A couple of months ago, one of my friends with low vision was trying to troubleshoot their iPad and needed to call Apple to figure out how to resolve an issue. They were nervous about calling though, because they didn’t want to wait on hold for a long time and then have someone who doesn’t know anything about assistive technology or visual impairment. I was excited to tell them all about accessibility support phone numbers and how they can help people with disabilities with troubleshooting technology for free, and my friend immediately called Apple’s accessibility support phone number to troubleshoot the iPad. Everything worked out perfectly, and now we both like to tell our other visually impaired friends about this wonderful service. Here is why I use accessibility support phone numbers, and you should too.
What are accessibility support phone numbers?
Accessibility support phone numbers are dedicated numbers from businesses and major companies that can provide free technical support and instructions for people with disabilities. Agents are trained in assistive technology troubleshooting and can help users with solving the same problems as other people who call technical support may have, with the added bonus of being able to integrate assistive technology. These lines also often have shorter wait times and can be accessed through text and video chat as well, but may have different hours than the traditional technical support lines.
Popular companies that offer accessibility support phone numbers
I’m linking some popular accessibility support phone numbers for major tech companies below to show how many companies have taken the initiative to support customers with disabilities.
- Amazon Support
- Apple Support
- Microsoft Support
- Google Support
- AT&T Support
- Verizon Support
- Sprint Support
When to call accessibility support
Users can call accessibility support whenever they have a problem that would normally require a call to tech support, and they use assistive technology on their device. This can include screen readers, magnification, high contrast displays, and similar tools. Users can also contact accessibility support when looking for information on how to enable various assistive technology or accessibility settings.
- How To Make iPad Accessible for Low Vision
- Low Vision Accessibility Settings For Windows 10
- Low Vision Accessibility Settings For Android Phones
Do you need a sighted or non disabled person nearby?
In my experience, the agents on accessibility support phone numbers have never asked if there was a sighted or non disabled person nearby who could help me, but I have been asked to use their video calling options so that I could point a camera at my screen or have a remote connection on my device so they could play around with settings and fix the issue. Since I normally would be asked to have a sighted guide on the phone if I was calling to a traditional technical support line, I appreciate that accessibility support can work with me to solve the issue without additional help.
Calling on the phone
Since I have low vision and can typically see to some degree what is happening on my screen, I frequently call accessibility support phone numbers on my phone and follow verbal directions as needed. I prefer to use a remote connection for the agent to access my device instead of trying to point my camera at the screen or having my arms get tired from holding the device.
- How To Choose a New Phone With Photosensitivity
- Mainstream Technology and Low Vision: Smartphones
- Mainstream Technology and Low Vision: Feature Phones/Landline Phones
Using Be My Eyes to contact accessibility support
Another option I’ve used is calling accessibility support phone numbers with Be My Eyes Specialized Help on my iPad so I can have a camera pointed at my device. This is helpful for when I need to demonstrate an issue and want the agent to see my hands. Tech companies that can be contacted currently include Google and Microsoft, and more are being added in the future.
- How I Use Be My Eyes With Low Vision
- Tips For Be My Eyes Volunteers From A User With Low Vision
- Using The Microsoft Disability Answer Desk With Be My Eyes
How accessibility support has helped me
Here are some examples of calls that I have placed to accessibility support phone numbers:
- Issues with my computer monitor and not being able to see active programs
- Technical support for an iPad that had global irreversible software damage (nothing could be done, RIP iPad)
- Fixing VoiceOver screen reader settings
- Help after I accidentally erased my entire camera roll on my new Android phone
- Troubleshooting Amazon Echo
- Using High Contrast Themes In Windows 10
- How To Use VoiceOver With Low Vision
- Mainstream Technology and Low Vision: Tablets
- Mainstream Technology and Low Vision: Smart Speakers
While I consider myself to be extremely tech-savvy when it comes to electronics, it’s comforting to know that if I hit a roadblock when trying to solve a problem, calling an accessibility support phone number can help me get solve the problem and get back to using my technology. So go ahead and bookmark these accessibility support phone numbers- you never know when you’ll need one!