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for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

AT&T Expands Options for Cell Phone Users with Vision Loss

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Paul SchroederGood news on the cell phone front. This week, AT&T Inc. announced their new partnership with Code Factory and their initiative to increase usability for wireless customers who are blind or have low vision. AT&T will now offer the screen reader and magnification software, Mobile Speak and Mobile Magnifier, on select Windows Mobile and Symbian Series 60 phones. Consumers with vision loss are advised to contact AT&T's National Center for Customers with Disabilities at 866-241-6568 with questions or for more information.

We have set up a page on our web site to compile information about cell phone accessibility and ways in which people with vision loss can address access concerns. As we more fully understand the AT&T offer, we will provide details on that page.

We're pleased to see that AT&T continues to show leadership in addressing the needs of the blind and low vision community. AT&T is to be commended for offering full-fledged screen access software, something that no other cell phone company is doing. However, we are disappointed that AT&T has decided to charge people with vision loss an $89 fee for Mobile Speaks or Mobile Magnifier. Though this price is a substantial savings off the market price of these products, this financial burden amounts to a "disability surcharge" for cell phone use that is available to customers without disabilities at no extra charge. (By the way, AT&T had offered the screen reader TALKS with a full rebate for the price of TALKS with a two-year contract).

I also want to note two other concerns:

  1. The phones that are offered with the screen access software tend to be expensive (even with a two-year contract).
  2. Some consumers do not wish to learn the commands of a screen reader. We hope that AT&T will do more to address the needs of consumers with vision loss who want a low-end phone with a simplified access interface.

Those concerns notwithstanding, I commend AT&T for its leadership and hope that other cell phone carriers and manufacturers will follow AT&T's lead and will offer more accessible wireless options for customers with vision loss, while keeping in mind these options should be made available at no additional cost to blind or visually impaired consumers.

Topic:
Technology
There are currently 2 comments

Re: AT&T Expands Options for Cell Phone Users with Vision Loss



我不知道如何让周围的屏幕阅读器软件的成本,但如果你去到wirefly.com,你可以找到几个电话,支持免费的屏幕阅读软件,有时回扣,虽然你免费电话,与一个为期两年的的合同。收费仅仅被禁用视觉障碍的人,我相信这是错误的,他们没有要求,在大多数情况下,我认为这是错误的,任何人从任何残疾利润!


Re: AT&T Expands Options for Cell Phone Users with Vision Loss



I'm not sure how to get around the cost of the screen reader software, but if you go to wirefly.com, you can find a few phones that will support the screen reader software for free, sometimes with a rebate, though you got the phone for free, with a two year contract. I believe that it is wrong to charge those with visual impairments simply for being disabled, they didn't ask for it, in most cases, and I think it is wrong for anybody to profit from any disability!


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