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New Posts 2016-09-23T18:58:27+00:00

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Accessibility Features in iOS 7: Vision and Hearing


With the release of iOS 7, many new accessibility features were added to make iDevices easier to use for people with disabilities.

Where did the Accessibility menu go?

The settings for accessibility are still located under the general menu but the location of the Accessibility option menu has moved closer to the top of the list. Users can still use the Triple Click Home (renamed ‘Accessibility Shortcut) to quickly turn on and off specific features such as VoiceOver, guided access, invert colors, zoom, switch control and assistive touch.

Previously, many users required assistance to have this feature configured in order for them to access the device. New Siri commands allow users to enable many accessibility options by holding the home button and instructing Siri to turn on the feature. (Reminder: Siri is only operational with a Wi-Fi or data plan connection.)

Blind and Low Vision Features

VoiceOver has a added new gestures to increase ease of use.

  • Four finger double tap – starts or stops VoiceOver help from any screen
  • Quadruple three finger tap – copy the last spoken text to the clipboard
  • Tap the status bar and swipe up with three fingers to start the control center (to exit do a two finger scroll on the home screen)
  • Press the home button and tap the screen to unlock the screen
  • Double tap with two fingers (when in a form field this allows the user to dictate in the edit field; performing the gesture again will finish the speaking)

VoiceOver has also added new rotor settings for Sounds and Handwriting.

  • Sounds:  VoiceOver specific sounds effects can be turned on and off
  • Handwriting:
  1. Writing – a three finger swipe up and down will change the case of a letter, a two finger swipe right will input a space, and a two finger swipe left will backspace
  2. Naviagation – drawing a letter on the screen will find matching apps that start with that letter. When in Safari, writing a letter will start that rotor option.

Other new features for blind and low vision include:

  • New phonetics options
  • Enhanced voice and language support
  • Large cursor option for VoiceOver
  • Math input support using Nemeth Braille in VoiceOver
  • Adjustable features for visual appearance including:
  1. Ability to adjust boldness and type size
  2. Increase contrast toggle
  3. Reduce motion, which adjusts the colors to improve certain color combinations where the text appears to move

Hearing Accessibility Features

The accessibility features for individuals with hearing impairments have a few updates as well. The subtitle and caption option is now a global setting located in the Accessibility settings. The user may also adjust or create a style for the caption to meet their needs.

Upcoming: Updates on Accessibility features for learning and motor

PDF Accessibility Checker PAC

Photo of software windowThe freeware program PAC provides a fast way to test the accessibility of PDF files. PAC supports both experts as well as end users conducting accessibility evaluations.

The Matterhorn Protocol (PDF) is designed to foster adoption of PDF/UA by providing a set of 31 Checkpoints and 136 Failure Conditions that help software developers exchange detailed information on PDF/UA conformance and create software to make it easier for document authors to create fully accessible PDF files and forms.

PAC 2, the new PDF Accessibility Checker from Access for All, a Swiss non-profit organization, is the first implementation of the Matterhorn Protocol.

Review reposted from: 


Accessibility in Social Media

WebAIM’s May 2012 screen reader survey indicated that only 54.2% of screen reader users surveyed found social media sites to be “very accessible” or “somewhat accessible”, while 33.7% of respondents said social media sites were “very inaccessible” or “somewhat inaccessible”.

What do you use to access social media?

Check out the AppleVis page for information on accessible Apple related apps for blind and low-vision users.

screenshot of AppleVis website















Reposted from:

Meanings – Dictionary App Using iPhone camera

When Rob LeFebvre from Cult of Mac shared this article by fellow author Charlie Sorrel I immediately downloaded it to test drive the app for myself.  After reading reviews I expected to be disappointed in the performance but was instead pleasantly surprised!  I found the app well worth the $0.99 price tag. Try it for yourself and tell us what you think.

Here’s  the original article by Charlie Sorrel at Cult of Mac.

Did you ever find yourself pinching to zoom a paper map, or tapping and holding on an unfamiliar word in a newspaper trying to pop up a dictionary definition? It always ends in frustration, no? Not anymore. Not the second one, anyway: Meanings is an app that lets you use the iPhone’s camera to look up up real-world words in the fake-world dictionary.

meanings from Jinah Adam on Vimeo.


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