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Gimme an A, P, P, L, E!

March 25 2009 | by

Another neat iPhone application, this time in the form of a “Talking Email Keyboard” from G.P. Imports. The software uses speech to announce each key you type on the iPhone in a clear and understandable voice, preventing the user from needing to look at the screen while typing, according to technology blog ATMac. Interestingly enough, G.P. Imports is marketing the app for sighted users who might wish to compose a message while driving! A MacWorld journalist, John Fuller, sets the record straight, saying a more efficient use for the keyboard is for the visually impaired who may have a hard time seeing the iPhone screen. This is another small step in making the iPhone — the disabled population’s best bet for a smartphone thus far — more accessible.

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  • http://gimponthego.com Adam L

    Despite all the disabled friendly apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch, these touch screen devices are, unfortunately, wholly inaccessible to many disabled individuals. As a quadriplegic I must use a mouthstick (pointing device held in my mouth) to operate most electronic gadgets; however, the screens on the iPhone & iPod will not respond to the touch of a mouthstick–they require the electrostatic impulse from a human finger to work (or that’s how it’s been explained to me). It’s a real shame, because these innovative, compact devices and their apps could be a great benefit and resource to the severely mobility impaired. But, for now they’re completely unusable.

  • http://www.thinkgeek.com/electronics/cell-phone/a31f/ Scott

    I am a sales consultant at AT&T and just found this site to try to gain a better awareness of how to assist everyone that comes into my store. Something that may be of use to you for use with the iPhone is a capacitance stylus that is made by a company called POGO.I have seen them available online for about $15-$20. Doing a quick google search for iPhone stylus shows the page. I’m going to put a direct link to the product site in the website field as well. No affiliation with this company,aside from having ordered from them, just have found the product to be well reviewed and applicable.

  • Adam L

    Scott, Thanks. I’ve actually tried the POGO stylus. It does interact with the iPhone screen as advertised; however, the stylus is only 2″ long and is far from ideal from operating the phone using one’s mouth. I suppose it could be attached to the end of a full length mouthstick, but then it would need to be removed when I need to turn book pages or do other activities with the mouthstick (all of which would require the assistance of someone else). What I’d love to see is a touch screen that operates like those on Sony’s video cameras (slight pressure from any implement registers on the screen). Again, I appreciate your help with this issue!

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