Today, we’re going to be looking at how you can set up your iPad for the visually impaired. Whether it’s for you or someone else, the tips in this post will help you organize your iPad in such a way that it’s easier and more accessible to use for those with visual impairments.
First, we’re going to cover Apple’s features that have been built into iPad for visibility accessibility. Then, we’re going to look at some additional features and apps that will help the visually impaired as well.
What accessibility features are there on iPad for the visually impaired?
To kick things off, here are a handful of the key features that Apple has built into the iPad for the visually impaired. You can use these features right away, and most of them aren’t too difficult to access. It just takes some digging in the Settings app on your iPad.
The first tool on iPad for the visually impaired is VoiceOver. This is the feature you’re probably the most familiar with. As it sounds, VoiceOver is a screen reader that describes what’s happening on your screen. It’ll also prompt you for gestures and feedback so that you can navigate your iPad more easily.
You can make VoiceOver even more useful by pairing it with a Bluetooth keyboard. You’ll get feedback that allows you to navigate your device using the keyboard, allowing you to interact with your iPad while using the touch screen minimally.
Another helpful tool on iPad for the visually impaired is typing feedback. This feature reads out what you’re typing as you type it, so you know exactly what you’re writing at all times.
This feature also reads out autocomplete and autocorrections, so the iPad won’t alter your writing without you knowing. And if you want to save time, you can tap and hold a word to bring up autocomplete suggestions.
It gives you access to all of the same kinds of typing features that everyone else has access to, and it’s super easy to set up.
Similar to typing feedback is audio descriptions. This feature describes scenes in media to you as you watch content on your iPhone. So you can enjoy movies and shows without missing a beat.
It’s easy enough to enable this feature while you’re watching a show. Just start playing a show, tap the settings icon, then Languages. Then, choose your spoken language of choice with the letters “AD” next to it. That’s short for “Audio descriptions”.
And that’s it! You can also enable this feature by default so that you don’t have to manually enable it on every show.
Of course, your iPad doesn’t just have tools for making its functionality more accessible. It also has tools that allow you to interact with the real world, so you can navigate better just by having it with you.
One of the key tools on iPad for the visually impaired that allows this is Magnifier. It’s a feature that’s exactly as it sounds. It uses your iPad’s camera to magnify anything around you. You can use it to quickly read small text, apply color filters to increase visibility, and zoom in on anything around you.
To use this feature, just add Magnifier to your Control Center (Settings, Control Center, add Magnifier). Then tap the Magnifier option from the Control Center or just activate Siri and say “Magnifier”.
Display and text size
Another useful feature available on iPad for the visually impaired is the ability to modify the display and text size. This can be accessed in the Settings app on your iPad and adjusted whenever you like.
As it sounds, this can be a great way to increase the size of your display and text on it. You can also use this feature to increase contrast on your iPad, color intensity, and even tint. And if you’re using an iPad Pro, you can even alter the frame rate that your iPad operates at.
This fine tuning gives you plenty of control over what you see when using your iPad. It’s a great way to make your everyday usage that much more accessible.
Like most devices these days, the iPad has a few options when it comes to zooming the content on your iPad. The first and simplest ability you have is to simply zoom your entire screen, making everything larger and easier to read.
If you only want to zoom a portion of your iPad’s screen, you can do that as well. Your iPad can create a lens that you can drag around your screen to zoom in on whatever you like. You can resize this lens so that it meets your needs.
Zoom works with VoiceOver, too, so you can use the interplay between these features to your advantage.
The last core accessibility feature on iPad for the visually impaired is the ability to reduce motion. This limits the movement of certain animations and disables others completely.
This can be great for reducing distractions, keeping your eyes focused on one area of the screen, and giving yourself a headache from too much motion.
The first feature you can use on iPad for the visually impaired is screen sharing. As it sounds, this feature allows you to share your scree with someone else. You just need to FaceTime them, and then choose the icon for sharing your screen.
They’ll be able to see what’s on your screen, which can be great if you have a friend or assistant who can help you read or understand what’s happening on your iPad. It’s essentially like having an in-person screen reader at your disposal.
The one drawback of this feature is that it relies on FaceTime, so if the other person isn’t available for a video call, then you won’t be able to use this feature.
On the plus side, this feature should work between an iPad and an Android phone thanks to Apple opening up FaceTime to non-iOS users. So you should be able to use this feature with those who don’t have an iPhone or iPad.
OCR in Photos
A few years ago, Apple introduced OCR in the Photos app. For those that don’t know, OCR is short for Optical Character Recognition. In laymen’s terms, that means it can detect and interpret text in photos. So if you take a picture of notes, a sign, a book, or anything else with text, you’ll be able to select and copy that text in the Photos app.
You can also use this feature with screenshots. That means you can screenshot anything with text on your phone and select that text in the Photos app. This is great if you’re reading something that is too small to see or that you need to write down for later.
iPad for the visually impaired: Make your iPad work for you
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See you next time!