Phone carrier gives away accessibility apps to blind and vision impaired users

Error message

Deprecated function: Array and string offset access syntax with curly braces is deprecated in include_once() (line 14 of /home/mediacc/public_html/themes/engines/phptemplate/phptemplate.engine).
Tuesday, 4 October 2011 15:54pm

The US telecommunications provider AT&T is offering Mobile Accessibility Lite, a suite of eleven accessible Android applications free to vision impaired AT&T Android users. Normally AU$99.00, Mobile Accessibility Lite is free to AT&T customers for a limited time. This is the first time that this suite of applications has been offered free of charge to people who are blind and vision impaired.

Mobile Accessibility Lite, developed by Code Factory, is a suite of 11 accessible applications for everyday online activities such as email, phone calls and contact lists, SMS, calendar and web. It also has a screen reader that replaces the standard Android text-to-speech software as well as speech recognition for easier text input, such as writing an SMS or email.

Visit the AT&T Mobile Accessibility Lite video  to see how the suite of applications work or read the Mobile Accessibility user guide.

Standard Android accessibility is not as advanced as that found in iOS, Apple’s mobile operating system for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. VoiceOver, the screen reader in iOS is much more sophisticated than Android’s screen reader TalkBack. Furthermore, while the standard applications that come with iOS are accessible with VoiceOver, the equivalent apps that come with Android, such as the web browsers and email client, are not always accessible. And so, Android users are forced to replace these apps with accessible versions like those in Mobile Accessibility Lite.

For more information about the progression of accessibility features in iOS and Android, read our commentary on the different approaches that Apple and Google have taken in their mobile operating systems.

Top of page