By Juan Manuel Jacinto.

#Technology is for everyone, and everyone in a literal way, but this doesn’t make any sense when we speak about minorities.

I will focus on the blind community: the biggest niche inside Disabilities. The blinds represent almost more than 60 % of these conditions and they are still being neglected by the industry. The blinds don’t live for tech and tech neither; this is a mutual fact. But blind users need technology to be accessible and technology doesn’t need to be.

Blinds use technology only when they need to use it, this doesn’t mean they don’t want to have some fun or spend time using it. Until now, they have struggled every day to use it like everyone. When one of them wants to, for example, chat, firstly the user needs to unblock the screen, write the PIN, pattern or use finger prints. Once opened, the app -already installed-, using an accessible launcher -already installed, activated and configured too-, it’s time to write letter per letter then listen to each one of them through the speakers to, finally, talk with someone. If this is a mess for the experts, imagine for the new ones who are almost unfamiliar with this world. The time is appreciated for everyone and we have to spend it like we want to.

More in detail

Talking in a more detailed way, Apple, with iOS, is the one who cares the most about accessibility and the reason why is pretty simple to explain. First, it has a private and closed operation system, great hardware, and the most important thing to understand is that it is its own rival inside the accessibility market. 

It dominates it. If we take a deep look at technical specifications -something unusual to do and understand for the majority-, we can comprehend why accessibility works pretty well in iOS and why blind users prefer to buy an iPhone instead mobiles with Android OS. There exist lots of brands with Android OS and they are totally different to each other, this marks the reference when failing at using Android for accessibility, because the technical part doesn’t work like they expect. Apple controls its market because the only thing to do is improving it without worrying about components; only upgrading the OS will be necessary to continue improving its accessibility and it will work well because the software is made for its components. On the other hand, brands with Android are all different and, if the software is improved, maybe the components won’t support it and will collapse.



Juan Manuel Jacinto en IMPACTUP2018 Uruguay


Juan Manuel Jacinto

Head of UX/UI & IxD and Founder of Brailling: a launcher for Android, which is included in the industry of mobile accessibility and telephony.