Access Tech: Android Training for All!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Today I am starting the new category here and it deals with Access Technology which is my career goal at the moment. I am planning on becoming an Assistive Tech Specialist since I have been using JAWS, IOS, and even cross platforming into Android at the moment but I am having issues with Android with my Galaxy Tab E and that wanted me to go into training for it but the problem is that there is no training for anyone in Vocational Rehab except if you have a job here in Orlando. I am not sure what is like everywhere else in the states especially where you guys live but this first post will be talking about why everyone should get the equal access and training with this platform.

Disclaimer: This post is based on thoughts and opinions of the lead writer of this blog so please respect her thoughts and opinions on this subject. Thank you!

Nowadays technology has been advancing a very fast rate and have been not only keeping up but also competing against each other with how consumers have been buying their products. We have Microsoft, Android, IOS, and now Google coming in with their tech with Google Home and now the new Pixel phone and not only that new IPhones with the 8, the 8+ and the X and of course the new Galaxy S 8 and 8 Note. And recently Microsoft now discontinuing their Surface Pro line at the moment which they are planning on bringing something known as the Andromeda. (Knowing we will hear more about that later on.)

Equally, we do see a lot of people picking up either an IPad or a Galaxy Tablet but the visually impaired like me do wonder which one they want to get. Most of the time we are told that IOS with their devices are the best and I agree since I have been using my IPhone 4S from 2013 until I upgraded to the SE last year and will be going to an 8 next year with my upgrade and I do have an IPad Mini 2. But there are people that do not always want the IOS devices and that is going to Android since they have been advancing in the Accessibility game for a while now with using the Text to Speech features that are available like Siri even with Google Talk Back. Like with JAWS and Siri, there is something we do have to use and that are gestures, Bluetooth keyboards for the tablets and phones, and well even training for the new platform.

What do I mean by “training?” Well, like any new program, not everyone is well equipped in using it once that item comes out of the box and learning how to use it does become a major help. For instance, I had to go through training with JAWS when I got into UCF and once knowing the basics of navigating the net, using email with JAWS, and Word and some Excel I was able to get around and later did get more training while in Daytona Beach to expand what I have learned during my college days. Even when I got my new IPhone 4S back in 2013, I had trouble using Siri for my first time and didn’t know how to answer calls either so I had to get training for it to learn the basics and that also got expanded in Daytona and now I am able to navigate it and pass my skills onto my IPad and using my Braille Sense on my phone and a keyboard on my IPad. With Android training on the other hand, that is what I need with my Galaxy Tab E which was given to me by my phone carrier as an oops with my bill. Yeah, I pay extra and do have a keyboard and stylus but I do need extra help and training needs to be one thing to help but unfortunately since I don’t work or not a student at the moment V. R. can’t support it which is a sad thing.

Why Should It Be Equal to Have Everyone Get the Training? Because not only a student who would get their first Android phone or tablet for studying or even work if they are going into the Work Force, having this training will help gain the skills and knowledge of a newer platform and also having this knowledge can help grow new A. T. Specialists, like me, be able to help anyone who has gone into the training itself. I mean what if someone says while at a Lighthouse or a Rehab Center and says, “I can’t handle Apple’s operating system, can I take on Android?” The person probably working there may say, “We only teach Apple.” Or “I don’t know how to use Android.” This would be a bit of a pickle and that is why having these kinds of classes can help everyone as a whole even if they don’t have a job and want to gain extra tech experience before they get that job. Plus, learning at this stage can prepare for any tech jobs that may require someone to know both Apple and Android for instance what if they worked for Best Buy or CompUSA and need to explain both platforms for the devices and having that knowledge can help what the person is looking for or help with tech support when issues do arise.

Also, another thing I should add, a lot of companies have been making their apps to be accessible on both IOS and Android for the blind. For instance, I love using the app known as Be My Eyes where people around the world volunteer to help people see through their cameras on their devices what is in front of them whether it being a toy or pack of mints, heck I even used it to count out money once, this is a handy app and it was only available on IOS for a while until they developed an Android version and it’s out now. I even demonstrated this app in my Access Tech panel at Omni this past year to show how it worked on IOS and I can imagine being as good on Android.
What about Online Resources? Yes, online resources are out there to help but there are times where it doesn’t always work. My example is when I was learning the different types of gestures with my Galaxy Tablet. I am familiar with the ones for Apple but with Android it is not easy. There are the single finger gestures like for double tapping and swiping like on Apple and there are two finger ones which I have tried and don’t seem to work, I even tried out angular gestures and they don’t work except viewing notifications. I’d rather have someone explain it to me in person because that is how I usually learn the best and that is another thing and that is not everyone can learn from just reading a web page and with how much of a complex system Android can be it would be easier if someone does have a class.

Another thing is that the web pages with some of the items work for some and not work for others as in different keyboard commands for instance when I first got my keyboard for my Tablet some of them don’t work except causes the Tablet to move without making that command in the right sequence. I think some of the commands may work for other models but maybe not for this one so training may help there with someone who may be able to help with what might be happening. And another thing is having that person one on one with you can help bounce ideas to see about working on the problems that are in front of them with how complex Android can be.

Conclusion: Training in Android should be for anyone who is visually impaired that may want to explore a new platform that would probably fit their needs especially if they go into a job position that deals with using different kinds of technology and it would help any rising A. T. Specialists that may have students that want to learn it to have the skills and knowledge in teaching it to who wants to know this platform and its accessibility apps that are being developed for it. Like with the sighted world, we want to be able to be included in that world and competitiveness in the job world by showing that we can work in new tech fields and bring it to our professors and bosses when we get there.

So, that is it for this post! Next I am hoping to bring my Discord review since AIM is going bye bye next week and want to give someone an option that may be visually impaired a new app to try out. Among this category, I will also be doing a post on my take about accessibility in gaming since that is becoming a hot topic this year going on into 2018! So, until next time especially after Holiday Matsuri 2017 where we will have our coverage from that! Catch you on the universe side!

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