Android, iOS, and Accessibility

Chris Hofstader, back in September:

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.

Thursday, 10 July 2014