Three years later: FNB and inaccessibility to blind and visually impaired customers

The below is an email response on a mailing list where the topic of FNB seems to be quite hot at present.


There are some members who want to keep it quiet as they would like to keep it internal but, as another poster pointed out:


“We have a right to our independence and it is up to us to claim that right.
I agree that the fact that one receives an SMS later to confirm a transaction, is just not good enough; nor is the fact that one immediately might get back one’s card. The person at the shop could easily write down one’s PIN for later use the next time you unsuspectingly rock up at the shop. Besides, this lack of assertiveness would only further create the impression that we are happy to acquiesce in the development of inaccessible facilities and would find ourselves having to rely on the eyes of others more and more. Instead of trying to get workarounds, we should strongly oppose things like inaccessible POS, online banking, SARS eFiling, prepaid meters, unmarked hotel key cards, etc. These developers have got away with it precisely because we have not opposed those developments vigorously enough and have been satisfied with the consolation prizes of confirmation SMSes after the fact and the eyes of others.

Blind SA has an Advocacy and Information committee which is currently grappling with all the matters I mentioned above. FNB’s attitude is shocking, to say the least, but if necessary, we will take them to the SAHRC or even the Constitutional Court. Continue reading Three years later: FNB and inaccessibility to blind and visually impaired customers

IBM Research and Carnegie Mellon Create Open Platform to Help the Blind

PR Newswire, October 15, 2015: 0

YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y. and PITTSBURGH, Oct. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ —
Scientists from IBM Research (NYSE: IBM) and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) today announced the first of a kind open platform designed to support the creation of smartphone apps that can enable the blind to better navigate
their surroundings. Continue reading IBM Research and Carnegie Mellon Create Open Platform to Help the Blind

Sony Xperia S accessibility review

By Calvin Botha


Sony Xperia S accessibility review
Hi to you, dear reader! Thought I’d shoot through a
quick review of my experiences with my first android device and how accessible it is for those of us whose eyes don’t feel like working:).


the Sony Xperia s lt26I sports 32GB of internal memory, a 4.3″ HD Reality Display which, although quite large in phone terms, is extremely comfortable to use and, with the latest official updates, runs android 4.12.


In a word, jumping from good old symbian to android is akin to falling in love. OK, maybe a little dramatic, but you get the idea:).  The interface is snappy, the touch screen feels more interactive and the customization that is possible is staggering.


If you were as fearful as I was getting a touch screen device, android will put it to bed.


Dialing on my Nokia 701’s touch screen was always such a mission, but now, with the explore by touch feature (where you drag your finger across the screen and tap on the item you’d like), with the number pad taking up the entire screen, (feeling more like an old phone with physical buttons)), dialing is a breeze.


There were however 2 gripes. These were typing on the main keyboard and answering calls.


The built in xperia keyboard was totally unusable with talkback.

Fortunately, a few tests of the multitude of keyboard apps on the play store later, and I found swipe, created by nuance, the same company responsible for Talks.  Now I can qwerty type away!


Answering calls is for some reason also not supported on my device with talkback. It was quite frustrating tapping and swiping around as my device continued ringing. Fortunately, thanks to an app called easy answer, I now need simply lift the phone to my ear to answer it.


That summarizes my experiences thus far. The xperia S can now be added to the list of accessible devices.

The LG G3 in South Africa

It was recently confirmed by LG that the latest flagship phone, the LG G3 will be coming to South Africa.

However, this is not an accessible device for those within our borders. The overlay software that was plunked onto an otherwise accessible Android v4 Kitkat, broke all the accessibility.

LG South Africa refused to interact with us to fix these issues and snubbed all our attempts to communicate with them.

So, if you are blind or visually impaired and you were considering the LG G3, consider no more. You’ll be wasting your time.

The LG G2 was working fine whilst it was running on Android v4.2 but, LG broke most of the accessibility when the upgrade was released in March this year. So, the LG G2 with Android v4.4 is also a goner.

Sorry guys. I am also quite sad as I’ve enjoyed my LG G2 but, accessibility is more important than specs and good battery life.

I will update this post if anything changes.