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World Sight Day 2019: Discover Moovit accessibility features

Published: October 10, 2019

Today is World Sight Day, the most important advocacy and communications day in the eye health calendar. Traveling on the bus or train can be complicated enough, but imagine not being able to see where to board a bus, where to get off, or read the train schedule.

According to the World Health Organization, over 2.2 billion people globally have a vision impairment or blindness. The majority of whom rely solely on public transit to get around. Technology has come a long way in providing accessibility features with the help of Dynamic Font and VoiceOver (iOS) and TalkBack, which allow smartphones to be a personal guide for people who are blind or have low vision.

In the past years, we have taken many steps to ensure the Moovit app is accessible for everyone. Making Moovit more accessible to blind and visually impaired users has a significant impact on their lives. It opens opportunities for them to travel more freely and independently.

Our efforts span over product enhancements as well as partnerships:

Product:
1. We have optimized every screen across the app for VoiceOver and TalkBack technologies. With this enhanced accessibility integration, users use gestures to navigate through screen elements and set focus on them. Once the focus is on an element (a button or a label), VoiceOver / TalkBack reads aloud the text that appears on it.

Specifically, with our “Live Directions” feature, the user gets step-by-step GPS-style guidance for their journey and even receives alerts when the bus is arriving or “Get Off Alerts” to get ready before they’ve reached their destination stop.

2. Near Vision (presbyopia) is among the most common problems adults develop between ages 41 to 60 (American Optometric Association). Our data analysis team performed research and found that that 21% of Moovit users magnify/enlarge the size of their iPhone text. To ease the experience for them, our engineering teams made product improvements to support “Dynamic Type.” Dynamic Type allows users to increase font size while ensuring that content and layout on the app screens do not break, and the reading experience is consistent.

Partnerships:

We have also partnered with several organizations and companies in the space of accessibility, including:

  • Be My Eyes, a free app that connects blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers for visual assistance through a live video call
  • RightHear, a free that turns public spaces into more accessible environments for people with orientation challenges
  • Through our partnership with the ONCE Foundation, the largest acting body in Spain dedicated to assisting blind users, we are getting assistance in the research and development of new improvements for users who need complementary assistance.

And finally, we are incredibly proud that our leadership and commitment to accessible and inclusive mobility was highlighted by Judson Althoff, Microsoft’s Executive Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Business, during his keynote at Microsoft’s Inspire conference in Las Vegas earlier this year.

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