled. Speak Auto-text speaks these 
>> suggestions so you can hear them when they’re 
>> presented. When zoomed, for example, the 
>> suggestion might not be visible on screen, but 
>> you can hear and accept it without seeing it. If 
>> you’re using VoiceOver, you won't have to 
>> interrupt your typing and touch the suggestion to 
>> hear it. Speak Auto-text can be enabled even when 
>> you’re not using VoiceOver or Zoom.
>> Callouts indicate the name and location of the physical buttons
>> Tactile Buttons
>> iPhone includes a few, easily discernible 
>> physical buttons used to control the phone: the 
>> Sleep/Wake button, located on the top edge; the 
>> Ring/Silent switch and volume-control buttons, 
>> located on the upper-left edge; and the Home 
>> button, centered below the display.
>> Giant Fonts For Mail Messages
>> For improved email readability, you can increase 
>> the default font size of email text from Medium 
>> (the default) to Large, Extra-large, or Giant.
>> iPhone earbuds with clickable microphone built into the cable
>> iPhone Stereo Headset
>> iPhone comes with a stereo headset with a 
>> high-performance microphone built into the cable. 
>> Plug it into the standard 3.5 mm stereo headphone 
>> jack and the headset lets you control music 
>> playback and answer and end calls by clicking the 
>> built-in remote control button.
>> Several add-on products are also available to 
>> work with iPhone that can help those with hearing 
>> disabilities, including a hearing aid-compatible 
>> induction ear loop from 
>> <http://www.tecear.com/Music_Link.htm>TecEar, 
>> wireless remote headset from <http://oticon.com/>Oticon, and others.
>> Hands-Free Speakerphone
>> Enjoy hands-free communication using the built-in 
>> speakerphone, which you can also use to listen to 
>> Visual Voicemail, music, podcasts, and video.
>> Audible, Visible, And Vibrating Alerts
>> Turn the ringer on, and iPhone delivers both 
>> audible and visual alerts. You can activate 
>> alerts for phone calls, text messages, incoming 
>> and sent mail, and calendar events. iPhone also 
>> offers an audio option confirming keyboard 
>> clicks. You can even set incoming calls to 
>> display a full-screen image or photo of the caller.
>> In silent mode, iPhone vibrates instead of 
>> playing a tone. To ensure that you never miss a 
>> notification, you can also have iPhone vibrate and play an audio alert.
>> Downloadable, Assignable Ringtones
>> You can assign distinctive ringtones to 
>> individuals in your contacts list, using the 
>> ringtone as an audible caller ID. Visit the 
>> iTunes Store to create, purchase, and download 
>> additional ringtones of your favorite songs (sold separately).
>> A visual representation of a ringtone sound wave as it might ap
>> User Guide In Accessible HTML
>> The iPhone User Guide is provided online in HTML 
>> format designed with accessibility in mind. You 
>> can read the guide using your favorite screen 
>> reader and web browser on your Mac and PC, and 
>> using Safari on the iPhone with VoiceOver.
>> <http://www.apple.com/accessibility/iphone//accessibility/iphone/hearing.html>Hearing 
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