Amazon have their own range of tablets, called Amazon Fire, that have many useful functions for blind and partially sighted people.
Amazon have their own operating system, so their tablets are not linked in any way to Apple or Android. They all use touch screen technology to control the device. The Amazon Fire tablet has built in accessibility through speech feedback and screen magnification.
Products range in size from compact screens of seven inches to larger ones at 10 inches. The Amazon Fire tablet can run many applications (apps) to add functionality.
The Amazon Fire tablet needs to be set up with your personal details like email address, wi-fi network key and passcode. It can be set up using VoiceView or magnifier from start up.
A touch screen can seem a little daunting at first but with practice it is very usable even for someone who is blind or partially sighted. By touching the screen and using finger gestures such as flicking, tapping, sliding etc. you can control your device.
The magnification and speech options on an Amazon Fire tablet give the user access to a huge range of functions. For example, you can send emails, access web sites and lots more. Amazon apps are pre-installed on the Fire tablets, including Prime Video, Kindle and Audible. Some Kindle and Audible books are free, but these are generally paid for services and you will be prompted to set up an account before you are charged
In addition, you can download a range of thousands of apps to enhance your tablet's capabilities. Different apps make it easy to play radio and TV, access music, find out about transport, read documents using the built in camera, identify products and locations, identify bank notes and colours, keep in touch with friends and family, read books, manage your bank accounts and so much more.
The Amazon Fire tablet is accessible out of the box and doesn’t require the purchase or installation of extra software. You can buy the latest device and have it set up very quickly. It gives you easy access to many Amazon functions as well as many unrelated services and features.
Once you master the concept of the touch screen such a device can fit seamlessly into your lifestyle.
You can buy new Amazon Fire tablets from as little as £49.99 up to £149.99, depending on specification, screen size and memory, making them a very affordable way to get online and a useful introductory device for someone to see if tablet computing suits them.
RNIB have produced a guide to help you set up and start using an Amazon Fire tablet.
To view the Fire tablet range visit the Amazon website.