Dear Apple – A Slightly Different Perspective on the iPad

After such a long time away from my blog, there are admittedly many things I should be writing about…but this is important to me and so many people out there who are visually impaired.

I love to keep in touch online, no matter where I am.  I find my very large-screen laptop a trial to lug around on the road, and tried a netbook. But the screen was so small that I was picking the darn thing up like a book.  Complete FAIL if you don’t want to draw undue attention to yourself at the local coffee joint.

Then I discovered the iPod Touch.  Love it for its portability and its ability to give me the independence to read email, post to Facebook and tweet to my heart’s content – fairly unobtrusively.

But it’s still a bitch to read over a long period, and the keyboard is minuscule.

I think for people like me who are legally blind, the new lightweight iPad and its larger screen may be a lifesaver.

Bottom line, I’m very interested.  But like anything else, it’s price-prohibitive and even totally out-of-reach for many of us.

So, for all you folks at Apple, I have a few suggestions for your consideration:

Make the life of visually impaired people a bit easier.

  • Start working with organizations like the Lighthouse for the Blind and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind to donate at least one iPad to every branch across North America  for their low-vision clients (I’d like to say world-wide, but I have to be practical)
  • Donate an iPad to all the major schools for the blind in North America
  • Involve visually impaired people like me in the development of the next generation of the iPad so we can give you solid feedback on what works and what doesn’t (and if you haven’t done that for any of your previous products – why haven’t you?)
  • Give a discount to visually impaired consumers who’d be interested in purchasing an iPad (Proof of disability can easily be provided in the form of an ID card or doctor’s letter)

You’d be helping countless of thousands of people communicate more effectively and efficiently.  And isn’t that what Apple is mandated to do?

If anyone at Apple takes the time to read this, thank you!