Introduction to Assistive Technology for Vision Impairments

3.3. Assistive Technologies for Computer and Smartphone Access


Have you ever checked on the Accessibility features in your mobile phone? Check your phone settings and explore the features that are offered in-built in your mobile phones. From controllable text-size to invert colors, every phone comes with a lot of functionality specifically added for usage by Persons with Disabilities.

For an individual with a disability, having access to the computer and smartphones can open up a world of possibilities. Today’s computers and smartphones have operating systems with inbuilt features for accessibility for both input and output.

People with typical abilities access computer output visually through the computer screen and by hearing the auditory information through the speakers. For persons with vision impairments, the visual output through the screen must be made accessible by magnification or by alternative methods like auditory through screen readers or tactile mode.

Features like ‘read-aloud’ in PDF, ‘Select to Speech’ in Android, do not just support people with vision impairments but for anyone who prefers speech over text. Sometimes individuals prefer hearing a document over reading it on screen while commuting in a bus or car.