App for Blind Helps Take Notes on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch


Published 2013-02-05 -- AccessNote is a portable electronic device enabling blind or visually impaired users to take notes, create documents and access applications on iPhone devices.

Contact Details: For further information please contact American Foundation for the Blind

Definition: Defining the Meaning of AccessNote

AccessNote - A powerful and efficient note taker that takes advantage of the built-in accessibility of the iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. To allow for much greater typing speed, increase accuracy, and permit keyboard commands, AccessNote is designed to be used with the Apple Wireless Keyboard (QWERTY) as well as wireless braille keyboards and displays. AccessNote will be completely compatible with VoiceOver and the iOS screen reader. It can be used without a keyboard, but a keyboard adds efficiency.

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For the millions of Americans with vision loss looking for a simple, convenient way to take notes at work, at school, or at home, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) launched the AccessNote, a specialized note-taker for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

"Apple products have earned high points from us for their out-of-the-box accessibility for users who are blind or visually impaired," said Carl R. Augusto , AFB president and CEO. "We designed this app to complement the iPhone's other popular features, like web browsing and email, so that users who are blind have all the tools they need in one, handy device."

A traditional note-taker is a portable electronic device that enables users who are blind or visually impaired to take notes, create documents, and access applications. These devices, extremely valuable for people who are blind or visually impaired, usually provide either speech or braille output (or both). They retail for upwards of $2,000 and much more for those with a built-in braille display; AFB's AccessNote app is available for $19.99.

In addition to being a low-cost alternative to traditional notetakers, AccessNote allows users to combine efficient note-taking with many other features and functions of the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This allows people who are blind or visually impaired to use the same popular devices that their sighted peers are using in classroom or business settings.

This is the first note-taking app developed and designed specifically for users with vision loss. AFB evaluated many of the other available note-taking apps, but found none to be very efficient or user-friendly to people who are blind or visually impaired.

What sets the AccessNote apart includes:

  • Seamless Navigation. Customized keyboard commands make note-taking more intuitive and productive than ever before, including quick access to important features like Search All Notes, Search Within a Note, as well as several navigation options.
  • Automatic Saving. With an automatic save on every few keystrokes, notes will never be lost.
  • Cursor tracking. When navigating among multiple sets of notes, users can always pick up right where they left off.
  • Unparalleled Simplicity. With a clutter-free interface, users can create, read, find, and sync, making it easier to spend more time with actual content and less time with tools.
  • DropBox Integration. All notes, always on hand. DropBox keeps AccessNote in sync with the user's desktop (and other devices) so their notes are always available and backed up.
  • Compatibility with Bluetooth keyboards. AccessNote is optimized for efficiency with the Apple Wireless Keyboard and for today's wireless braille displays.

AccessNote was developed in conjunction with FloCo Apps and is available on the App Store(sm).

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is a national nonprofit that expands possibilities for people with vision loss. AFB's priorities include broadening access to technology; elevating the quality of information and tools for the professionals who serve people with vision loss; and promoting independent and healthy living for people with vision loss by providing them and their families with relevant and timely resources. Headquartered in New York, AFB is proud to house the Helen Keller Archives and honor the more than 40 years that Helen Keller worked tirelessly with AFB.

Related Information:

Health & Disability Apps for iPhone & Android Mobile Devices - Disabled World
iPhone Apps for Disability and Vision Impairments - Reviews of iPhone Apps that can make your life easier including vision and hearing impairment applications for the blind and or deaf - (Published 2009-03-05).
iPad Mini Accessibility Features for People with Disabilities - Review of the Apple iPad Mini including accessibility features for people who experience forms of disability - (Published 2012-10-26).
VoiceOver Compatible Apps for iPhone and Mac - List of handy and accessible compatible VoiceOver Apps for iPhone and Mac computers for persons with disability - (Published 2011-03-06).
Apple iPad 2 Accessibility Features Review - A review of the new Apple iPad 2 accessibility features for visually impaired and persons with disabilities - (Published 2011-10-22).

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