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  1. #1
    Using our devices as Accessibility tools
    Slydude's Avatar
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    Using our devices as Accessibility tools
    If you have been following this thread you know that we've been discussing whether or not tech designers could do a better job designing devices for seniors. That's got me thinkiing about ways we use or devices to overcome challenges such as vision / hearing issues in our daily lives.

    I know about some of the things people are doing and the features in IOS devices but I'm betting some of you have ideas I've never considered. I'll start things off with a few ideas I've tried and plan to discuss this in a new video cast soon.

    1. If I find myself in places where the mirrors in public restrooms/hotel rooms are too high for me to use effectively, I use the FaceTime camera on my phone. And no, in case you're wondering, my face hasn't broken the camera yet.

    2. I'm beginning to use Hey Siri to dictate / send texts and for other tasks. Yes there are times Siri could do a better job but it's still better than my horrible tying on the iPhone screen.

    I'm not confining this discussion to Apple devices BTW
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
    Kevin Durant

  2. #2
    Using our devices as Accessibility tools
    chscag's Avatar
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    Not sure if this is on the exact topic you're looking for Sly....

    A good friend on mine (passed away last year) who was handicapped because of Rheumatoid Arthritis purchased a new vehicle with the assistance of the VA. I was quite surprised to see all the gadgets that were on board to assist him with his driving. He had very limited use of his hands and both his legs were twisted and basically crippled from the Arthritis. But in spite of his handicaps, the technology that was built into the auto (Chrysler Van) allowed him to steer, brake, and accelerate the vehicle.

    He also had a remote control that would open the side sliding door of the van and control a ramp that came down. All he had to do was guide his power chair on to the ramp which would lock the chair in place and move the chair along with him to the driver's position. It was quite a sight to see it all work.

    As far as using your FaceTime camera to mimic a mirror, that's a great idea even though the built in camera does not project the best of us. LOL.

    But you're a handsome guy Sly, so you've nothing to worry about. And no, that does not mean that we are going to give you a raise.

  3. #3
    Using our devices as Accessibility tools
    Slydude's Avatar
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    I've seen some of that van technology that you're tlking about and it's amazing. Every time I think I've seen everything there is to see in that regard I either see some new technology or old technology used in new ways.

    I don't remember where I picked up that camera tip but when I read it I had one of those "why didn't I think of that?" moments.

    I'm all in favor of trying widely available technology first rather than some specialty technology. First the mass market technology is often significantly less expensive than something highly specialized. The minute you add the word ,edical / adaptive the cost goes way up. Secondly, many people who use adaptive technology don't want to stannd out while using it. Many will not use a dedicated device but will use an iPhone / iPad with software that does the same thing.

    I thought of another example of existing tech being used in ways few people rvrt anticipated. A family friend has a significant hearing loss. Prior to the advent of text messaging many people had to communicate via a pad and pencil. Now you simply type the message and show the other person involved what you want to say. Autocorrect will even fix spelling errors for you. If it doesn't, you might both have a good laugh at the results.
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
    Kevin Durant

  4. #4
    Using our devices as Accessibility tools
    badshoehabit's Avatar
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    I use the phone camera to check my hair, lipstick in the absence of a mirror and the torch is great for finding dog poo in the dark!
    Sue

    If the shoe fits, buy it in every colour.

  5. #5
    Using our devices as Accessibility tools
    pm-r's Avatar
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    I don't know if this counts as part of your Accessibility tools, but I think one of the best OS X Accessibility tools that is so often overlooked by those who could use it is the option for: How to Change Cursor Size in Mac OS X
    How to Change Cursor Size in Mac OS X: 9 Steps (with Pictures)

    Especially for those with poor eyesight and using a large high-res display monitor.

    And yes I know that those running OS X.11 El Capitan or later can shake their mouse to make the cursor larger temporarily, but if they have to do that very often I would say the cursor is already too small.



    - Patrick
    ======
    Last edited by pm-r; 05-12-2019 at 03:08 PM.

  6. #6
    Using our devices as Accessibility tools
    chscag's Avatar
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    The cursor enlargement does help somewhat but still not what it could be. This is a case where Apple could take a good lesson from Microsoft. Windows gives you not only a choice of cursor size, but also color, shape, and outline. A white cursor on a white background is still hard to see for most folks with sight problems. It's too bad Apple does not provide more choices for cursor size, color, and shape.

  7. #7
    Using our devices as Accessibility tools
    Slydude's Avatar
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    @badshoehabit I guess using the torch (flashlight) to find dog poo is a bit unusual but I guess it's better than some methods of finding dog poo. Are you speaking from experience?

    @Patrick I use both the enlarged cursor and shaking the cursor to locate it. I don't need to make a huge change to be helpful but it comes in handy to be ablw to do that. Anyone who has a secondary monitor to has probably needed this feature from time to time.

    @Charlie I don't often need to change the color of cursors on the Mac side but I spent some time today changing the cursor color in Windos 10. I had to do some searching to find that setting but got it working well enough for what I need. In the process I looked at some of the other settings. When it comes to enlarging the elements Windows seems to offer a few more options with finer grained control.

    Right now I'm apply a broad definition of accessibility tools / techniques. There's far more out there than most people are aware of and some of it does not require special software. Example: I read somewhere tht some people who have memory issues are using calander / reminder programs to hel them keep track of such things as doctors appointments. The down side is that some of these programs are nt as intuitive as some need them to be.
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
    Kevin Durant

  8. #8
    Using our devices as Accessibility tools
    pm-r's Avatar
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    A white cursor on a white background is still hard to see for most folks with sight problems.

    I didn't even realize that any macOS could even provide a white cursor. But even if it could, I would say it was a pretty stupid option.

    System 8 and 9 had an excellent third party curser modifier that allowed an old legally blind senior client to use his Mac.



    - Patrick
    ======

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