My Experiences with Built-In iPhone Accessibility Tools: Check out all the Built-In Accessibility features that come on the iPhone/iPad without needing any other equipment or software. I’ve been playing with the settings on my phone and have a few thoughts. www.apple.com/iphone/features/accessibility.html
- Many of you know that I spend A LOT of time in my car. About 800 hours per school year to and from my office to be exact! This is a lot of time that I could be using more efficiently and these accessibility features built into the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch are so helpful to me! No, I do not have a vision or hearing impairment and yet I still benefit tremendously from these accessibility features. UDL???
- So, I on my iPhone, I go into Settings, General and then Accessibility.
- In Accessibility, I set Triple-click Home (at the very bottom) to VoiceOver. By doing this, every time I press the Home button at the bottom of my iPhone 3 times, Voiceover turns on and pretty much EVERYTHING on my phone can be read out loud to me! Another 3 presses of the Home button turns it back off. There are other accessibility settings in here, but I’ll focus on VoiceOver for right now.
- So, now that my phone is set to use VoiceOver anytime I hit Home 3X, I can be anywhere on my phone: my email, my google docs, my texting, my skype, my twitter, etc., and have my iPhone READ TO ME!
- I am constantly emailing myself documents that I want to have read to me on the drive to or from my office. I simply navigate to that email and open the text, then hit Home 3X and touch where I want the iPhone to start reading!
- This is built-into one of the most popular mainstream devices of all time! This is no longer Special Education Technology. It is real life, it is useful and we should be teaching ALL of our students to utilize it to it’s fullest!
A Few Accessibility-Specific Apps:
- Subtitles (free): Offers subtitles for a huge library of movies in 20 different languages: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/subtitles/id358913522?mt=8
- Magnify (1.99): Uses the iPhones camera to magnify! Cool. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/magnifi/id331937421?mt=8
- Read 2 Me (4.99): I believe, the first and only full speech synthesis app. Library of texts OR bring in your own url based txt files. I’ve been waiting for this and it’s pretty huge! It’ll support reading your own Google Docs as well. It’s not perfect, but it’s getting closer to what we actually need! I’ve been personally using it on my commute and really loving it. I can read from my Google Docs, from a url, or from the built-in library. I can change voices, speed, and even set my own bookmarks! http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/read-2-me/id313752154?mt=8
- Text Enlarger (.99): Communicate in a crowd or use forVision & Hearing impairments: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/text-enlarger/id374861680?mt=8
- ADA/ABA Accessibility Guidelines (1.99): http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ada-aba-accessibility-guidelines/id378755255?mt=8
- SynthSpeech (1.99): Speaks text that you either type or copy/paste from elsewhere: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/synthspeech-text-to-speech/id373481329?mt=8
- Easy Speak (1.99): Sort of a communication device type of app. Includes 4000 editable words and phrases: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/easy-speak/id382620857?mt=8
- SayText (free): This app lets you shoot some text with the phone’s camera and it will perform OCR and read it back! It’s not quite as good as you might hope, BUT it’s free and improvements will hopefully be on-going! Personally, I’ve found it to work pretty. It’s just a little slow. But hey, it’s FREE OCR on your phone!!! http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/saytext/id376337999?mt=8
- Keyboard Shortcuts Ref (.99): If you’ve been to a workshop with me, you probably know how much I push people to use at least the basic keyboard shortcuts like ctrl+C for copy. Well, here’s a little reference app that lists over 3000 keyboard shortcuts for over 20 different programs! http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/keyboard-shortcuts-reference/id358349722?mt=8
- VOD or Voice Of Daisy (25.99): A DAISY Audiobook Player: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/vod/id335608379?mt=8
Transition To College: Do you have students with print disabilities transitioning from high school to college? Check out the press release for Read:OutLoud University Edition. Good info to at least pass on to parents as students leave the K-12 building.