Saturday, January 30, 2010

Apple's iPad and Mobility Impairments

Apple Inc. announced this week a new product in their line-up--the iPad. I love my iPhone, but this new product shows promise for someone like me living with mobility impairments. I say this because a light touch is all that's needed to navigate the device. I find reading a newspaper cumbersome, this device will make reading a paper, book, or surfing the net a breeze. Here's how Apple's site lists the iPad's accessibility features:

* Support for playback of closed-captioned content
* VoiceOver screen reader
* Full-screen zoom magnification
* White on black display
* Mono audio
Shown above (image from the Apple website) is a picture of the iPad docked in an optional Keyboard; however, the touch screen of iPad, if like my iPhone, is pretty easy to use...even with virtually no finger dexterity. Accessibility features (see above) currently don't mention Sticky Keys, which is the feature in OS X would want to check on before buying the iPad. It would great if Apple would convene a group of folks living with mobility impairments (maybe they have) and brainstorm ideas of accommodations or software to mimic the screen gestures that make using the touchscreen really convenient. I'll look forward to testing one out and will keep my readers posted.