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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Adjusting Other Settings to Improve eyes-Free Accessibility

Other general Android settings also help increase accessibility for blind and visually impaired users. Some items allow for additional audible and vibrational feedback while others provide a more predictable experience.

What follows are two sets of instructions for adjusting settings that benefit Eyes-Free users: one is for Android 2.1, and the other is for Android 2.2. also included is a set of instructions for individuals who are hard of hearing. At this time, android does not support Braille, which would benefit users who are both deaf and blind. This may change in the near future . The National Braille Press is developing the Braille Wizzard, an Android based Braille note taker with cell phone capability.

Adjusting Other Settings for Better Eyes-Free Use (Android 2.1)

Here are the instructions for making additional adjustments in Android 2.1. Details about the specific items are included below.

1. Unlock the screen if necessary.
2. While on the Home screen, press the Menu button. This may be a soft button on the touch screen or a physical key on the handset.
3. Navigate to the Settings item and activate it by pressing the selector.
4. Navigate to the Call Settings item and activate it by pressing the selector. Then arrow to Tone Settings. Press the selector to adjust the length of the keypad tones in the dialer. Navigate through the options and check your choice with the selector. Normal is set by default.
5. Return to Settings by pressing the Back button once. The back button may be a soft button on the screen or a physical key.
6. Navigate to the Sound and Display item and activate it with the selector. Then arrow to the items below and check or uncheck each by pressing the selector on it.
a. Audible Touch Tones--Check this item to play tones when using the stock dialer. This item and the following are a good alternative to Soundback.
b. Audible Selection--check this item to play sound when making screen selections. This item and the preceding are a good alternative to Soundback.
c. Haptic Feedback--check this item to make the phone vibrate when pressing soft keys and on certain UI interactions. Many users enjoy the combined feedback of this item and Kickback, but some users find Haptic Feedback sufficient.
d. Orientation--uncheck this item to prevent the touch screen from switching between portrait and landscape automatically when the device is in use. Users who are not looking at the screen tend to hold the phone on the diagonal, causing the touch screen to shift unpredictably from portrait to landscape and move the location of the soft keys. Fixing the orientation keeps the soft buttons in the same place (at the bottom of the screen when in portrait or along the right edge when in landscape).
e. Animation--uncheck this item to keep all window animations from being shown. For users who do not look at the screen, unchecking this items saves battery power.
f. Brightness--uncheck this item to keep the phone from adjusting screen brightness automatically from low in sunlight to high in dim environments. To make adjustments, first navigate to Brightness and press the selector. Then navigate to the Automatic Brightness checkbox and uncheck it. Next arrow to a seek control and arrow left to the dimmest level. (Note: if focus is at one end of this slider, pressing the left or right arrow about 20 times moves focus to the opposite end. Once focus reaches the end, nothing happens if you continue to press the same arrow key.) finally, press Back to return to Sound and Display. Unchecking this item saves on battery power for users who do not look at the screen.
7. Return to the Home screen by pressing the Back button several times or by pressing the Home button once. Back and Home may be soft buttons on the touch screen or physical keys on the typing keyboard.

Adjusting Other Settings for Better Eyes-Free Use (Android 2.2)

Here are the instructions for making adjustments to additional settings in 2.2. Details about the specific items are included below.

1. Unlock the screen if necessary.
2. While on the Home screen, press the Menu button. This may be a soft button on the touch screen or a physical key on the handset.
3. Navigate to the Settings item and activate it by pressing the selector.
4. Navigate to the Call Settings item and activate it by pressing the selector. Then navigate to Tone Settings. Press the selector to adjust the length of the keypad tones in the dialer. Arrow through the options and check your choice with the selector. Normal is set by default.
5. Return to Settings by pressing the Back button once. Back may be a soft button or a physical key.
6. Navigate to the Sound item and activate it by pressing the selector. Then arrow to the items below and check or uncheck each by pressing the selector on it.
a. Audible Touch Tones--Check this item to play tones when using the stock dialer. This item and the following are a good alternative to Soundback.
b. Audible Selection--check this item to play sound when making screen selections. This item and the preceding are a good alternative to Soundback.
c. Screen Lock Sounds—check to play sounds when locking and unlocking the screen.
d. Haptic Feedback--check this item to make the phone vibrate when pressing soft keys and on certain UI interactions. Many users enjoy combining this item with Kickback, but some users find Haptic Feedback sufficient.
7. Navigate to the display item and activate it by pressing the selector. Then arrow to the items below and check or uncheck each by pressing the selector .
a. Brightness--uncheck this item to keep the phone from adjusting screen brightness automatically from low in sunlight to high in dim environments. To make adjustments, first navigate to Brightness and press the selector. Then navigate to the Automatic Brightness checkbox and uncheck it. Next arrow to a seek control and arrow left to the dimmest level. (Note: if focus is at one end of this slider, pressing the left or right arrow about 20 times moves focus to the opposite end. Once focus reaches the end, nothing happens if you continue to press the same arrow key.) finally, press Back to return to Display. Unchecking this item saves battery power for users who do not look at the screen.
b. Orientation--uncheck this item to prevent the touch screen from switching between portrait and landscape automatically when the device is in use. Users who are not looking at the screen tend to hold the phone on the diagonal, causing the touch screen to shift from portrait to landscape unpredictably and move the location of the soft keys. Fixing the orientation keeps the soft buttons in the same place (at the bottom of the screen when in portrait or along the right edge when in landscape).
c. Animation--uncheck this item to keep window animations from being shown. For users who do not look at the screen, unchecking this items saves battery power.
8. Return to Settings by pressing the Back button once. Back may be a soft button or a physical key.
9. Navigate to the Language and Keyboard item and activate it by pressing the selector. Navigate to the following items , pressing the selector to enter and make additional adjustments.
a. In Android keyboard Settings, check vibrate on Key Press, Sound on Key Press, Auto-Capitalization, and Quick Fixes.
b. In Device keyboard settings, check Auto-Replace, Auto-Cap, and Auto-Punctuate.
10. Return to Settings by pressing the Back button once. Back may be a soft button or a physical key.
11. Navigate to the Accessibility item and activate it by pressing the selector. Then arrow to Power Button Ends calls. Check this item to use the physical power button to end all phone calls, including voicemail. This feature is especially convenient if your handset does not have a physical End Call button.
12. Return to the Home screen by pressing the Back button several times or by pressing the Home button once. Back and Home may be soft buttons on the touch screen or physical keys on the typing keyboard.

Adjusting Settings for Users Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Some Call settings also help increase accessibility for users who are deaf or hard of hearing. Here are the instructions for how to make adjustments. Readers are invited to provide further information:

1. Unlock the screen if necessary.
2. While on the Home screen, press the Menu button. This may be a soft button on the touch screen or a physical key.
3. Navigate to the Settings item and activate it by pressing the selector.
4. Navigate to the Call Settings item and activate it by pressing the selector. Then navigate to the items below and check or uncheck each with the selector .
a. TTY mode—Press the selector to move through the options, and press it again on the desired item. TTY is turned off by default.
b. Hearing Aids—Check this item with the selector to turn on hearing aid compatibility. It is checked by default.
5. Return to the Home screen by pressing the Back button several times or by pressing the Home button once. Back and Home may be soft buttons on the touch screen or physical keys.

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