[atug] Accessible PDA phones
Bossley, Peter A.
bossley.5 at osu.edu
Tue Dec 12 23:48:57 EST 2006
Dear ATUG members,
It's been a long, hard fight to get cell phones to be accessible for the
visually impaired. And though there are a few out there that are
marginally accessible, I've always wanted more access to the "cooler"
technology: Mobile web, Mobile E-mail, Mobile IM, text messaging, and
Recently on the hunt for something that would fit my needs, I came
across a program made by a company out of Spain, Code Factory.
They have developed a couple of applications, one of which I have been
using for about a week:
Mobile Speak Pocket transforms most mainstream pocket PC devices into
fully accessible palmtop computers. Similar to JAWS, it runs on the
Windows Mobile OS, and makes almost everything on the phone accessible.
What this means for you: though there are accessible PDAs out there,
they are mostly very proprietary devices, often quite costly, and
lacking the mainstream support for traditional devices. What's more,
these accessible PDAs don't have the phone application, which is one of
the main benefits of the newer Pocket PC devices. There are some
requirements for the device to be fully compadible, but most devices out
there now would be supported. This means that you can go out and with a
little research buy a consumer Pocket PC device, buy the software to
make it accessible, and have a solution for maybe a third of the cost
for "traditional" accessible portable computers.
I've tested this product on 2 PDA phones, one through Sprint (the
PPC-6700) and Verizon Wireless (XV6700). Note that these phones are
essentially the same device, rebranded and slightly physically different
from the same original apache design. The learning curve is extremely
high on this product, but well worth it. If anyone is interested in
more info or seeing how it works I would be happy to arrange a demo.
Code Factory also makes Mobile Speak Smartphone, which is for windows
mobile smartphone edition. Note that often times devices are labelled
"smartphones" when they are, in fact, Pocket PC devices. Again, if
anyone wants to get something like this I would be happy to help you
CodeFactory can be found at: http://www.codefactory.es
Peter Bossley, MCSE, CCNA
OSU Office of Research Information Systems
Phone (614) 292-2882
Fax (614) 292-1727
E-mail bossley.5 at osu.edu
150 Pressey Hall
1070 Carmack RD
Columbus, OH 43210
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