Accessibility Features Mobile Devices

 

Accessibility is a very important area for all schools no matter how big or small. This is something that we should all have in mind when creating lessons and activities for our students. Luckily something that most people now have, mobile devices, are very diverse when it comes to accessibility features. IOS, which is Apple’s mobile operating system has features to overcome several disabilities some students are faced with today.  

 

Students with physical and sensory disabilities such as blindness or the inability to write can benefits from Apple’s Speech to text and text to speech features. Students with vision issues can select a block of text and have their device read it back to them. The opposite feature, speech to text, can help students with the inability to physically be able to type or write. Just by using an app called Dictation  they can speak into their microphone and have the text displayed on their devices (Understood Team 2018). Since I am not a teacher and not directly involved with any students that have disabilities at my institution, I do have a friend who broke his neck many years going and as a result he is in a wheelchair. He will never be able to walk again and has lost use of a lot of functionality with his hands. Since he has technologies available to him he is able to successfully coach a softball team. He uses the iPad to regularly communicate with the team and organize practices. 

This is just a small example of how mobile technologies can help with disabilities there’s a greater wide range of technologies out there to help match a lot of student’s needs.  With all of the assistive technologies that are offered today, it has opened the door for students that would normally not have these opportunities. Since technology is always growing and always changing we can only expect these technologies to improve and new inventive ways will be developed to assist these students.

Understood Team. (n.d.). Assistive Technology That’s Built Into Mobile Devices. Retrieved from https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/assistive-technology/assistive-technologies-basics/assistive-technology-thats-built-into-mobile-devices

3 thoughts on “Accessibility Features Mobile Devices”

  1. Hi, Nicole. I’m not surprised to here that iOS devices have these accessibility features. In looking into Android’s accessibility tools, I found some interesting features that allow users to customize the look of their screen (like color manipulation to make up for color blindness, high contrast, and font/size options). Did you find any of these kinds of tools in iOS?

  2. Hi Nicole – I know you mentioned that you’re not a teacher so you don’t work directly with students who have disabilities, but if I remember correctly, you work quite a bit with faculty at your institution, right? Have any of them ever disclosed their disability status to you? I am disabled, but like many disabled people, my disabilities are “hidden” or “invisible” – you can’t see them just by looking at me. But I greatly benefit when working with certain adaptive technologies and sometimes when working with others who are knowledgeable about my disability. We focus so much on our students (which is a good thing!) but I think we sometimes forget about our own experiences and the experiences of our coworkers. I work with both students and faculty at my institution, and I’ve had experiences in the past where I’m teaching a faculty member about an assistive technology so they can use it with a student, and they discover that it would be a useful tool for themselves!

  3. It’s so great to hear real stories of people with disabilities successfully communicating through technology! I know several students at my school who use assistive technology on a daily basis and it’s truly amazing! It allows them to be in a classroom with their peers and keep up with the work. You mentioned these features have opened a door for students that they didn’t have before and that is so true!!

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