Technology plays a large and significant part in my life; I know many of you will say the same for yourselves. I work with it, train with it and also give advice on it in my working life, so you would think that it wouldn’t have many surprises for me. Hmm, well, virtually every day, I discover quirks and surprises that have me scratching my head – now thats why my hair is receding?

Tablet computers, for one, have really taken ahold and risen in great popularity over the last few years. However, if you’d said to me prior to this time that we could access and use devices with touch screens, utilising effective accessibility settings then I’d think you’d be having me on. Thankfully, such a premise has not fully come true and many of us are accessing such devices to do anything from sending Emails to watching TV catch up and from researching inforamtion to reading books.

Apple initially led the way with the IPad; a device that incorporates a screen reader (VoiceOver), Low vision settings (Zoom Magnifier, high contrast and text/font adjustments) and also voice activation (Siri). However, other devices have come into play with the development of the android operating system on a wider selection of tablet devices from Samsung to Nexas. They have built in facilities such as a screen reader (Talk back), Magnification/high contrast settings and voice activation via Okay google.

Now this could get quite messy if we literally go into the pros and cons of either system and give explanations of how each work. Touch screens are accessible, but you need to know how to manipulate the settings to make them work effectively and with maximum benefit. Now if I mention Windows tablets too, I think a headache warning might be on the horrizon.

Therefore, this is the start of a mini series of blog articles looking at tablet computers and how these can be used to their maximum if you have a visual impairment.