While technology can be a boon for users with disabilities, it can also be an irritation. It must be hard when tons of amazing new devices or features are all around, but they are largely unavailable to this very underserved consumer userbase. So good on you, Amazon, for tweaking your Kindle Fire product line with two important accessibility features.
Voice Guide and Explore by Touch are nifty tools designed for users with visual- or learning-impairments, and so far, only the Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch tablet had them. But now Amazon will be bestowing them to its standard Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD 7-inch by early next year. Voice Guide speaks out menus and user actions occurring on the device — like which book is being opened — while Explore By Touch announces items as they’re selected/touched. These join other features, like speech-to-text and large font offerings.
Savvy consumer electronics companies realize that accessibility features will only become more important as time goes on. Sure, mobile tech as we know it is still in its infancy, but the people who are steeped in this world are growing older, and their reliance on those gadgets are going to require more support and intuitive solutions.