If a blind person, like me for instance, wants what Apple is
selling, he can purchase an iOS device and find that,
out-of-the-box, there are zero accessibility failures. A blind
person who purchases an iOS device, can make his own decisions as
to which features he wants to use as Apple provides accessibility
to 100% of the features available to people who do not self
identify as having a disability.
After posting the article yesterday, I received a lot of tweets
and a couple of emails from blind Android enthusiasts. These
people told me all of the cool things they can do with their
Android devices, including launching accessibility out-of-the-box
on some android units, something I had thought impossible when I
wrote the article yesterday. If a blind person, let’s say me,
wants what Google is selling, he will get a subset of the features
available to our sighted friends. To me, if the OS vendor does not
make 100% of its features accessible in the same way that Apple
has with iOS 7, it may be usable but it’s not accessible. At the
same time, I completely reject Google for having the hubris to
decide what blind people do and do not want.
According to Reuters, Apple is the one “feeling the most heat” from accessibility advocates.