This is the fourth post in our annual 12-part series covering the accessibility features we would like to see Apple bring to its products in the coming year.
This series is being put together by Accessibility Editor Alex Jurgensen, with the help of several contributors.
For the fourth request of Christmas, we ask Apple to give to us:
4. Braille Display and Keyboard Support for the Apple TV
On Mac OS and iOS devices, there is support for refreshable Braille displays and Braille keyboard input through specialized accessories. Refreshable Braille displays can display up to 80 characters of Braille text at a time. Using Braille displays can allow for virtually silent operation of a device by a blind or partially sighted user without the need for synthetic speech. As I wrote in a previous post in this series, Braille input can be more efficient than standard keyboard input. Furthermore, there are many devices that combine Braille displays and keyboards into a single unit. Such devices are popular in the deaf-blind community, where Braille displays are often the only way users can interact with technology.
Adding Braille display and keyboard support to the Apple TV, a device that currently does not support the technologies, would be trivial for Apple and would provide greater access to all blind and visually impaired users. It would also give deaf-blind users access to the set top box for the first time.
The Christmas season is upon us and the spirit of giving is in the air. Writing articles for the Accessible Apple column takes time and energy. If you enjoy Accessible Apple articles and would like to see them continue into 2017, please consider making a donation to Camp Bowen, a summer camp for the visually impaired and blind that promotes independent living, education, and the fostering of creativity. A few dollars can go a long way towards ensuring this valuable program can continue to serve generations to come.