There are many ways to incorporate people with disability challenges into the library, but with everything now it all comes down to technology. While many may prefer certain brands over others because of looks and the camera, there is a group of people that have a fundamental reason to like one brand better than others. These individuals prefer a certain brand because the decision that these companies make could affect their everyday way of life. According to Association of Specialized Government and Cooperative Library Agencies, the terms “blindness” and “low vision” cover a wide variety of experiences, including legal blindness, limited visual acuity, and color blindness. People with low vision, for example, have different challenges than people who are blind (Association of Specialized Government and Cooperative Library Agencies). The blind community needs to have certain brands when it comes to certain tools that allow them to interact without any help is major.
There is a name that is given to technology that helps people with disability challenges, assistive technology. Association of Specialized Government and Cooperative Library Agencies states, ““Assistive technology” is a term that describes electronic solutions that enable people with disabilities to live independently. The term “adaptive technology” is sometimes used in a similar way (Association of Specialized Government and Cooperative Library Agencies).”
According to Association of Specialized Government and Cooperative Library Agencies, Microsoft Windows comes with accessibility attributes that can help some people with moderate disabilities use computers (Association of Specialized Government and Cooperative Library Agencies). Microsoft hires people that are affected by the disability challenge and they are the ones who come up with the ideas for Microsoft to try. One such person is Saqib Shaikh, Shaikh works in London, England for Microsoft in the Bing search engine department. Shaikh is work on helping develop Microsoft AI technology.
Sound Sentry- helps hearing-impaired people see audio computer cues
Sticky Keys- which enables key-combination commands to be entered as individual key entries
Association of Specialized Government and Cooperative Library Agencies states, “Apple also incorporates accessibility in all of its products, and most experts consider Apple accessibility features to be superior to those of Microsoft. Although they are generally more expensive, Apple products offer a significant number of tools available that help people with learning, visual, hearing, and physical disabilities access information without any cost to the library (Association of Specialized Government and Cooperative Library Agencies).”
Apple seems to be the preferred brand among most people who are blind. During to the Q and A of another class we had a guest speaker who was completely blind named Tim, Tim was asked by a student which brand he preferred when it came to assistive technology? His answer was Apple. Tim explained that Apple was the first company to have assistive technology in their devices. Tim stated, “Apple had assistive technology in their first device, making them the leaders.” But he made sure to point out it was not just because they were the first it was because they kept improving the issues, not by just putting a band-aid over the problem and hope it would fix itself, but by fixing any problems at the root. Tim is not the only one that feels that way, according to Mark Gurman, The American Foundation for the Blind today announced four honorees for the upcoming Helen Keller Achievement Awards, highlighting Apple’s VoiceOver and Accessibility efforts (Gurman). Apple is specifically being awarded for VoiceOver Accessibility technology across its products, per the announcement: AFB is recognizing Apple for VoiceOver, a gesture-based screen reader that allows users to hear a description of everything happening on the display, and other features that make iPhone, iPad and other iOS devices accessible to people with vision loss. Apple received an AFB Access Award in 2009 for its trailblazing engineering of accessible products and continues its extraordinary efforts to make their products accessible for everyone (Gurman).
Association of Specialized Government and Cooperative Library Agencies. Blindness and Low Vision. n.d. 28 October 2018.
Gurman, Mark. American Foundation for the Blind honors Apple for VoiceOver technology. 6 May 2015. 28 October 2018.