When I first read the headline Smartphones Flunk for Blind Users in an email newsletter my father forwarded to me, I though I was about to read that touch-enabled smartphones are completely unusable for the visually impaired. Instead, I was absolutely floored by how Joshua Miele, a Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute scientist is using his iPhone and other gadgets to navigate San Francisco. It’s not all roses however. Google’s Android screenreader is half-baked and screenreader software for Blackberry smartphones costs a whopping $450.
To be honest, I was completely unaware that the iPhone had all of the features demonstrated in the above video. I guess you learn a little something everyday.
The reason my father signed up for such a newsletter is because he’s donating his time and teaching a group of blind students some woodworking skills. The program, and others like it, are to instill confidence and independence in young people. Joshua Miele is an outstanding example of how one can overcome challenges and have a fulfilling career.