Audio Description — the extra audio track that narrates film action for people who are blind or have low vision — has been around for decades, but even if you’re blind, you might not use it. Why? Ironically, often the problem with audio description is not really the audio description. The problem is in how AD is delivered — or rather, not delivered. For years, the LightHouse has heard and advocated for blind filmgoers who simply aren’t able to pay for their movie and enjoy it in the format of their choice. If you’re blind at the movies, you know about the broken receivers, the strange formats, poor public education and training, and the many other intervening factors that have continually stymied AD availability across movie theaters and in-home systems, ultimately stonewalling the blind film-watching experience.
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The expanding accessibility options included in the Google Android operating system, plus a wide array of affordable mobile devices that run the Android OS, have made the platform an increasingly popular choice for those looking for a smartphone or tablet. Since Android is an open operating system, deployed by a number of manufacturers on their phones and tablets, buyers can choose from an array of hardware, without having to wonder whether the gadget they like best is accessible. In addition to the TalkBack screen reader, Android’s recent versions allow users with low vision to build their own accessible experiences using a combination of settings for changing the way the screen looks. A few vendors, including Samsung, have even added accessibility tools of their own to the stock Android environment.
But as accessible as your Android phone or tablet may be out of the box, there’s a whole world of apps available that you can use to customize the way your device screen looks, increase your productivity, and even deploy the built-in camera to get a closer look at the world around you. The vast Google Play store includes many apps you can buy or download for free, that you can use to customize your mobile device. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best apps for Android users with low vision. Keep in mind that there are many more accessible apps that work well with the TalkBack screen reader, and also provide great productivity for both those with visual impairments. Our focus here is on apps that support a low-vision Android user experience, and also make it possible to use a phone or tablet as a visual assistant. For more apps that are accessible to blind and low-vision users, check out the community website, Inclusive Android, where members rate and review a wide range of Android hardware and software.—read full article here