Wow, great opportunities!
One may plainly say that Apple’s new iPad is an assistive technology device. Like the iPhone, it includes many accessibility features such as:
- screen zoom
- white-on-black display
- mono audio
- closed-captioned content
But as pointed out in the article Accessibility and the iPad: First Impressions, it additionally has the following helpful features:
- Large size (for visually impairments)
- External Keyboard (for mobile impairments)
- Speakers (for visually impairments)
- Simple Interface (for cognitive impairments)
Although I feel that the iPad is certainly better than Amazons’ Kindle, I believe that the iPad will not “kill” the Kindle, mostly because of the price difference. The iPad is much more expensive ranging from $499 to $699 while the Kindle is $259. For more on this, check out Apple Tablet Could Be A Kindle Killer.
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So instead of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) having to sue the computer giant, Apple has agreed to make its dominant iTunes software accessible by next year. Here’s a link to the press release from the NFB:
National Federation of the Blind and Commonwealth of Massachusetts Announce Agreement with Apple to Make iTunes Fully Accessible
Apple will make iTunes U (a dedicated area of the iTunes Store for content provided by colleges and universities) fully accessible by December 31, 2008, and will ensure the full accessibility of the iTunes software and the rest of the iTunes Store to blind people using both Mac and Windows operating systems by June 30, 2009.
Also, it seems that the iPod is not accessible. Only the newly released iPod Nano (generation 4) has accessibility features such as spoken menus and high contrast screens.