Accessibility features on iOS are available to any user from the moment you buy your iPad or iPhone. Simply turn on your device and there are built in gestures that are immediately available to you. These can be invoked by either (triple) clicking the home button (to turn on VoiceOver) or via simple swipe gestures (double-tap the screen with three fingers to turn zoom off and on).
You can manage a variety of accessibility features on your iPad. To get started and see which features met you needs and are accessible to you, open the Settings App–> General–> Accessibility. Here you will find numerous options separated out by feature set.
The Magazine has become one of my favorite regular reads on the iPad. I’ve read a number of great pieces on a wide range of topics in it over recent months. This week one particular article in Issue 9 drew me in and ended up being great read and a great feel-good piece as well.
The article is titled Re-Enabled – iOS’s impact on those with impairments isn’t just a marketing slide; it’s profound, and was written by Steven Aquino.
The marketing slide reference is to a brief moment during last year’s WWDC keynote event where Soctt Forstall highlighted the new Guided Access feature of iOS and showed a slide of a autistic boy using an iPad (shown above). Here’s why Aquino is uniquely qualified to write about how this works in the real world:
That scenario plays out for me every day. I work with special-needs children, and I also have a severe visual impairment.
And here’s a little excerpt that shows just how effective the iPad and iOS are proving with Aquino and the kids he works with:
You might suspect that the iPad’s whiz-bang interaction would distract our kids. But we’ve found that it keeps our students attentive and engaged far better and longer than any of our conventional tools. And with Guided Access, I can ensure that they stay on task by locking them into the app I want them to use. Moreover, the iPad is a tool they want to learn on and use. The iPad has nearly obviated the need (and the desire) to keep utilizing older materials, because the iPad is capable of helping our students grasp the necessary concepts in a modern, engaging way.
The whole piece is a superb and inspiring read. You can see it in Issue 9 (January 31) of The Magazine, or online here: http://the-magazine.org/9/re-enabled.