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Review Of The Accessibility Of The iPad 2

For many of us, we don’t have to worry about the accessibility of our iPad. We are lucky enough to be able to see and hear the full wonder of our devices, but there are many people around the world for whom the bigger screen means nothing because they cannot see it. But don’t feel sad for these people because the iPad 2 accessibility means that they can use their iPad in much the same way as we can use ours. Here is a review of the accessibility functions of this device, especially for a person with low or no vision. Keep in mind that there are updates all the time and while this is the latest information at the time of writing you may be reading this in the future where there are better apps and accessibility functions available.

–         VoiceOver

VoiceOver is the main accessibility feature for the iPad and it can be set up without the need for vision as long as you have a screen reader installed on the computer on which you first sync the device. From here you can customise the language and tone of the voice as well as the speed in which it speaks and the different sounds for the different notifications. VoiceOver will help you to navigate around your device in a way that has never been done before. Rather than having to remember where everything is or click an arrow to scroll through the options VO will give you things in context. Pressing down on the app or function and then moving your finger around it will activate this response and it will tell you what is nearby.

–         Enlarging the phone

For those who have poor or limited eye sight the zoom function will assist you by enlarging everything so you can see it better. It’s not just the text that is bigger but even the apps so they are easier for you to see and to click on. You can also activate the white on black function if you need higher contrast to see.

–         Every book becomes an audio-book

With VoiceOver every book and PDF in the iBook app is automatically an audio-book. VoiceOver can read the text aloud at the pace of your choosing in the voice or language that you want. This also works with Safari, Calendar, and e-mail so you can have the latest news reports, your schedule, and your newest e-mail all read to you so you never miss a thing.

–         Braille devices

The iPad supports a lot of different Braille devices so typing is a lot easier. Ask in store or check at the Apple store to see which devices are compatible.

The iPhone 4S has just been announced and will come with the beta version of the most intelligent voice command and reader by far. Called Siri, this device will read out your newest text messages and e-mails and will allow you to reply to them as well as to create a new document, search the web, or call home without having to remember a lot of different commands. While it hasn’t been stated by Apple, it stands to reason that once Siri is out of the beta stages she will be available through updates on iPad’s as well as mac books.

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