updated 08:45 pm EDT, Thu September 15, 2011
Other mobile platforms lag in aid for disabled
During a surprise appearance at the 6th Annual Wonder-Full tribute concert by DJ Spinna at the Echoplex in Los Angeles on September 11th, soul music legend Stevie Wonder -- who has been blind from birth -- thanked Apple co-founder and chairman Steve Jobs for making the iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad fully accessible to disabled users, AppleInsider and The Next Web report. The comment was part of a longer free-form speech encouraging the audience to think about how to help those with disabilities.
Wonder mentions Jobs at the 4:38 mark in the video (first video, below), which was shot on a non-iPhone cell phone. "I want you to give a hand to someone that you know whose health is very bad at this time," Wonder said. "His company took the challenge in making his technology accessible to everyone. In the spirit of caring and moving the world forward, Steve Jobs," he added to applause.
Wonder went on to mention that there was "nothing" on the iPhone or iPad that he couldn't do that sighted or non-disabled people could do, again garnering a round of applause. He got a hearty laugh from the crowd when mentioning that he could be talking to a person who was looking at him and still using the iPhone without the other person ever knowing. Wonder initially appeared during a performance of "Sir Duke" which was captured on an iPhone video (second video, below).
Wonder's point about iOS device accessibility is correct -- other mobile platforms offer considerably less support for the disabled. While iOS has options for users with visual, hearing or motor-skill disabilities, most of its competitors offer little support for disabled users. Even Android, which does include some accessibility features, allows those features to be overridden by licensees. Google's own Android Accessibility site notes that HTC, Motorola and Samsung add customized layers and apps that are not accessible to disabled users. [via AppleInsider]