Back in the days of Symbian and Windows mobile, Talks and MobileSpeak, I operated a popular email group called BlindPhones. We actively encouraged product comparisons on the list, so not only could you compare the different platforms and discuss how accessible they were, you could compare screen readers for those platforms. It was a handy resource for people making up their mind about which combination of products to choose, and it was particularly useful for assistive technology trainers who needed to understand when and why they might recommend one solution over another for a particular client.
At a time when I was travelling extensively, and working online while on the road was less easy than it is now, I discontinued the list because it was difficult for me to keep up the moderation tasks. Now, I’m delighted to announce its return.
Hosted on Groups.io, The Blind Phones group is your place for discussions about phones accessible to blind and vision impaired people.
Predominantly, this group concentrates on smartphones, but discussion about any accessible phone is welcome.
Many groups exist for specific platforms, particularly iOS and Android. This group is platform agnostic, and encourages product comparisons. If you have criteria that are particularly important to you, and you want to know whether you’re better off with iOS or Android, or for that matter a Samsung or a Pixel, we welcome the discussion.
We also welcome discussion about the accessibility and functionality of specific smartphone apps.
On the Blind Phones group, we respect everyone’s product choices. We actively monitor the list and suspend people who use denigrating or demonstrably confrontational language towards an individual for the brand they have chosen, or towards a particular brand. We of course welcome Pointing out negative consequences of making a product choice, in a respectful manner.
We intend that this group be a respectful, helpful resource where we can honestly but politely discuss the relative merits of phone platforms, screen readers and apps.
If this sounds like a place you’d like to be, check out the BlindPhones group page, or jump right in and send a blank email to: