Editors Note: I think the best way forward rather than tackling individual app developers is to persuade Apple and Google who control the App stores to issue accessibility requirements and to test apps before they are permitted to be listed in the app stores and if they aren’t accessible then they will be refused a listing. Apple particularly is very committed to accessibility and hopefully can be persuaded of the benefit.

This is an excerpt of an interview transcript. Click the link at the end of the article to go to the original where the audio is also available.


MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: It’s never been easier to order a taxi – just swipe and click on your phone.

But people who are vision impaired say with the rise of apps they’re being left behind, waiting longer and longer to order cabs the old fashioned way through an operator.

Advocates for people with a disability say that’s just one of the many issues that can make accessibility to taxis a nightmare.

Social affairs correspondent Norman Hermant reports.

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NORMAN HERMANT: If this little snippet is annoying, just imagine what it’s like for John Hardie.

This is what he goes through nearly every time he orders a taxi.

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Mr Hardie is blind in a world where more and more people are ordering taxis through apps on their smart phones.

If you can’t see, you can’t really use an app, can you?

JOHN HARDIE: No. Imagine you had a blindfold on and a button-less smart phone in your hand being able to tell what different icons or symbols are is simply impossible.

NORMAN HERMANT: Mr Hardie says the situation deteriorated when the local cab company near his home in Melbourne’s south-east became part of Victoria’s centralised booking service, 13CABS.

He regularly spends more…

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