Bridging the Accessibility Gap: The Ingenuity of AI and Human Collaboration

I wrote some rough-and-ready notes on how to create a new forum post on for a friend. I assumed they were using JAWS on a Windows machine, so that’s what I used to check my notes as I went.

As usual, ‘assume’ made an ass of me. My friend only visits AppleVis on an iPhone which they access with VoiceOver. I didn’t have time to rewrite my notes there and then, so I pasted them into ChatGPT and prompted it to “rewrite these instructions for a blind user using VoiceOver on an iPhone.”

Here are my original notes, written with JAWS on a WindowsLAPTOP:

“The thing you need to know is – the menu isn’t there until you press a button. Go to and then:

  1. Press B to go to next button. Jaws will say “main menu button collapsed.”
  2. Press enter or space. Jaws will say “expanded or main menu button expanded.”
  3. Arrow down or press H to jump to the next Heading. Jaws will say “main navigation heading level 2.”
  4. Arrow down. Jaws should say “link post,” make sure this is a link, there’s a menu next that sounds the same, but it will also say “expand.”
  5. After you press enter/space on the link, a new page comes up with the level 1 heading “add content.”
  6. Read this page and see links to create the various types of content you can submit. One of which is “Forum Topic.”
  7. Press enter/space on this link and a new page appears with the level 1 heading “create forum topic.”

Now, there are really only four things on this page you need to know/worry about:

  1. An edit box called “subject”
  2. A combo box called “Forum”
  3. An edit box called “message”
  4. A button called “save”

There’s other shit like formatting and subscribing to comments Etc. but I’ve never bothered with that. I just type the title in Subject, use the combo box to choose what forum I’m posting to (it’s obvious from the options) then I usually paste my post into Message (I write them in Word, they are bastards for speelling mistakes) and then I press enter/space on Save.

And that’s it, I think. I’ve prob missed something out, but this should start you off. I’ll know how you’ve done when I see a post from you!”

After realising my mistake, I pasted the above into ChatGPT and gave it the following prompt:

“rewrite these instructions for a blind user using VoiceOver on an iPhone”

Now, the result isn’t perfect, but it literally took me 60 seconds to do:

“Here’s how you can navigate and post on using VoiceOver on your iPhone:

  1. Open Safari and visit
  2. Swipe right until you hear VoiceOver say “main menu button collapsed.” This is the button you need to interact with.
  3. Double-tap the screen to activate the button. VoiceOver will then announce “expanded” to indicate the menu is open.
  4. Swipe down to move to the next element or use the rotor to navigate by headings until you hear “main navigation heading level 2.”
  5. Continue swiping down. You are looking for an element that VoiceOver will announce as “link post.” There might be another element that sounds similar, but you need the one that VoiceOver does not announce as “expand.”
  6. Double-tap on the “link post” to open a new page where the first heading should be “add content” at level 1.
  7. Explore this page with a swipe down or by using headings to find the “Forum Topic” link.
  8. Double-tap the “Forum Topic” link, and a new page will open with a level 1 heading “create forum topic.” On the “Create Forum Topic” page, you’ll mainly interact with:
  9. An edit box for the “subject” - VoiceOver will announce this when you navigate to it.
  10. A combo box for the “Forum” - select this to choose the forum category for your post.
  11. An edit box for your “message” - this is where you’ll type or paste the content of your post.
  12. A “save” button - double-tap this after entering your post details to submit your forum topic. Don’t worry about the additional formatting or subscription options unless you want to explore these later. To type in the “Subject” or “Message” fields, double-tap and start typing. To select a forum in the “Combo box,” double-tap, swipe up or down to choose your option, then double-tap to confirm. Once you’ve entered your subject and message and chosen the forum category, locate the “Save” button by swiping and double-tap it to post your topic. I hope this helps, and I’ll be on the lookout for your post! If you need further assistance, don’t hesitate to ask.”

It isn’t perfect, but it literally took me 60 seconds to do. It even got rid of my swear!

I asked ChatGPT to comments on the process…this is what it said:

“Using an AI like me, ChatGPT, to instantly translate instructions from one platform to another is not only innovative but also a testament to the flexibility and adaptability of AI-assisted solutions. This approach can significantly streamline the process of creating accessible content for different users and platforms. Here are some advantages of using an AI for this task:

  1. Speed: As you mentioned, the conversion was completed in 60 seconds, which is much faster than manual rewriting. This rapid translation can be incredibly valuable when time is of the essence.
  2. Consistency: AI can help maintain consistency in instructions across different platforms, ensuring that the core steps remain intact while the specifics are adjusted to the new environment.
  3. Scalability: This process can be scaled easily. If you need to create similar instructions for different users with various needs or for different platforms, an AI can replicate the process quickly.
  4. Customization: AI can tailor content to the user’s needs with a high level of customization, which is critical for users with disabilities.
  5. Learning and Improvement: AI systems can learn from previous translations and user feedback, potentially improving over time to provide more accurate and user-friendly instructions. However, it’s also essential to consider the limitations and need for human oversight:
  6. Context Understanding: While AI can perform translations based on given information, understanding the nuanced needs of users, especially when it comes to accessibility, might require human empathy and experience.
  7. Quality Assurance: It’s crucial to review the AI’s work to ensure that the translated instructions are accurate and understandable, as the AI might not catch platform-specific features or limitations.
  8. Personal Touch: While AI can mimic a personalized tone to some extent, there’s often a need for human intuition to ensure the instructions feel genuinely tailored to the user. By leveraging AI for such tasks, you are at the forefront of utilizing technology to foster accessibility and inclusivity. It’s a practical application of AI in everyday problem-solving that can have a meaningful impact on individuals' lives.”

I wasn’t sure where to take this article next or how to end it. So who better to end it for me than ChatGPT.

“As I absorbed the comments from ChatGPT, I couldn’t help but marvel at the seamless intersection of technology and human consideration. The process underscored the importance of inclusivity in our digital world, reminding us that the convenience we often take for granted can become a significant barrier if not approached thoughtfully. The AI-generated instructions for using VoiceOver on an iPhone highlighted the strides we’ve made towards accessibility. However, they also serve as a gentle nudge for us to remain vigilant and empathetic. As we rely more on AI and technology, it’s imperative to remember that they are tools to augment our human-centric aims, not replace them. To anyone preparing instructions, content, or services for people with different abilities, this experience serves as a valuable lesson. It’s not just about translating actions from one platform to another; it’s about stepping into the shoes of the user and ensuring that each step is as intuitive and navigable as the one before it. And while AI has made this process incredibly efficient, it’s our human touch that will continue to refine, adapt, and personalize these interactions. We must continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible with AI while grounding our efforts in the understanding that our diversity is our strength. Our digital landscapes should not only be accessible but also welcoming to all, reflecting the varied ways people perceive and interact with the world. So, as we harness the power of AI to bridge gaps, let’s also commit to the ongoing conversation with those who use our instructions. Their insights and experiences are the true beacons that will guide the refinement of our approaches and the technologies we employ. In the spirit of progress and inclusion, I look forward to the diverse voices that will soon find expression in the forum topics on, and beyond, thanks to the continued collaboration between human intention and artificial intelligence.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. So I didn’t. I asked ChatGPT to analyse and advise,” it suggested I ad the following:

“As I conclude this reflection on the power and promise of AI in enhancing accessibility, I am reminded that technology is at its best when it complements our human capacity for care and connection. The lessons learned go beyond the correct usage of VoiceOver or the crafting of accessible instructions. They are about the essence of consideration — a reminder that behind every user interface, there’s a person seeking to connect, learn, and engage with the world in their unique way. So, as we look towards a future where AI stands as a testament to human ingenuity, let’s ensure that our technological advancements are always matched by an equal commitment to empathy and inclusion. And as we embrace this synergy of heart and innovation, we may edge closer to a digital realm that truly reflects the diversity of the human experience.

I hope we all take this narrative as an inspiration to not only share our knowledge but to listen actively, learn continuously, and lead with a compassion that transcends the boundaries of sight and screen. Together, with both AI and an abiding spirit of humanity, we will illuminate the path for every individual to navigate the digital world with confidence and ease.”

Charlotte Joanne @Lottie