These technologies could transform the lives of visually impaired people

“A wave of new technology could soon improve everyday life for many of the 250 million people with impaired vision,” Emma Kennedy writes for CNN. “‘Years ago, I couldn’t do financial things without help,’ said Mario Percinic, a blind IT professional and accessibility expert. ‘Now I use a screenreader with my online banking,’ said Percinic, who co-hosts a podcast on technology and accessibility called EBU Access Cast.”

“And smartphones look set to continue to offer new services to people with vision impairment,” Kennedy writes. “London-based not-for-profit Wayfindr, a subsidiary of the Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC), has developed a benchmark standard for using mobile devices to help people navigate indoor spaces”

Kennedy writes, “Beyond smartphones, new wearable technology could prove life-changing for visually impaired people.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Amazing leaps in accessibility have been in a relatively short period of time and will continue to be made by companies like Apple, whose record on accessibility is exemplary.

Ahead of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Apple seeks to ‘take disability out of the equation’ – May 14, 2018
Apple’s HomePod will support VoiceOver, other accessibility features – July 28, 2017
Apple wins kudos for accessibility and smart home tech empowering people with disabilities – May 18, 2017
Apple continues to lead in accessibility awareness and innovation – May 19, 2016
How a simple Apple feature is changing lives – July 28, 2015
How the Apple Watch is opening up new ways to communicate – May 20, 2015
You know, blind people can actually use touchscreens – January 29, 2015
iPad app brings Braille keyboard to blind users’ fingertips – January 24, 2015
Apple patent applications reveal In-App features, fingerprint scanning enrollment and accessibility inventions – July 31, 2014
OS X Mavericks: How to control your Mac with your voice – April 9, 2014
Can Apple help make hearing aids cool? – March 10, 2014
Apple files new patents relating to haptics, Thunderbolt, iSight and improved accessibility for the hearing impaired – August 23, 2012
Inside Apple’s OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion: New iOS-style Accessibility – July 18, 2012
Stevie Wonder thanks Steve Jobs, praises Apple for iOS accessibility – September 15, 2011
Good news for music fans with vision loss: Apple adds accessibility features to iPod nano and iTunes – September 18, 2008


  1. Helping blind people safely navigate indoor spaces is more challenging than it appears.

    I have a friend who is totally blind and be despairs every time that somebody comes up with an ultrasonic navigation system. It’s something that gets reinvented every five years.

    The problem is that it relies on bouncing waves off of hazards, but some hazards, such as steps leading downwards do not reflect the waves, so it can be indistinguishable from an open area, which also does not reflect the waves.

    You might hope that forty years on since the first portable ultrasonic systems appeared, inventors would learn about this rather obvious shortcoming, but it still surprises them.

  2. Apple’s accessibility stuff has been good, but not anymore. Microsoft listens to what people want, and does it well. Apple is just in their own little bubble.

    Devin Prater Assistive Technology Instructor certified by World Services for the Blind JAWS certified


    1. Dprater, Enough with your snarky posturing. I teach visually impaired and blind people, iPhones are ubiquitous among them for their accessibility features (and this in a country where they cost 30% more than in the US and people make 1/3 or less), they are worth it for these people, Windows is a big step down. YOU are the one living in a bubble. Your signature doesn’t add ANY credibility either and makes you look like a try-hard poser.

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