As a low vision user of both mobile and desktop devices. I have experienced many low vision technology failures. The positive of this dilemma is that many if not all of the technology companies are trying to implement some tools for the blind and visually impaired. Some examples of this are Apple Zoom, Android Magnifier and Windows Magnifier. There are built in screen reading options for these operating systems as well, but today we will focus on the low vision aspect of things.
So, lets start off with some things that I confront on a daily basis. First off, we can’t necessarily blame the main technology companies/manufactures for these problems. Because they’re at least trying to make it work for the users. How many of you use music applications? I am an avid user of music apps. One such problem: Spotify Recently broke dynamic text. This meant that a low vision user could make the text larger on the phone settings. This then made the text larger across the operating system and with in applications that support the feature. This is a great feature that is both found on Apple iOS and Android. Well now it’s broken and makes the text appear overlapped. Which makes words hard to read. Fortunately for someone with the use of accessibility this can be worked around. With the use of Zoom gestures, a person can decrease the size of the font. Then the user can zoom in or magnify the screen to make it easier to read.
Now that we have put that out there. This isn’t the first time this has happened. In the past Windows as broken magnification on it’s own web browsers. This included both Edge and Internet Explorer. Let’s be honest. This is such a small part of the day. We should appreciate the fact that most of us are fortunate enough to have a back up plan in place and companies are at least attempting to make their products and operating systems accessible to the visually impaired community.
I remember the days when magnification and zoom weren’t around. Now we have things available and more and more companies are trying to make their software better for blind and low vision users. This is an exciting time for assistive technology users, as accessibility can only get better.