[Nfbmo] Fw: [Blindtlk] New iPhone Model Now Accessible to the Blind

cory McMahon cjmc404 at gmail.com
Tue Jun 9 12:23:44 UTC 2009

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "David Andrews" <dandrews at visi.com>
To: <david.andrews at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Monday, June 08, 2009 8:58 PM
Subject: [Blindtlk] New iPhone Model Now Accessible to the Blind


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.


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 

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 

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 
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.


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
<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.


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
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.

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