Accessibility in an Android Device

This week’s assignment has been all about Assistive/Adaptive Technology for different areas of special needs. Up until now I knew about a few things, but I am AMAZED at what other technologies are out there.  I’ll be honest, I have never inquired about the “Accessibility” option on my cell phone before this blog. There are some things that many of us, myself included, take for granted. As I observed and researched what each feature could do I became more appreciative of the Samsung company and many others out there that provide these options. This lesson has made me more aware of what can be done to aid ALL students (and adults) in the classroom in a more efficient manner.

In this blog I am going to point out a few accessibility features that are a part of my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge phone.The operating system my device runs is the Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Many schools allow students to use their hand-held devices in the classroom. The following features will help the students set up their devices so they can be more engaged in the lesson.

Vision Impairments

There are many accessibility features for the vision impaired that Samsung provides on the s7. The following are just a few I looked into: 

Voice Assistant “The Voice Assistant function is the main tool for those who are visually impaired. Once activated, it’ll read out everything that you tap on, including text. Tap on something to hear what it is, then double tap anywhere on the screen to activate it if it’s an app or a link” (Tanasychuk).

Dark Screen “This is a pretty important setting if you’re concerned about your privacy. Voice Assistant must be enabled before Dark screen can be enabled to keep the screen turned off at all times. Tapping the screen will still make Voice Assistant read out the options to you, but other people won’t be able to see what you’re looking at or who you might be messaging” (Tanasychuk).

High Contrast Fonts “A great feature, thanks in part to the Super AMOLED display, this setting punches up the color and outline of fonts so that words stand out more prominently on your screen. Black text gets darker and white text is outlined” (Tanasychuk).

Magnifier Window “This feature activates a rectangular magnifying glass that you can move all over the screen to magnify the content beneath it. It’s great if you’re reading small text on websites or trying to see parts of an image that don’t stand out. This is also a great tool for those who want to check the resolution of images” (Tanasychuk).

Grayscale and Negative Colors “These features are for those who are color blind or who have trouble distinguishing one shade from another. Activating Grayscale will turn everything into what you might call “black and white” and your phone will go all Turner Classic Movies on you. Negative colors flips the color scheme on you, which helps improve contrast” (Tanasychuk).

Hearing Impairments

There is an option to improve sound quality for those with hearing aids. Once this feature is activated notification sounds and ringtones will come through better.

Flash Notification “Enabling Flash notifications will cause your camera light to flash when you receive notifications or when alarms sound. All you have to do is turn your phone over to stop the flashing” (Tanasychuk).

Subtitles “Samsung and Google both offer subtitles that can be enabled for videos that support them. If you choose to turn them on, you can adjust the font size and color if needed” (Tanasychuk).

Sound Detectors The Galaxy s7 can be set up to detects sound such as when a baby cries or the doorbell rings.

Mono Audio “If you hear better out of one ear, you can switch the audio output to mono, so that all of the audio that would normally be separated into right and left channels comes out of only one headphone” (Tanasychuk).

Dexterity or Physical Impairments

Universal Switch “This enables customizable switches that allow those with motor skill issues to more easily interact with their phone and select items on the screen. You can set your interaction method by connecting external accessories, tapping the screen, or using the front camera to recognize your head’s rotation, your mouth opening, and your eyes blinking” (Tanasychuk).

Assistant Menu “This feature gives you an on-screen interface to perform actions that would normally require you to use a combination of hardware buttons. A constant square will appear on the left or right side of your screen, which you choose, and, when tapped, it will produce four squares. With a single tap you can navigate home and back, open the notification shade, take screenshots, change the volume, lock the screen, and more. When you delve a little deeper into the settings, you can adjust the look of the buttons and decide whether or not you’d like contextual menus within apps” (Tanasychuk).

Interaction Control “This feature controls how your phone interprets different motions and screen touches. It’s a bit complex, but it’s a way to block interaction with certain sections of the screen by drawing circles around them with your finger. It basically creates a mask over those areas so that you do not mistakenly interact with what is beneath it. All you have to do is hold the power and volume down buttons to enable it. You can even choose to block the entire screen, which can be useful for those who aren’t going to use the touch screen at all” (Tanasychuk).

Direction Lock “This feature allows you to add a shortcut to specific accessibility features. You can enable the features you want and then activate them by pressing the Home button three times. This is so you don’t have to dig through your settings and enable individual features every time” (Tanasychuk).


Tanasychuk, M. (2016). Samsung Galaxy S7 accessibility options you should know about. Retrieved April 18, 2016, from


One thought on “Accessibility in an Android Device

  1. Jaci-

    I am use to the Apple iOS platform for my phone and computers, so it is interesting to see what features come with the Andriod platform. I was also amazed at how many came standard with my computer, as I have not thought of browsing through the available accessibility options before this module.


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