VoiceOver

American Foundation of the Blind launches note-taking app

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A specialised iPhone and iPad app called AccessNote has been launched by the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), enabling blind and vision impaired users around the world to write notes on their phones. With a host of accessibility features including compatibility with braille displays and keyboard navigation, AccessNote is an affordable alternative to traditional note-taking devices.

The AccessNote is the first note-taking app specifically designed for blind and vision impaired users, and thus includes VoiceOver support, and adjustable colour contrast and text size.

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Pressure increases on Amazon with AppleVis campaign

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eBook giant Amazon has been under increasing pressure from disability groups due to its failure to provide accessibility features in its Kindle devices and apps. The latest comes from a campaign run by AppleVis to have Amazon’s Kindle app for iOS devices made accessible for blind users.

AppleVis, a popular resource for blind and vision impaired Apple users, has launched a campaign to encourage Amazon to make its Kindle app for iOS compatible with the VoiceOver screen reader. If made, the change would drastically increase the accessibility of eBooks on mobile devices and provide blind customers greater choice.

AppleVis states, “Not only would this be a good commercial decision, but it would simply be the 'right' thing for Amazon to do. As consumers, this would also provide us with some much-needed competition and choice when shopping for eBooks.”

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Apple iOS 6 accessibility

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The release of iOS 6, the latest version of Apple's operating system for mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad, has come with new features that improve accessibility.

There are a number of new features that have been introduced by the iOS software update. These include:


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Inaccessibility even faster: Facebook’s latest update

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Facebook's latest app update has improved the speed of the software but has failed to increase the app's accessibility, and made performing some tasks impossible for blind users.

According to Facebook, newsfeed updates will load faster and actions such as commenting and clicking 'like' will be updated in real time. However, our testing of the updated app on an iPhone 4S shows a number of features that are still inaccessible using VoiceOver.

Some of the new accessibility barriers include:

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