The Accessible Phones mailing list for South African visually impaired and blind persons

If you are a South African visually impaired or blind person interested in accessible phones in a local context, feel free to join the Accessible phones mailing list.


To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit the list info page. or, via email, send a message with the word ‘subscribe’ in the subject or message body to:


Once subscribed, you can send your submissions to:


And should you run into any trouble, you can reach the person managing the list at

The Accessible Android blog is back.

Access Ana's Android blog is back.


This time she decided to go with


Be sure to keep up with her blog at


You may recall that there was a similar blog by her hosted on Google's BlogSpot however, that blog deals primarily with the older versions of Android.


Should you be using an older version of Android, why not visit the older blog at


We will keep an eye on that blog and naturally link to any interesting posts.

How to activate TalkBack on Android versions older than Ice Cream Sandwitch

If you already have a working TalkBack on your Android device, you can safely skip this step, or skim it in case you may find some hints that are useful. If you’ve never used TalkBack or any of the Android accessibility features, you should follow these instructions to make sure that you have a talking Android device.

Note: If you are not able to use your Android device without speech, please ask a sighted person to assist you with the initial setup of Talkback.

  1. If you have a good Android version [minimum, 1.6], and device, log onto the Android market and get the following components installed:
    • Accessibility preferences
    • ¦TalkBack
    • ¦SoundBack (optional if you want to hear sounds when navigating and activating items)
    • ¦KickBack (optional if you also want haptic feedback when navigating and activating items)
    • ¦Eyes-Free Keyboard (for devices without a physical keyboard)

    Note that if you use Android 4.0, KickBack and SoundBack are integrated into TalkBack, so you only need to install that to get the functionality of all three.

  2. Activate accessibility for Android v1.6 to 2.3 through the following steps:

    • Go to Settings
    • Select Accessibility
    • Enable Accessibility checkbox
    • Enable TalkBack, KickBack, SoundBack checkboxes
  3. The result should be that TalkBack, SoundBack and KickBack give you spoken, sound, and haptic feedback when navigating with the directional controller.

  4. If you also installed the Eyes-Free keyboard, refer to its documentation on how to use it.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy S III

Hopefully by next week, we might get the Samsung Nexus back after a software update.

According to reports, the update of ICS addressed various accessibility issues. We’ll have to wait and see.

The availability of the Samsung Galaxy S III is also somewhat of a challenge. I know that many of you have asked me to do a review of this beauty however, this phone is in such high demand, that they can only let me have one of the test phones in July.

I promise, I will post news the moment I get it.

Hang on and don’t upgrade just yet….