Making the iOS Device Accessible
By: Carmen Willings
iOS devices are wonderful tools for allowing students to access information, music, videos, books and more. For universal accessibility in the iPod, iPod Touch (32GB & 64GB); iPhone 4S (16GB, 32GB, 64GB); iPad2 (3G service 16GB, 32GB, 64GB) turn on the following features by going to "Settings", then selecting "General", and "Accessibility":
ACCESS INFORMATION ON THE SCREEN
Display & Text Size Options
There are many ways to adjust the display options on iOS devices to meet your unique visual needs and more comfortably access your iOS devices. Visit the Apple Support page on Display and Text Size Options for information accessibility options that allow users to make text bold, increase text size, increase contrast, reduce transparency, invert colors, apply filters, change the brightness and more.
Turn your iOS device into a magnifier with the built in magnifier. Visit Apple Support page for details on how to use magnifier on your iOS device.
Zoom is a built-in magnifier that works wherever you are in iOS, from Mail and Safari to the Home and Lock screens. It also works with all apps from the App Store. Turn Zoom on for full screen or picture in picture mode, allowing you to see the zoomed area in a separate window while keeping the rest of the screen at its native size. You can adjust the magnification between 100 and 1,500 percent and access multiple filter options in either mode. Double tapping with three fingers zooms in 200%, and you can adjust the magnification between 100% and 500%. This creates 20pt to 56pt text. While you’re zoomed in, you can still use all of the familiar gestures to navigate your device. Additionally, Zoom works with VoiceOver, allowing the user to see and hear what’s happening on the screen. Visit Apple's Zoom page for more information on the using Zoom feature.
VoiceOver is a gesture-based screen reader that allows the user to navigate the iOS device even if you don’t see the screen. It gives audible descriptions of what’s on the screen including the battery level, who is calling, and which app your finger is on. You can adjust the speaking rate and the pitch to personal preference. Learn more about VoiceOver on this page.
Spoken Content Options
Even if VoiceOver is turned off, you can have iPhone speak selected text or the entire screen. iPhone can also provide feedback and speak text corrections and suggestions as you type. Learn more about the different options within Spoken Content that includes changing voices and speaking rate on the Apple Support Spoken Content page.
Instantly turn on Speak Screen by swiping down from the top of the screen with two fingers, and have all the content of the page read back to you. You can also have words highlighted as they’re being read, so you can follow along. Even the voice’s dialect and speaking rate can be adjusted to suit your needs.
Basic Multitasking Gestures
iOS devices are remarkably intuitive and easy to use. And AssistiveTouch lets you adapt the Multi-Touch screen of your iOS device to your unique physical needs. So if you have difficulty with some gestures, like pinch, you can make them accessible with just a tap of a finger. Or create a custom gesture. And if you have trouble pressing the Home button, you can activate it with an onscreen tap. Gestures like rotate and shake are available even when your iOS device is mounted on a wheelchair. And iOS devices also support a number of third‑party assistive devices that help you interact with your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Dictation lets you talk where you would type. Tap the microphone button on the keyboard, say what you want to write, and your iOS device converts your words (and numbers and characters) into text making it easy to type an email, note, or URL — without typing at all.
Siri is Apple’s intelligent assistant. It helps you complete everyday tasks. Hold the home button and when prompted ask a question or request help. Siri can send messages, place phone calls, schedule meetings, and even turn on and off VoiceOver, Guided Access and Invert Colors. And because Siri is integrated with VoiceOver, you can ask where the nearest gas station, restaurant, or other location is and hear the answer read out loud.
Braille Input with Refreshable Braille Display
Wireless, refreshable braille devices with braille input keyboards can be paired easily with iOS devices. The user can use the device with chording commands to navigate the iOS device.
QWERTY Bluetooth Keyboard
An external bluetooth QWERTY keyboard can easily be paired with the iPad for writing tasks when the user has difficulty using the onscreen keyboard. This is a more proficient means of typing longer passages.
Guided Access helps people with autism or other attention and sensory challenges stay focused on the task (or app) at hand. With Guided Access, a parent, teacher, or therapist can limit an iOS device to stay on one app by disabling the Home button and limit the amount of time spent in an app. You can even restrict access to the keyboard or touch input on certain areas of the screen. So wandering taps and gestures won’t distract from learning.
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Are you overwhelmed by the process of selecting assistive technology for your students? This presentation will encompass the process and steps of selecting the right assistive technology for students who are blind or visually impaired using the SETT framework. Key points covered in this presentation include identification of the current problem; consideration of current skills; understanding unique visual and learning needs; awareness of AT for VI; AT equipment considerations; the process of building a toolkit; instructional strategies; and next steps.
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Apple Accessibility offers information on the accessibility features built into Apple products. Areas include vision, hearing, physical & motor skills, and learning & literacy.
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