How the iPhone Helps a Blind Baseball Fanatic

iphone6-how it helps the blind

There are many ways an iPhone can help a blind person like myself. You might wonder how since the device relies heavily on a touch screen. Let me share with you my experiences with my iPhone. When I got my first iPhone last December, I never dreamed of how big of a role the device would play in my baseball fandom. Initially, I had gotten the iPhone in order to have a phone that was more accessible than my flip phone. With the iPhone, I can send and receive messages and add phone numbers to my phone book, things I couldn’t do on my flip phone since I could not see the screen on it. I also wanted to be able to check things like email and Facebook while I was on the go, something the iPhone has helped me with tremendously. Being blind, how do I use this touchscreen device? If you were to go to the settings menu, under general you will find accessibility. Under that, you will find an option called voiceover. If you turn this option on, you will hear the iPhone begin to speak. Not only that, it will change how a person interacts with the touch screen. With this option enabled, the iPhone will speak what’s on the screen, allowing a blind person to use it. Given I am a huge baseball fan, the iPhone has helped me in even more ways than my sports-loving mind could imagine.

mlb baseball app - twins fan

Back in March, I downloaded the "At Bat" app to my phone. The app itself is free and through it I can check the latest Twins news, find out the latest scores and check the standings. There is one feature I especially enjoy called "Gameday Audio" which allows fans to listen to any Major League Baseball game that is carried on the radio. Even better, you have your choice of the home or visiting team’s feed to pick from. And if you prefer to listen to the games in Spanish, some teams have that option as well. It only costs about $20 per season to use this feature. I would gladly pay the price for Gameday Audio over cable any day since I can’t see the picture on the television screen anyway. When I usually attend a Twins game, I bring along my radio and headphones since I cannot see the game on the field. The only time this isn’t possible is if I attend a Spring Training game down in Florida where there is no local station carrying the game. Then, my Dad does his best to describe the action on the field. This past March, I attended a Twins Spring Training game while I was in Florida. I had my iPhone and headphones at this Spring Training game because the Twins broadcast team was broadcasting this particular game. It was like I was at home sitting in the stands at Target Field, listening to the Twins radio team of Cory Provus and Dan Gladden paint a picture of what was happening. I should point out a down side to streaming the game. The stream was an average of a couple of pitches behind. Sometimes it would drop and when it came back on, it would be further behind the action. I would then close and reopen the app to shorten the delay. Despite this, I still think it was worth it to be able to listen to the broadcast. The iPhone is a wonderful tool for the blind and one that has enriched my life immensely. With different apps, a blind person can use it for many activities, including using it like a radio at a baseball game. The possibilities are seemingly endless.     Photos courtesy of: Apple -- iMore    

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