[access-uk] Re: Accessibilty and the iPad: First Impressions | ATMac

It's easy to see why Apple have adopted their approach with VoiceOver when you bear in mind that the company did nothing for accessibility of their services and products up until the last 5 years. The picture was very different back in the mid to early 90's when Microsoft started working with adaptive technology vendors to ensure visually impaired users weren't excluded from using the O/S and from the job market. Perhaps with many years hindsight and riding on the back of another companies R & D then Microsoft may have done more with Narrator. You can surely understand why Microsoft aren't going to put enormous effort into that field now though with such mature offerings as JAWS and Window-Eyes and then the emerging free screen readers pushing them hard. That would be a ridiculous waste of time and money that could be spent elsewhere.


Apple have a very loyal brand following, much like any niche product manufacturer but it's a real exageration to say that there are huge numbers of blind people taking up the Mac as their only computer or even primary computer. Rightly or wrongly, I view the Mac and most Apple products as very well designed and manufactured and marketed even better but, unless you are a a publisher or audio producer, it's more of a luxury toy than a tool.

You won't be joining the "mainstream" by buying a Mac because it has an in built screen reader, you will be joining a niche group of enthusiasts which, if I remember correctly, still makes up only 8 percent of the market. Like it or not, mainstream is the Windows operating system even though you need some very functional adaptive technology to "bolt on".

In the wider scheme of things, how many blind and partially sighted people will use the Mac O/S at work? For those currently not in work, how impressed would most prospective employers be if you were to turn up to a job interview and tell them you'd lost touch a little with MS applications and adaptive technology but you have a beautiful looking bit of Apple kit at home?

I certainly wouldn't recommend any visually impaired person moving over to Apple for the reasons above but could understand if they wanted to buy a Mac as a second, luxury gadget.

Kevin
E-mail: kevin.lloyd3@xxxxxxx
----- Original Message ----- From: "James & Nash" <james.austin1984@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, January 31, 2010 12:51 PM
Subject: [access-uk] Re: Accessibilty and the iPad: First Impressions | ATMac


Hi Steve,

If the rumours are true, then that is exactly what MS tried to do and were stopped by NFB i believe because they worried that it would be bad for the Screen Reader manufacturers. I am all for competition, but these companies are only interested in their bottom line - making a profit for themselves. Surely, if they were really interested in assistinb Blind people, they would sell their products for less and so sell more, eventually making more money which would satisfy them I'm sure. As I've said, Apple's products are at the higher end of the price range, but by including Voice Over they have dramatically changed the face of commercial and AT computing. The Windows Screen Reaer manufacturers need to sit up and take notice because Apple id what Microsoft did not and I think MS should have gone down that root.

I am not personally attacking anyone, but I think it would indeed be sad for AT venders such as yourself, because if Microsoft provided their own Screen Reader, that would severely decrease profits. Especially in the case of FS and other Screen Reader manufacturers. It may not be so bad for you, as I believe you sell other products besides Window-Eyes. I do think though, that if you sold Macs, you would see your business increase, at least to a point, because more and more Blind people are buying Macs exactly for the reasons that Lyn and others have given. I am not saying that some of them do not keep their Windows machines too or that they don't put Windows on their Macs - and why not, but Apple has seen its market share increase among the Blind in recent years. I don't know how many lists you are on, but why don't you join Mac Visionaries just so you can get an idea of how things really do work. Also, Do you have any way of actually using a Mac yourself? That would be the b est way for you to form conclusions. I am not saying that everyone should use Macs - far from it - people should use what they feel comfortable with and/or what their circumstances dictate, but at least that way, you could get some first-hand experience.

TC
James, Lyn, Nash & Twinny
On 31 Jan 2010, at 11:39, Steve Nutt wrote:

Hi Hussein,

I totally agree with Ibrahim.  It is all right to complain about
overpricing, but how does one recoup costs for development?  And if
Microsoft built in a screen reader like Apple and it became the only choice,
how sad that would be.

All the best

Steve

-----Original Message-----
From: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
Hussein Patwa
Sent: Sunday 31 January 2010 09:56
To: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [access-uk] Re: Accessibilty and the iPad: First Impressions |
ATMac

Wow Ibrahim, enthusiastic much? 'grin'.

_______________________________________
Have a pleasant day,

Kind Regards and Best Wishes,

Hussein.

Hussein Patwa
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-----Original Message-----
From: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
Ibrahim Gucukoglu
Sent: 31 January 2010 07:56
To: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [access-uk] Re: Accessibilty and the iPad: First Impressions |
ATMac

Hi Lyn.

Hang on a second.  You talk of over priced screen readers when you don't
realize yet all they can do.  Does voice over on the Mac or IPhone have
scripting capability? NO!  Do they have Braille support? no! (excepting
grade one on the Mac).  Also, you fail to take in to account the massive
selection of screen readers on pc's. OK, jaws and window-eyes are the most common and at a higher price range, but System Access, NVDA and Narrator are

either inexpensive or free, providing varying degrees of accessibility to
windows and its applications.  With the Mac and IPhone, you have the one
screen reader take it or leave it, and to my mind if you've only one
developer IE Apple who's primary concern isn't accessibility, you've got
serious problems.  FS and GW Micro spend hundreds of thousands of dollars
and many man hours developing their products to meet the ever more growing
and complex demands of their customers.  Think what you like, but please
don't fall over to promote apple and praise them as you would the lord just
because they give you a built in screen reader.

All the best, Ibrahim.
----- Original Message ----- From: "Lyn & Twinny" <keanemaniac@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, January 31, 2010 7:26 AM
Subject: [access-uk] Re: Accessibilty and the iPad: First Impressions |
ATMac


James & tony,
well said...no further comments to add after this. Hats off to Apple andI know here, more and more blind people are showing interest in Mac OSX and
apple's built in accessibility.We have been ripped off all these years
with overly priced products that very few of us can afford anyway  if
government agencies don't provide us with those products.  FS, GW Micro
and all these other companies that supposedly aim at making life easier
for blind people should be ashamed of themselves.  At last now, we have
choice and as far as I am concerned, (and this is the case with more and
more of us here) we are going to stop buying these overly prices screen
readers.  There are so many advantages to using the Mac and all of them
have been listed in James and Tony's message so I won't write any further
on this subject.  but you guys said it all.

Lyn & Twinny
***********
"One day in your life
You'll remember the love you found here
You'll remember me somehow
Though you don't need me now
I will stay in your heart
And when things fall apart
You'll remember one day..."
(How can we forget you Michael, a gentle soul like yours will forever live

on!)
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