Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Apple’s iPad Brings Easy Reading to the Blind � Forbes.com's Booked

Apple’s iPad Brings Easy Reading to the Blind � Forbes.com's Booked: "In stark contrast, all iPads have a standard application called VoiceOver, which allows for audible control of every single menu, even those included in third party applications. NFB has commended Apple for producing a device that is usable right out of the box for both seeing and the visually impaired alike. The NFB statement even mentions that the touch-screen “need not be a barrier” to the blind."

I remember at one job helping setup a computer for a visually impaired user. In WinXP it wasn't too tough: Make all the fonts as big as possible, drop the resolution on the monitor to make them even bigger. The big problem was the applications, basically running a browser back to a database but you'd end up with 2 sets of 3 nearly identical windows that easily got confused if you couldn't easily see the title. She left after a couple of weeks but I wrote down the instructions for changing the computers and gave them to all the line supervisors so they could do it and undo it later.

I've done others and what you do depends on what problems they have. I like using some of the accessibility features on my Mac just because they are handy.

So what does this have to do with your readiness plan?

You are going to suffer some kind of injury at some point, and everyone gets old. If you plan depends on you being on peak physical condition at all times, you need to rethink that.

There is a reason a first aid kit is such a big deal in emergency planning, people get hurt. You need medical supplies to mitigate those injuries as best you can. There will be time needed to heal.

Sometimes those injuries are permanent. My family was in a car crash and we have permanent injuries because of it. That has made some adjustment to our plans. We ended up living in my parents living room for several months as we recovered.

How well would your home support you if you lost function in one or both legs? I once read of a man who spent $30,000 remodeling his home so he could continue living in it after ending up in a wheelchair after an accident.
Several families I know are having to move their parents out of the home they have lived in for 30+ years because the home can't support the infirmities of age. They also can't move in with their kids because the kids' home has the same problems, the most common is the doors are too small for a walker and moving the walls is too expensive or just plain impossible.

So the choice ends up being put Grandma in a nursing home or sell both homes and built a new home that everyone can live in, because there aren't very many homes like that on the market.