Getting an iPhone for someone who is visually impaired
January 15, 2014 7:28 AM Subscribe
My grandmother has macular degeneration. She is 82, fiercely independent, and sharper than most people half her age. She has enough vision to be able to work her computer, write a weekly condo association newsletter, and manage voluminous email correspondence. (Her computer settings are such that everything is greatly magnified.) And she is very, very interested in having an iPhone.
posted by mothershock to Technology (12 answers total)
When I visited her recently, she was intrigued by my iPhone -- especially the voice capabilities. After playing around with it for a little while, she said she felt like it opened up a whole new world for her. She was thrilled by even just a taste of what it could do, natively and via apps. (For instance, I downloaded a color identifier app, and she was so excited to be able to hold the phone up to the clothes hanging in her closet and have it announce what color things were -- if she had something like that, she wouldn't need to have someone come over once a week and choose her clothes for her.) She was really excited about the possibility of having a tool to help her maintain (and possibly even regain in some small ways) her independence.
(She was also impressed by the iPad, but was more interested in having an actual phone.)
I would like to get her an iPhone of her own, but I myself have no experience with the accessibility features such as VoiceOver, and I barely ever use Siri (in my limited experience with that, I've found it spotty in terms of accuracy and etc.). So my question is twofold:
One, has anyone here used the accessibility features of the phone, and can you tell me how frustrating/easy it is for someone with limited vision to use?
And two, what apps do you recommend for a user who is visually impaired? (I have looked around a bit and seen recommendations for Tap Tap See, Flesky, and the Braille Institute app ViA, but I don't know anyone who's used them.)
She's very excited about the possibility of having an iPhone, and is already planning to set up a visit to the Apple Store to take classes on how to use it. I'd love to be able to help get her started. Thanks so much!