UA-115456113-1 Mike Marotta - Best Built-in Accessibility Features on Devices
Talking With Tech AAC Podcast

Mike Marotta - Best Built-in Accessibility Features on Devices

June 2, 2021

This week's interview is with Chris's long-time friend and fellow assistive technology specialist, Mike Marotta. Mike is a specialist in inclusive design, and he joins Chris to discuss how accessibility features for common devices like iPhones, iPads, Chromebooks, and Android phones can be used to meet assistive technology needs. They talk about which features they like the most, adding captions, universal logins for accessibility, how to decide on which tools to offer people, and more!

Before the interview, Chris and Rachel discuss ways that accessibility has been improved in the past year despite the pandemic, including Instagram adding automatic closed captioning for videos. Rachel discusses reaching out to technology companies for help with an accessibility issue, such as when she asked makers of the Word Wizard app to add high contrast.

Key ideas this week: 

Many "accessibility" features on our devices are not just for people with access problems (e.g. vision problems). Features like text to speech are helpful for many people - it can help everyone proofread their writing, for example.

Captions are a great way to promote literacy and draw learners in. You can even mute the TV audio to require learners to read to follow the story.

We don't want to overwhelm people with too many assistive technology tools. Work with the learner's team to dig into what the real issues are and then decide on one or two tools that will address those issues. You can always add more tools later as they become more proficient. 

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