Accessibility

Toggle High Contrast Mode in Windows

Modern website design may look pretty, but it often comes at the cost of readability. Many websites have light colored text on a light background, such as light grey text on white. If you're frustrated by this new trend, there is something you can do about it on your end to make things easier. Microsoft Windows has a "high contrast" mode, and you can either turn it on permanently in the settings, or you can just toggle it on and off as needed.

Why is the volume so low on my iPhone?

Apple iPhone 7

Episode 1384

Pat from Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Pat did an iOS 10 update with the iPhone 6S and he's found out the volume has been dramatically cut in half. Leo says that it's a widespread issue and sometimes it takes awhile to pinpoint the issue and push out a fix. It may be intentional, Apple deciding the volume is too loud for earbuds. It's more likely an issue in the software. There's a noise cancellation setting in accessibility. He can go to General > Accessibility then disable Phone Noise Cancellation. Many are commenting that fixes the issue. Others say it doesn't. It's worth a try, though.

Why doesn't my Roku have accessibility features?

Roku Ultra

Episode 1360

Larry from Sherman Oaks, CA

Larry is vision impaired. He got a Roku and installed it, but it has no accessibility option as advertised. He updated the firmware to get it, and then it downgraded itself. He's frustrated because Roku's tech support is terrible.

Leo says it's no excuse for Roku to not offer accessibility and support for their clients. Leo advises contacting Steven Kay at accessibility@roku.com or call 408-556-9391. He's the vice president in charge of accessibility.

Is there a phone that will auto answer?

Episode 1335

Rod from Malibu, CA

Rod is looking for a smartphone that has a special feature. His old flip phone had an 'auto answer' feature where he wouldn't ever have to touch the phone. Leo says that any Android phone has that feature, but it's buried deep in the settings. It's buried so deep that many stores don't know about it. iPhone even has this ability in Settings > Accessibility. So he should start with that. Some have a feature that will answer when the phone is raised up.

How can I encourage developers to prioritize accessibility features in apps and sites?

Episode 1333

Julian from Los Angeles, CA

Julian is frustrated that app developers don't document the changes when updating an app anymore, because it often will break accessibility features. For instance, if an app was completely redesigned, and it said that in the description of the update, Julian would hold off for awhile because that usually means the accessibility features aren't going to work like they used to. Leo says this is somewhat done for security. Apple in particular doesn't want to disclose what bugs they fixed because they don't want to give out that information.

How can I hear my old albums with age related hearing loss?

Vinyl LP

Episode 1327

Archie from Hawthorne, CA

Archie is getting older and having trouble with his hearing, but he loves to listen to old 78 records. He doesn't like listening with headphones because he can hear too many of the clicks and pops. CDs are too clean. Archie could use an equalizer to boost certain frequency ranges so he can hear them better. There may not be that much of a benefit if he's lost a lot of his hearing, though. There are hearing aids that are designed for that and they are programmable, but they aren't cheap.

Can I get my TV to read menus for me?

Samsung J5500

Episode 1327

Kenny from Springfield, MO

Kenny is vision impaired and is looking for a way to have his TV read the channels and menus aloud. Scott says that he's never heard of that and neither has David. The chatroom says the Samsung J5500 can, though. Scott doesn't know if there is much choice out there for that, which is a shame because accessibility is important. If it's in the J series, it's probably in the K Series as well.