Where to Start? Check out Apple’s Accessibility Options
Do you ever consider yourself lucky? Well, we do. For the second year in a row, Ron Ustach, Senior Engineer with Apple Computers joined us up in the Colorado high country in Snowmass Village at the Viceroy Hotel. Ron, with his rock steady presence and affable manner, was the perfect kickoff presentation for our 100 plus conference attendees. Listening to Ron speak about some of the world’s most sophisticated technology is more a kin to enjoying a morning cup of coffee rather than being hit with a serious new wave of technology and left feeling alone and overwhelmed. Ron’s ability to strip away the often intimidating aspects of using iOS Devices makes it truly more accessible for all of us conference attendees.
One way Apple streamlines setting up technology for users with special needs is through their website http://www.apple.com/accessibility/. As they say on their website: “We have done everything possible, to make anything possible.”
Recent changes to the website include specific disabilities tabs designed to direct you to the taking you the accessibility features related to the device user’s unique needs.
Other topics Ron covered included a remote button from iSimple which can play, pause, change music tracks, adjust device volume, and activate SIRI or other voice recognition apps on Android devices. The button can be attached to a wheelchair, a walker or other accessible location.
The purpose of the Families at the Forefront of Technology conference is to introduce new technologies directly to families and encourage participants to discover how emerging technology might benefit their families.
Mikelle, Gretchen Storm, Mikelle’s assistive technology support and I have added the iSimple button remote to Mikelle’s individual technology plan (ITP). We are curiously exploring if Mikelle can use her old iPad with her new one and the button to access SIRI allowing Mikelle to access information using her Words for Life to communicate with SIRI. We will let you know how that works out.
As a follow-up from last year’s presentation, Ron gave an update on iBeacons. No longer emerging technology, we are seeing some useful was people with people with visual impairments and memory challenges can benefit. Check out this demo.
Making transportation more accessible is a likely outcome from iBeacons. Additional trials are being conducted at the San Francisco Airport and various other public transportation agencies.
It’s clear we appreciate Ron’s support of our conference.
Let us know how you use your Apple products, if you have access to them. If you are looking to get one, feel free to contact us about how you might be able to obtain a device to meet your needs.