Sprint is offering Code Factory’s Mobile Accessibility suite free of charge to customers who are blind, visually impaired, or otherwise cannot read smartphone screens. The apps, which normally sell for $99, are available in English and Spanish.
Mobile Accessibility features a simplified user interface for Android phones. It also uses voice synthesis to read textual information aloud, and users can input using either the virtual keyboard or speech recognition. Sound and vibration cues can be set to suit the user’s preferences.
Some of the basic but essential functions it enables are: phone, including hearing caller ID, missed calls, call logs, and date and time; contacts; SMS, with a much larger virtual keyboard and optional sounding of each letter; alarms; calendar; email; and a dedicated key that uses GPS to inform the user about their current location.
“Having the ability to gain greater access to information on smartphones through the use of a free suite of applications is a very positive development in the blind community’s quest for more affordable choices,” said Mitch Pomerantz, president of the American Council of the Blind. “The American Council of the Blind commends Sprint for its willingness to take another positive step toward full product accessibility.”