The new iPod Nano finally has some built in accessibility features for the visually impaired. You can enlarge the font size, and you can operate the menus with your voice. However, there are only 2 settings for the font size, Standard & Large! I can't imagine that's sufficient. You can also now use iTunes 8 with a screen reader. Why did it take so long?! The baby boomers are going to demand accessibility all over the place as visual impairments start to set in, and that's going to be great.
I have students who use iPods. They just play them on shuffle and skip what they don't want to hear. I also have students using text messaging who guess what the messages say.
Anyway, people don't really use Macs in the blind community. My friend, a technology expert, hates them. I think there are a lot of holes in the way things work.
We tried using Google Chrome with Jaws, a very mainstream screen reader, yesterday, and we could not do a thing. Jaws only read the address bar and wouldn't tell us what was on the screen. Google Chrome also wasn't working with some standard keyboard commands, since it doesn't have a menu bar. I hope those things get worked out.
I keep meaning to check if this blog is even accessible. And now I remember it's not. I need alt tags on my images...I think that's what they are called.
- Claire Becker
- My full-length book, Where We Think It Should Go, can be yours via Octopus Books, Small Press Distribution, or Amazon. We better celebrate these hard copies while we can. When I'm not writing poetry, I teach amazing young people who are blind. I believe in a healthier future.