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The iPad could be the best mobile accessibility device on the market

02 June, 2010 by Peter Verhoeven

How accessible is the iPad for the visually impaired? Apple products like iPod, iPhone and Ipad are not only praised because of their design and new user-interface, but also because they are be made accessible for the visually impaired by default.

To understand just how deeply Apple has considered the blind community, Mac-cesibility has published an excellent series of articles on how the iPad's use of VoiceOver along with the advantage of having a larger screen than the iPhone or iPad Touch has created a functional and useful interface for the non-sighted. The use of audio feedback for screen actions along with an enhanced set of gestures not found on the iPhone creates a very user friendly experience. The series goes on to cover, in depth, the use of Mail, Safari and iBooks using VoiceOver. The findings are that although the iPad isn't yet perfect for the visually impaired, the interface is excellent and "it will be a compelling alternative to far more expensive devices from assistive tech companies." They note that the iPad is a new category of device that really can't be compared to netbooks or eBook readers, and with the wide variety of already available iPhone/iPod Touch software, a user can accomplish just about anything on day one. This is not the case with any other mobile device.

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