Kareem is an American blind friend of mine; I actually have known him for years even before I come to the States. We usually talk about anything and everything especially when it comes to the issues facing the blind. He is well-informed, modest, and always ready to help if he can. He used to talk to me using a computer at a certain public place, however, when he got his Android, it was totally different experience and a real dramatic change in communication between me and him overseas and his communication with the world as a whole. We talked about smart phones role in changing the interaction and communication between the blind and the worldwide web. Let me quote how Kareem sees his android.
“I like the android for its flexibility and usability. You can do many things with it. For me, as a blind user, I like to listen to music on my phone, and take videos in addition to checking emails and sending text messages. I believe that the android still needs more work to do but, they are on the right track. As more and more phones come out, they will get better and better.
One of the apps I like to use is the k-9 mail to check my emails on the go. It is very easy to install and to use for a blind person.
The next app I use is a software called svox voices. These voices you can find in the market. The android comes with a speech of its own but sometimes it is not always clear to understand so, the android allows the user to add an additional speech software to the device so that they can use it efficiently. The third app I like to use is Google Talk. I like it because it is easy to use
And u can find contacts easily. Now you can also use msn messenger, AOL messenger and yahoo messenger to chat as well.”
I am sure that Kareem is not the only blind person who has a successful relation with his Android. Definitely there are others who use different apps for accomplishing various tasks specially that it is an open source platform so creativity and empowering the blind will really deserve the effort.
Code Factory is a well-known company for its products and services for the blind, offers many android apps that can give the blind more control over his / her phone. In addition to that, there are many enthusiastic sighted and blind users and programmers who are willing to help, discuss, design, and support the whole accessible Android for the blind users. T. V. Raman walks us through very extensive and comprehensive information about android accessibility.
Before I go, I would like to thank T-mobile and the National Federation for the Blind (NFB) for their initiative to help the blind have a better experience through t-moble discounted plan for the blind.