iPhone and Accessibility

I received an email from a colleague today asking about the accessibility — or perceived lack thereof — of the iPhone. Sparked some thinking and thought I’d share it here:

I thought I ask the following question I posted on the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) Accessibility list:

Can anyone point me to any discussion on the accessibility of the Apple iPhone? Inevitably, the iPhone might make it into teaching and learning activities, and I cannot imagine how it could be used by vision-impaired individuals, for example.

I may be a bit harsh on Apple, but it seems to me that Apple is not interested in making some of its latest technology available to people with disabilities.

Is iPhone (in)accessibility being discussed anywhere? I think, we should discuss it.

Interesting and important stuff. We need to understand how this thing will play in our environments. Many users have distinct disabilities that a device like this may ignore. Still many more questions than answers.


I visited Apple back in March and got a tour of the iPhone. One of the big questions I had revolved around VPN. I was told the iPhone did have a native VPN and managed the hand off between wifi, cell, and protected wifi very well. This morning I saw on a Mac rumors site information that the iPhone does indeed have the OSX native version of VPN. Have we ever tested OSX’s VPN software? We will need to do that and look at what the settings should be.

iPhone Communication Channels

We’ve been tasked with evaluating Apple’s new iPhone. To help get a sense of how we should handle reports, I’ve set up this simple form. The one requirement we were given was to not report via email … that means to me we should be taking advantage of one or more of our publishing platforms. In my mind we have three very good options:

  1. Wiki: The wiki would give us a protected, fully editable space for sharing insight. It is more free form than a blog, but does allow for solid collaboration. If you think we should be sharing and editing each other’s thoughts a wiki would be an outstanding option.
  2. Multi-USer Blog Site: This would give us a single site that all of us could blog about the iPhone at. An example of a space like this would be the ANGEL Community Hub. We could do this in the open or behind PSU authentication. This would give us the ability to post quick thoughts that would be organized via a taxonomy (categories) all in one place.
  3. PSU Blogs: We could each setup an individual PSU Blog and report in our personal webspace. I would then recommend we aggregate the content together to make it easily readable and discoverable.