Money Matters - Simplified

iBraille

Apple iPhone

Now blind can also text and tweet. Navigation is also something these people do not have to worry about. Just give them an iPhone and they are totally independent.

According to a US media source, Apple's smartphone iPhone is one of the most revolutionary developments since the invention of Braille for the blind and visually impaired. The reason for the statement is an accessibility feature that many users with normal vision probably do not even notice. Once you have it and turn it on, you don't need the vision to find and use apps. Instead, you use finger taps: One tap and a voice tells you which app you're on; two taps and you open the app.

To see how it works, check out the video by Tommy Edison, the blind radio personality and movie critic. Edison says the iPhone demonstration is one of the most popular videos in his "Tommy Edison Experience" series -- a project he's undertaken to answer common questions people have about blind people.

While blind people use their iPhones for many of the same purposes as the people with good sight do (making calls, sending texts, checking email), they also use many custom apps: The New Yorkers featured in the Atlantic story use a GPS app to keep track of their location, street by street, and another app to identify their paper money. Future apps might include indoor GPS devices for navigating buildings (think hotels, airports and office towers) and something that reads restaurant menus (which are rarely available in Braille, as Edison demonstrates in another video).

The iphones and iPads are pretty popular among the blind people (those who can afford it). It is like, when it comes to accesible phones, it is Apple products versus everything else.The American Council of the Blind is working to make a broader range of devices -- including some cheaper products -- easily usable by the blind. Eric Bridges, director of advocacy at American Council of the Blind says "we want a choice in the marketplace."

Once blind people are as tech-savvy as everyone else, he says, "the potential will be huge."

Well, let there be light then.