It’s July, the month when we in the United States celebrate Independence Day. Each July 4, we mark the anniversary of our freedom from Great Britain. This began my thinking about my own independence, and how far I’ve come in my own quest for it.
It was not all that long ago when I had to depend on others for assistance with many tasks, from the kitchen to the laundry room, and throughout our home. I certainly had my methods, such as putting cans in a certain order in the pantry. But I needed someone to tell me what each can’s contents were before I could place them in the proper spot. My clothes were organized by color, but I had to remember the different designs on the shirts, or what color stripes were in each. After all, if the white shirt had green, blue, and purple stripes, it could work well with my jeans or my purple capris, right?
Then there was riding in the car. Oh, if I paid very close attention when we left the house, I knew where we were as long as we stayed in places I was familiar with. But if I was busy talking, next thing I knew I had to ask the driver where we were. But that was then, and this is now.
Thanks to Apple, and their commitment to accessibility, I have been able to become more and more independent. With each major update to the iOS operating system, there are improvements to Voice Over. With each passing day, week, and month, new apps are approved and appear in the app store. These apps make it possible for me to do more and more on my own, activities and chores that I used to be able to do independently before my vision deteriorated.
With the aid of TapTapSee, I am now identifying many things that I could not previously. These include cans and boxes of food, clothing, and objects. It even tells me what the logo is on a t-shirt. It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, a picture is worth a thousand words. VizWiz can also be used to identify these kinds of items, as well as Omoby.
I can now make my own shopping list in the AnyList app. The best thing about this is that if the app is installed on multiple devices, the info put in on one will then appear in the app on all the other ones. I can read the weekly flyer for my favorite grocery store in Safari, or in the store’s app, and put the items I need in AnyList. While it’s true that I still need to go with someone to the store, I am thrilled to be the master of my own list, instead of my husband or another person having the list which they had to write out for me, the way it was in the past.
As for that trip to the store, or a trip to a destination three hours away, I’ve got a favorite app for that too. I don’t have to ask where we are anymore. All I have to do is launch Ariadne GPS, and all the information I need is in there. I can find out just where we are, and start monitoring our location. This way, as long as focus is on where we are, it will change and Voice OVer will announce the new location each time it does. Our altitude is listed, and here’s my husband’s favorite, or maybe not, the speed we’re going is also listed, and changes by the mile, and instantaneously every time the speed changes. I just love being able to find out all of this information without having to ask. Long as I know our destination, it’s a lot better than the query, “Are we there yet?”
There is truly so much independence given to us with all of the Apple devices, from the iOS ones to the Mac as well. This is only a piece of the picture.
Have you achieved more independence than you had before from using your Apple products? Do you feel there is more you could do if only you knew how ? Look to the team at Fedora Outlier to teach you everything you always wanted to know about your device of choice but didn’t know who to ask. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and a team member will be in contact with you.