The Accessibility team at Research In Motion (RIM) have launched a new theme called Clarity theme for BlackBerry, which they say is designed to help meet the needs of BlackBerry users with low vision, colourblindness, elderly/aging users and others that might prefer a simpler interface on their mobile phone.
From the screenshots of the theme, it appears to be an adaptation of how smartphones traditionally display their user interfaces and presents information in High Contrast, with large text labels in place of small icons, uses a simpler and more linear Home screen, and include what RIM calls a "click toggle header". This last feature seems to enable users to switch between two different views of the home screen header, from Date and Time to Battery and Network Coverage, by simply clicking on the header. Nice idea.
Probably the best news about this theme is that it is free, supports 10 different BlackBerry device models, and was designed based on usability studies. RIM's Accessibility team conducted these studies with a group of individuals with vision loss and the local Waterloo CNIB office assisted in providing product evaluators. . We're hopeful that the availability of this seemingly great theme marks the beginning of more accessibility effort to come from the maker of BlackBerry, building on the access features they already have available, and making sure everyone can access their mobile phones and tablets.
More info about Clarity is available in the BlackBerry App World store at
Go to www.blackberry.com/accessibility for more on what accessibility features already exist for BlackBerry devices.