Nokia Accessibility

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[edit] Under construction

[edit] What Nokia could do for its blind customers?

  • Nokia could develop a screen reader and implement it into the OS of its devices. Apple did this with the iPhone and Google did this with Android.
  • For a blind person a Nokia without screen reader software is like a Nokia without display for a seeing person. Nokia could develop a screen reader and offer it for free or they could try to buy a solution such as Talks from Nuance.
  • Nokia could start a research project to improve the accessibility and usability of S60 applications and of a few hardware components; thereby they could collect interesting knowledge about the special needs of some groups of disabled customers for future developments.
  • Nokia could support the nonprofit Loadstone-GPS project, an open source solution for the mobility of blind and visually impaired people.
  • Nokia could improve the accessibility of their service software such as PC Suite or Software Updater.
  • Nokia could offer their manuals in several languages in alternative formats like HTML (with HTML headings) instead of only PDF.
  • Nokia could build an accessible version of Nokia Maps (almost free), add some features for blind users and offer it almost for free as well. At least, they could try to make the standard Nokia maps application more accessible for screen reader users.
    The Swedish company Wayfinder Systems, bought by Vodafone, did the same with their product Navigator and created Wayfinder Access (400 Euro in Europe). Satellite navigation and access to map data is a very important aid for blind customers and should not depend on their financial situation.
  • Nokia could purchase other helpful solutions such as knfbReader ($1000) and offer it for less money.[1]
    The knfbReader OCR software could be very useful for seeing dyslexics and illiterates as well. [2] [3]
  • Nokia could collect used S60 cell phones and donate them to blind pupils in developing countries, e.g. in Kenya or Tibet/India. This cell phones can have broken or scratched displays. Then Nuance and Code Factory could donate licenses for their screen reader products. Blind children are also disseminators and could turn into customers of tomorrow.
  • Nokia could join the AIA (Accessibility Interoperability Alliance) for collaboration as well. Please see also:

As it seems, the Nokia Accessibility department in Dallas (USA) is not interested in the above mentioned topics as yet. Please have a look at the official Accessibility site. You won't find anything about satellite navigation solutions such as Loadstone-GPS or Wayfinder Access and of course nothing about accessibility problems of their service software, their S60 applications and the Nokia.com site. Maybe this department just exists because of legal constraints by US law.

Nokia's President and Chief Executive Officer Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo: "We regard universal access as much more than an industry goal – for us it is a responsibility."[4]

Common brands with lots of customers are vulnerable for sudden image problems. Future mobile devices and applications will provide companies such as Nokia or mobile network operators with masses of data about location, behaviour, interests and social networks of their customers. This will make the user privacy transparent for these companies and could be perceived as a risk for potential abuse. Microsoft and Google already have similar problems. The motto "Don't be evil, Don't be passive, be good" should be an imaginable part of Nokia's strategy for further PR-work.

Don't be evil, be accessible! ;-)

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