Good look at the work of Thomas Brand over at 512 Pixels from last year. Accessibility comes up towards the end of the interview, which is always a fascinating topic within the Apple universe. Enjoy.
Stephen: How do you think that access to technology for handicapped individuals will improve in the future?
Thomas: With each new feature, with each step forward, there is nothing stopping us from extending innovation to all members of society no matter their physical or mental limitations. The experience may not be the same for all users, but with a little consideration a task can be performed by any user no matter their handicap. Technology has empowered able bodied people to accomplish miracles. Why can’t it be used to empower impaired people to accomplish the same miracles? The difference between technology and accessible technology is that someone made the conscious decision to make that technology available to all users. Who would have thought the iPhone, a device with no physical buttons would be a computer blind people would want to use? The iPhone is a accessible device because someone at Apple wanted to make it an accessible device. They gave it VoiceOver, and haptic feedback through vibration so the blind could navigate its featureless display. They gave it visual notifications and adapted the camera’s flash so the deaf could be notified of an incoming message. All of these features were possible with existing technology, all it took was the consideration of a company to make them accessible to all users. As long as companies like Apple continue to push the importance of accessibility in their products, we will continue to observe improvements in accessibility that progress in parallel with the advancement of technology.
Did the Internet community peak at bookmarks? Asked in a different and perhaps more complete way: just as technologies like RSS and email in their purest forms are hard to beat even as technology marches forward, what better technology exists to keep track of information on the ever-expanding Internet than bookmarks? Taken a step further, what better way to share the bookmarked information than a site of your own? As such, I‘ve been reading, which is why I write now.
Working in and having a passion for libraries, I am struck by the fact that the way bookmarks work in the physical world is not directly analogous to bookmarks in the digital world. Bookmarks in the digital world are instead like dog-eared pages or highlighted passages; if you think of the Internet as a single tome, that is. In any case, anything that moves you to deface a book should probably be shared or become immortalized in some other way than just a reference for a future version of yourself.