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Guide to iOS and Android smartphone accessibility

It will be 30 years this coming July since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law. Few folks back then could have fathomed that we all would own smartphones three decades later, much less that people with a variety of physical impairments — hearing loss, low vision, motor disabilities — would benefit from the same experiences as everyone else, frequently with an assist from baked-in accessibility tools that are free on Android and iPhone handsets.




In honor of the upcoming ADA anniversary, I wrote a piece for AARP that outlines some of the most common of these accessibility tools on Android and iOS, the starting point for most of which are found in each operating system's respective Settings. I only touched on the basics here, and there's a lot more, so if you or a loved one have a disability--and more than one billion people on the planet have one according to the World Health Organization--I recommend taking a deeper dive.


Of course, as I mentioned in the article, making something accessible — think sidewalk curb cuts — potentially benefits the entire population.