At Elm's webinars, we give the floor to top-tier specialists in many fields of interest to our company to share their experience and provide a gimps of lessons learned from their career. We were thrilled to host Dr. Ahmed Al-Hafnawi, a professor of assistive education technologies and a consultant for assistive technology for people with disabilities in the Universal Access Program at King Saud University (UAP).
The value of enabling people with disabilities
According to the General Authority for Statistics, the number of people with disabilities in Saudi Arabia is about 632,078, varying between visual, auditory, motor impairment, psychological, and other disabilities. These numbers urge us to take measures to empower and enable people with disabilities by designing and introducing apps that counter any struggle they face.
Smartphone accessibility apps
Several apps facilitate accessibility for people with disabilities, such as the text-to-voice feature and Haptic Feedback, which delivers notification features, easy navigation, and touch shortcuts on the screen. These features are available on Android and iOS.
Feedback tools for people with disabilities
There are many feedback tools for people with disabilities according to their type of disability. Whither by sound for visual impairment, or vibration for people with hearing impairment, or a readable message for people with hearing impairment.
Easy access features for the visually impaired on iOS
Voiceover is one of the most essential features for visually impaired people to convert the image to voice or type without a keyboard. It also allows images to be accurately recognized and described without the need to see them. The magnifying glass feature is useful for visually impaired people to enlarge and expand texts and text color corrections features to enhance visibility.
Easy access features for people with hearing impaired on iOS
Ensure compatibility with hearing aids for people with hearing disabilities and provide a mono audio feature to hear the sound from one channel only. Also, activating apps by reading and visual notifications, in addition to "Siri" features and voice recognition to write content on videos.
IOS accessibility features for the physically challenged
Providing "Siri" features for speaking and carrying out tasks without moving hands and the "Switch Control" feature to activate some of the screen's main switches, the voice dictation feature instead of handwriting. In addition to the tactile recognition feature so that the device recognizes the hand movement pattern best suited for the disabled, and keyboard shortcuts on the screen.
Android features to facilitate access to smart devices
"TalkBack" feature to recognize text by voice or image, in addition to the font size feature, and choosing the color pattern for people with visual impairment or color blindness. Moreover, the "S Voice" feature as a personal speaker, compatibility with hearing aids for people with hearing disabilities, mono audio feature, and flash alerts for notification.