As a blind person, I’ve used Nokia phones since the Symbian era and Android phones since 2012. After HTC launched the first Android phone on September 23, 2008, Android was quickly adopted by most phone manufacturers, and Android was found in every second phone soon.
But what about people with low vision or who can’t see at all? Can blind people use android touchscreen mobile phones?
In this article, I will be sharing how a blind person can use an Android phone, or how using an Android phone is not as much of a problem for the blind or visually impaired as you may think it is.
Let’s first understand how a blind person can use a phone. A blind person can use a phone by listening to spoken feedback provided by the phone.
How can a Blind Person Use an Android Phone
For blind and visually impaired users, Google introduced Talkback, a screen reader application for Android, in 2009 now renamed to Android Accessibility Suite. It helps blind and visually impaired people run touchscreen and navigate mobile phones with the help of swipes, gestures, with spoken and haptic feedback without having to see the screen of the Android device.
How can you turn On or Off-screen reader?
You can enable talkback right out of the box and access the phone. To enable talkback, the easiest way is to wake the Google Assistant and ask, “Turn on talkback,” and your Talkback screen reader will be turned on. Another way is to press the volume up and down buttons to activate and deactivate talkback. You can also do it from the accessibility settings. Once you activate it, you will be able to hear a voice that says, “Talkback on.” You can touch and explore the screen, and the talkback will deliver spoken feedback on the element that is touched on the screen. You can tap to select an item, then double tap to activate. You can scroll or swipe left or right with two fingers. To go back to home or back, double tap on the home, back, or recent apps buttons on the phone.
Things that the blind and visually impaired can do using an android phone with talkback
- Sending and receiving calls and managing contacts
- Send and receive messages and chats.
- browsing the internet using the Chrome browser and visiting any website or reading articles
- Record lectures, take notes while studying, etc.
- Listen to music on apps like Spotify, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music.
- Read documents, PDFs, and eBooks
- Utilize social media apps to post and comment.
- Shop on shopping apps
- Book over to travel
These are some examples of how blind people can use Android phones.
To learn more about Talkback and android Accessibility visit