Accessibility

Why can't I change the font in Facebook?

Episode 1166

Shane from Defiance, OH

Shane is frustrated because he can't change the font on Facebook in his phone. Leo says that's just how Facebook is. An app doesn't have to honor the accessibility settings of the phone, and Facebook has forgotten that a large segment of the population needs a larger font. But fortunately, the accessibility settings allow him to at least magnify the screen. Facebook also has an alternative app called Paper that may have better settings.

Is there a home automation app for paralyzed people?

Episode 1164

Paul from Daytona Beach, FL

Paul has a friend who is paralyzed with ALS and has to use an eyetracker to do things. Is there anything that can be used in Windows to do every day tasks? Leo says that the chatroom recommends Insteon, it has an Home Automation Windows Phone app. But Leo recommends looking into a local non profit for adaptive living. They would be more adept at what's the current state of the art. Pluem. Home Seer.

If you'd like to help there's a GoFundMe page ... check out HelpAnnette.com.

Is there a smartphone that supports the TTY teletype service?

smartphone

Episode 1131

Tim from Niagara Falls

Tim wants to know if the TTY teletype service for phones could be used with more modern smartphones. Leo says that most smartphones do support it, including Apple iPhones. However, they are set up to be connected to an external TTY device. For a lot of people who have poor hearing, text messages and emails make this less important. There are still TTY operators, though. Here's a list of places with information on TTY:

Can a website be sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act?

Courtroom

Episode 1132

Wayne from Lake Forest, CA

Wayne says that the Americans with Disabilities Act will act as a guideline for websites to get sued for not catering to users with disabilities. That's what happened to H&R Block. So Wayne wants to warn commercial website users that they could get sued. Leo says that when creating a website, it behooves you to make a site as accessible as possible.

Is there a voice dictation app for entering contacts into a Windows phone?

Windows Phone Cortana

Episode 1124

Ed from Palmdale, CA

Ed has lost his eyesight and he needs to get a phone. Is there a utility that will record numbers into his phone by voice? Leo says that if Ed brings his old phone to the phone store, he can ask them to move his contacts into the new phone for him. Most phones have accessibility features, but Leo says that Apple does it best. But that's usually for calling.

For editing the contacts, that could be a challenge. Windows Phone's Cortana voice app is a brand new utility, so it may be able to edit entries with voice. It'll be a long process though.

What's the best phone for someone losing their sight?

Episode 1113

Jack from Los Angeles, CA

Jack wants to get a phone for his friend who's losing his sight. He wants something that they can talk with. Leo says that the iPhone is easily the best in that regard as it's accessibility features are specifically deisgned for those who are blind or vision impaired. And the next version - iPhone 6 - will have a bigger screen which will make it easier for him to use.

Can I use the Roku 3 headphone option as a hearing aid?

Episode 1091

Ed from Valencia, CA

Ed got his 88 year old aunt the Roku 3 so she can listen to the TV with headphones. Leo says that's a great feature, especially for those hard of hearing. Ed wants to know if there's a way to harness that capability by adding a mic and turning it into a hearing aid of sorts. Leo says that there's a ton of options out there which are far more comfortable and mobile. Like a smartphone with headphones, even with Skype. Home Theater Geeks episode 209 is a great episode on the importance of hearing.

What's the best tablet for voice activation?

Episode 1084

Debbie from Los Angeles, CA

Debbie wants to know if there's a tablet that allows for voice commands. Leo says just about any tablet can do that. Can she text with a tablet? Leo says that both the iPad and the iPhone have the same capability to text via voice with Siri. All she would need to do is press down the home button until Siri starts. Google can do some of that, but it's tricky.