Is the iPhone a good choice for a severely sight impaired user?

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Hardware & Accessories

What phone do people recommend for someone who is partially sighted. One that someone can speak into and it will type out the message and then send it and will also read out text messages that come in. One that has the best accessibility for someone who is severely sight impaired.

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Submitted by Piotr Machacz on Monday, May 2, 2016

This will sound incredibly obvious considering what this site is about, the iPhone fits all these criteria. Siri can send and read messages, you have dictation almost everywhere, and you can always enable VoiceOver which lets you use the phone without a display. For the sake of completeness I'll also add that you can also do this with Android phones, although it may take more configuration.

Submitted by Igna Triay on Monday, May 2, 2016

The iPhone is good for someone with low vision.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Monday, May 2, 2016

I recommend the iphone 6 plus. The screen is nice and big, Voiceover will read out everything and the person can type using the on screen keyboard or a bluetooth device. I use dictation but not often as i am normally in very loud places. But I use this phone for my business transactions and more. It just rocks. By the way I've been an iphone user for 6 years now and I'm totally blind.

Submitted by Igna Triay on Monday, May 2, 2016

Also, if the person knows braille, he or she can type using braille in sted of the normal screen keyboard.

Submitted by Chuck on Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Hi Liz,
I have limited vision, and I've been using the iPhone since 2009. The voice over program, which is a screen reader, works great, and is very easy to use. Voiceover reads everything on the iPhone screen to you. Including all the app names,, books, magazines. newspapers...whatever you want to load into the phone. There's a multitude of uses for the iPhone, and It is very intuitive, and has a very short learning curve.

Also, the dictation is very accurate, and I use it for emails, text messages, etc,

The iPhone also has zoom, which is a screen magnifier, but it does not enlarge the print enough for me to be able to read it. If your eyes are extremely bad like mine, the iPhone 6s would not be a better option because you would not be able to magnify the print as large as you need it. It would depend on your vision acuity. But no matter what Apple product you decide to buy, they all have accessibility built into them.

My suggestion would be to call your local Apple Store, and talk to their excess ability specialist. You would be able to go in and try the various phones, and find which one works best for you.

Good luck!

Submitted by Toonhead on Tuesday, May 3, 2016

If you want a screen that's small enough to put in your pocket but large enough for your hand, the iPhone 6 is a good choice. The iPhone S E which was just released recently has a smaller screen, but the same processor and speed as other new models. It all depends on what you want. I strongly recommend an iPhone, but you probably guessed that, given what this site is about. They don't call it Applevis for nothing! :)

Submitted by Patrick Hurst on Wednesday, June 8, 2016

As said before, there's almost no technical issue that would prevent you from using an iPhone. As a blind user, I can say I really love using an iPhone, because the App environment has given me access to many things I didn't have access before in such a convenient manner, so I'd say it's even an incredibly efficient assistive device.
I would suggest you just try the different options out when purchasing your device: There's no pre-installation, no extra fee, so it's up to you to test all the features and find out what settings work best for you.

Submitted by charles on Wednesday, June 8, 2016

I suggest an iPhone. However, DO NOT rely on spoken input exclusively. The touch screen can be used by a person regardless of the amount of eyesight they have or do not have. There are times when spoken input will not be reliable, such as when you are in noisy surroundings, and the ability to operate the touch screen is essential, and is well worth the time and effort to overcome the learning curve. Voice-Over, the built-in screen reader, will give audible feedback.