For folks who are visually impaired and don’t drive, waiting on rides and/or public transportation means lots of waiting. In the past such waits were excrutiating because we couldn’t read the paper, do crosswords, or many of the activities our peers use to combat the boredom of waiting. Enter the IOS devices and bring on the wait!
Now, I gladly wait for my husband while he visits the magazine store, happily reading my own magazines on my iPhone. While waiting for rides, I check the weather, read the paper, and answer e-mails.
Recently my husband was off to Barnes and Noble and was surprised when I wanted to tag along. I ordered from their coffee shop and settled in with my iPhone. I searched for and bought a book I’ve been wanting to read, Reality is Broken, and happily munched and read along with my peers.
Although Barnes and Noble got my husband’s book purchase and my food purchase, they missed out on my book money due to lack of accessibility of their e-reading platform and books.
Long waits are fun now; with a whole host of fun and entertaining activities, all possible because Apple utilized universal design in their phone and because many app developers have incorporated accessibility into their apps! Thank you. And the next time you have to wait, think of all those folks who are blind, happily waiting!
Pat Pound is a disability consultant from Austin, Texas who has used technology for many years, starting a training unit for people who are blind in the ’80?s. She worked for the State of Texas for many years and shaped disability policy including information accessibility. She is now “retired” but that just means she only does work she likes! She is a weaver, game enthusiast, and has trained teachers of visually impaired kids regarding use of IOS devices. “My own blindness has lead me down many interesting paths and it’s such fun now to see how technology can improve our lives!”
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