Are touch-screen interfaces blocking accessibility?

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Monday, 3 May 2010

These days an increasing number of devices, from mobile phones and video games to computers, are featuring touch-screen interfaces. These interfaces are a boon to people who are fully sighted, making it easier to interact with computers. What about people who can't see?

With more traditional interfaces like keyboards, people who are blind can use computers and mobile phones with relative ease. Getting to that point took many years of hard work. Now that touch-screen interfaces are gaining popularity, the accessibility challenges of dealing with a visual medium are becoming apparent again.

In some ways these challenges are being met, for instance iPods and iPhones feature interfaces that read aloud the on-screen options, including options that have just been pressed. What's important is making sure that these new ways of interacting with technology continue to be accessible by the whole community.

Read more about the accessibility of touch-screen interfaces at Software Prototyping (opens in new window).

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