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Understanding accessibility on the iPad

From: iPad Tips and Tricks (2010)

Video: Understanding accessibility on the iPad

Strange as it may seem for a device that lacks a physical keyboard and pointing device, the iPad is quite accessible to those with disabilities. And it is because Apple is on the forefront of making devices that can be used by everyone. But the iPad's accessibility features aren't useful only to those with vision and hearing problems. Those without such issues can use some of these features as well. Let's take a look. The first obvious question is, if you can't see well, how can you possibly navigate the iPad in order to get to its accessibility features? And the answer is through iTunes on your computer.

Understanding accessibility on the iPad

Strange as it may seem for a device that lacks a physical keyboard and pointing device, the iPad is quite accessible to those with disabilities. And it is because Apple is on the forefront of making devices that can be used by everyone. But the iPad's accessibility features aren't useful only to those with vision and hearing problems. Those without such issues can use some of these features as well. Let's take a look. The first obvious question is, if you can't see well, how can you possibly navigate the iPad in order to get to its accessibility features? And the answer is through iTunes on your computer.

If you have vision issues and are using a computer, it's likely you have it configured so that you can navigate around it, by using Apple's VoiceOver technology on your Mac, for example. So launch iTunes, select the iPad in iTunes's source list, and in the Summary pane, scroll down to the bottom and click Configure Universal Access. A window appears where you can switch on the Seeing and Hearing features, which I'll discuss shortly. For now, know that VoiceOver offers audible feedback when you touch your iPad, telling you what's happening on the interface.

Zoom does just that and zooms the interface. The Use white-on-black display, Speak Auto-text, Use mono audio, and Show closed captions when available are self-explanatory. Now let's switch on VoiceOver, click OK, and Continue, and move to the iPad. (VoiceOver: VoiceOver on. Landscape. Home button to the right. Calendar. Double-tap to open.) With VoiceOver engaged, you can now move about the iPad by touching the iPad and listening to spoken navigation commands like these.

(VoiceOver: Contacts. Double-tap Notes. Double-tap to open.) You can here that when I drag my finger across the iPad's display, it tells me what I've highlighted and how to open it. So let's now use VoiceOver to navigate to the Accessibility feature. What I'm going to do is drag my finger until I locate and highlight the Settings app, and then I'll launch Settings just by double-tapping somewhere on the screen. (VoiceOver: Notes, App Store, Settings. Double-tap to open.) So now I'm in the Settings window, and the General setting is highlighted.

Now, maybe I can't see that, so I will take my finger and move it around until I locate General. (VoiceOver: Location, Cellular Data, Brightness and Wall--, Picture Frame button selected, General) I'll double-tap. (VoiceOver: Selected. General.) And now I'm sure that I've selected the General setting. What I do now is tap somewhere in the General setting, so I've highlighted an item in there. (VoiceOver: Usage. Button.) Now I'll tap and drag with three fingers to scroll down the window. (VoiceOver: Row 7 to 18 of 18. General heading.) Now using my finger, I'll search out the Accessibility option.

(VoiceOver: Keyboard, International button. Accessibility. Accessibility button.) I found it, so all I'll have to do is double-tap on that to open it. (VoiceOver: Settings. VoiceOver on button.) And now I'm in the Accessibility area. What I'd like to do next is turn on Zoom, but before I do that, I want to turn off VoiceOver. So let's select it. (VoiceOver: VoiceOver on button.) Double-tap. (VoiceOver: Settings. VoiceOver on. Double-tap to toggle setting.) And I'll double-tap to turn off the toggle.

(VoiceOver: Alert. Important. Are you sure you want to disable VoiceOver? Okay button. VoiceOver off.) Using regular taps now, I can go back up the hierarchy by tapping the Accessibility button, and now I can go to Zoom, and I'll tap once on that. And to turn on Zoom, I just have to toggle. To zoom the screen, all I have to do now is double-tap with three fingers and then move around the screen, just take your three fingers and drag around.

To zoom back, double-tap again with three fingers, and there you have normal view. So let's go to the Home screen. I'll double-tap to zoom, drag three fingers to move. Now I can change the zoom level by double-tapping and then dragging down to make it smaller and then drag up to make it larger. So let's return to Settings, and let's take a look at some of the other Accessibility features. I'm going to switch off Zoom, tap Accessibility, and look at the other options.

Let's look at Large Text. Select that and you see that you can make text larger in Contacts, Mail, and Notes. So let's make 40-point text, for example. I'll go over to Notes. We'll take a look there, and you can see that the text is much larger than it is normally. Move back to Settings, and we'll turn that off so we have a regular-sized text. Back to Accessibility. White on Black is an option that you can turn on via the toggle switch, and you see that you get this very dark background with white text.

Now how is this useful? Well, people who have vision problems find this easier to read in some cases, but it can also be used by people who don't have vision problems. For example, if you like to read in bed at night and the person you're sleeping with really resents the fact that there's this really bright light in the background when you're reading a book, even though you can adjust the brightness on the thing, you may want to turn this on. The text is still very legible, but you don't have that bright shine coming out of the iPad as you would if you had the iPad set to its normal setting. So, switch on White on Black, and you may have a more compatible relationship.

Let's switch that off. Mono Audio takes a stereo audio signal and mixes it so both sides of the stereo mix can be heard from each side of an attached headphone. If you happened to have an old- fashioned mono earpiece, the kind that you're used to wear with maybe your transistor radio when you're listening to baseball games, you can use this option there, and we'll switch it off. And finally, there's Speak Auto-text. Personally, I find this really helpful because sometimes the iPad's Auto-correction is a little over-aggressive, and it will substitute words that I don't want.

The problem is that I don't always notice that it's doing that, and with this option on, however, the iPad will speak any auto-correction it makes, making it easier to notice, and if necessary, to correct. So we'll switch this on, we'll go to Notes, and I'll type something and hope it comes up with a correction. (VoiceOver: Artichoke.) There! And it finally offered the one I want, so I can just tap the spacebar and it will insert Artichoke, and back to Settings.

And last, there is the Triple-click Home button option. Tap it and you'll find that you can configure a triple-click of the Home button to perform one of the iPad's accessibility tricks. For my purposes, I found that Ask is the most helpful. Sometimes I want to use White on Black and other times Zoom. Choosing Ask allows me to choose on the fly which one to use. And that's our overview of accessibility and how everyone can find some use for it.

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This video is part of

Image for iPad Tips and Tricks (2010)
iPad Tips and Tricks (2010)

46 video lessons · 72299 viewers

Christopher Breen
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 0s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
  2. 23m 31s
    1. Taking advantage of Siri
      5m 42s
    2. Syncing photos with Photo Stream
      7m 54s
    3. Finding the way with Apple Maps
      9m 55s
  3. 1h 12m
    1. Touching the iPad
      8m 39s
    2. Setting the rotation lock/mute toggle switch
      1m 40s
    3. Multitasking
      2m 42s
    4. Using the virtual keyboard
      11m 53s
    5. Using gestures to work faster
      1m 43s
    6. Understanding iTunes and the iPad
      6m 31s
    7. Syncing info to the iPad
      3m 31s
    8. Wireless updating and syncing
      2m 24s
    9. Syncing media files to the iPad
      5m 28s
    10. Syncing data with iCloud
      9m 8s
    11. Using iTunes Match to keep music updated on multiple devices
      6m 43s
    12. Troubleshooting
      6m 29s
    13. Using Notification Center
      6m 7s
  4. 15m 12s
    1. Using the App Store to download apps
      9m 56s
    2. Managing apps
      5m 16s
  5. 26m 43s
    1. Configuring peripherals
      6m 43s
    2. Printing with an iPad
      1m 48s
    3. Understanding accessibility on the iPad
      7m 3s
    4. Childproofing the iPad
      5m 39s
    5. Managing Location Services
      5m 30s
  6. 28m 58s
    1. Configuring email accounts
      9m 5s
    2. Organizing email
      3m 44s
    3. Dealing with spam
      6m 33s
    4. iMessage
      5m 32s
    5. Configuring Twitter and sending Twitter updates from multiple apps
      4m 4s
  7. 39m 49s
    1. Connecting an iPad to an external display
      3m 32s
    2. Creating iPad presentations with Keynote
      8m 37s
    3. Creating iPad presentations with third-party apps
      6m 45s
    4. Controlling a computer remotely with an iPad
      8m 7s
    5. Keeping to-do lists synchronized
      4m 5s
    6. Managing and editing files with third-party apps
      8m 43s
  8. 16m 38s
    1. Taking pictures and movies
      3m 50s
    2. Editing and sharing movies
      6m 3s
    3. Video conferencing with FaceTime
      4m 33s
    4. Taking fun pictures with Photo Booth
      2m 12s
  9. 32m 16s
    1. Preparing audio and video files for the iPad
      7m 28s
    2. Using AirPlay to stream video and audio wirelessly to an external display
      3m 28s
    3. Using Home Sharing
      2m 18s
    4. Streaming media to an iPad
      7m 5s
    5. Copying media from an iPad to a computer
      5m 15s
    6. Importing and editing photos
      6m 42s
  10. 32s
    1. Conclusion
      32s

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