iPhone & iPad Apps for the Blind &VisuallyImpaired

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Voiceover for iOS let voiceover be your guide

iPad paired with a Braille display in the Notes app.Braille Displays

iOS devices are fully compatible with many refreshable braille displays. You can connect a Bluetooth wireless braille display to read VoiceOver output, including contracted and uncontracted braille and equations using Nemeth Code. And braille displays with input keys can be used to control your iOS device when VoiceOver is turned on.

VoiceOver is a gesture-based screen reader that lets you enjoy the fun and simplicity of iOS even if you can’t see the screen. With VoiceOver enabled, just triple-click the Home button to access it wherever you are in iOS. Hear a description of everything happening on your screen, from battery level to who’s calling to which app your finger’s on. You can adjust the speaking rate and pitch to suit you.

iPhone showing VoiceOver speech output from It's Nice That web site in Safari: 'The intimidating landscapes of the Tour de France captured beautifully by Mark Leary.'

Text Input

Whether you’re composing an email or jotting a note, VoiceOver echoes each character on the keyboard as you touch it, and again when you enter it. Have VoiceOver speak each completed word. A flick up or down moves the cursor so you can edit precisely. To help you type more quickly and accurately, iOS supports multiple character inputmethods — including handwriting — and corrects misspelled words. Enable Speak Auto-text and you hear a sound effect and the suggested word spoken. Keep typing to ignore it, or tap the space bar to have your iOS device type it for you. Pair up an Apple Bluetooth keyboard, and VoiceOver talks you through inputting text in the same way.
iPhone showing the VoiceOver rotor set to move by headings in a Elle Decor web page.

The Rotor

iPhone showing VoiceOver working with autocorrection in the Messages app.
VoiceOver features a virtual control called the rotor. Turning the rotor — by rotating two fingers on the screen as if you were turning an actual dial — changes the way VoiceOver moves through a web page or document based on the setting you choose. When you’re on a web page, turn the rotor to hear settings like “headings,” “links,” and “images.” Then flick to choose how you navigate the page — for example, you can skip from one heading to the next. Move through documents with similar ease. The rotor has settings like “word” or “character” that let you choose how to navigate your text, which comes in handy for checking spelling and grammar. You can customize the rotor elements from a variety of options, including language.


Because VoiceOver is integrated in iOS, it works with all the built-in apps, including Safari, Mail, App Store, iTunes, Music, Calendar, Reminders, and Notes. You can also create custom labels for buttons in any app — including third-party apps. So it’s even easier to get to your news, word games, or anything else you love on your iOS device. And Apple is working with the iOS developer community to make even more apps compatible with VoiceOver. 

International Voices

VoiceOver includes built-in voices that speak over 30 languages: English (U.S.), English (UK), English (Australia), English (Ireland), English (South Africa), Spanish (Mexico), Spanish (Spain), French (France), French (Canada), German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin (Mainland China), Mandarin (Taiwan), Cantonese (Hong Kong), Arabic, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Flemish (Belgium), Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazil), Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Swedish, Thai, and Turkish.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Assistive technology is any kind of technology and/or tool that can be used to enhance the functional independence of a person with a disability.

Apple just keeps making it better for those who are blind or visually impaired. iOS 8 comes with more features to make it easier for people with low vision or no vision to get the most from their iOS devices. Following you will find misc. information about using the iDevices as assistive technology. I hope you find this guide helpful as you take this journey into the iWorld. Please note: There are new apps coming out every day. This is not a complete guide but more of a jumping off point.

Built-in Accessibility/Functions to explore:
Built-in accessibility features and the development of thousands of specialized apps have made Apple’s iPhone extremely popular among persons with disabilities. Assignable ringtones create an audible caller ID for the blind;  This section explores the IOS accessibility features, including VoiceOver and Zoom, and reviews blind or low vision-specific apps.

There are many built-in features on iDevices that accommodate those with low vision or no vision and help improve productivity. The iPhone and the iPad have some differences here so it is important that you get the tools that best fits your needs. Apple provides a section just on accessibility option worth exploring but also check out the details of many of those built-in accessibility options in the iOS Technology.

Here are the functions we will be covering.
Guided Access,VoiceOver,VoiceOver with Zoom,Zoom,VoiceOver with Maps,Text Completion,Siri,Siri’s ability to launch apps,White-on-Black,Hands Free,Alternate alerts,Custom vibration patterns for alerts
Word highlights in speak selection.

You can find these functions in accessibility. 


VoiceOver, the screen reader for blind and low-vision users, is now integrated with Maps, AssistiveTouch, and Zoom.VoiceOver is a revolutionary screen reader that lets you know what’s happening on your Multi-Touch screen — and helps you navigate it — even if you can’t see it. Touch the screen to hear what’s under your finger, then use gestures to control your device. VoiceOver works with the apps that come with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. 


Siri, Apple’s intelligent assistant, helps you do the things you do every day.1 All you have to do is ask. Say something like “Tell Jay I’m running late” or “Remind me to make reservations for Saturday.” Siri can send messages, place phone calls, schedule meetings, and even turn on and off VoiceOver, Guided Access and Invert Colors. And because Siri is integrated with VoiceOver, you can ask where the nearest sushi restaurant is and hear the answer read out loud.

Speak Selection

If you have a hard time reading the text on your iOS device, use Speak Selection to read your email, iMessages, web pages, and books to you. Highlight text in any application, tap Speak, and Speak Selection reads the selected text aloud. You can adjust the voice’s dialect and speaking rate, and have words highlighted as they’re being read.


Dictation lets you talk where you would type. Tap the microphone button on the keyboard, say what you want to write, and your iOS device converts your words (and numbers and characters) into text. So it’s easy to type an email, note, or URL — without typing at all.


Zoom is a built-in magnifier that works wherever you are in iOS, from Mail and Safari to the Home and Lock screens. And it works with all apps from the App Store. A simpledouble-tap with three fingers instantly zooms in 200 percent, and you can adjust the magnification between 100 and 500 percent. While you’re zoomed in, you can still use all of the familiar gestures to navigate your device. And Zoom works with VoiceOver, so you can bettersee — and hear — what’s happening on your screen.

Font Adjustments

When you activate Larger Dynamic Type, the text inside Calendar, Contacts, Mail, Messages, Notes, and even some third party apps, is converted to a larger, easier-to-read size. And you can choose bold text to make the text heavier across a range of built-in applications.

Invert Colors and Grayscale

If a higher contrast helps you better see what’s on your display, iOS lets you invert the colors onscreen. Once you set your colors, the settings apply systemwide, even to video, so you get the same view no matter what you’re seeing.
Braille Displays for iOS  It’s easy to use a braille display with your iOS device. More than 40 Bluetooth wireless braille displays work right out of the box with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. And iOS includes braille tables for multiple languages. Learn more about iOS braille displays         

Apps for Visually Impaired:
 It is always good to do a little research on an app before purchasing it. Do a search and see if you can find some reviews or talk to others to see if they have tried it. This could save you a lot of money as some apps are just not appropriate or what you might be hoping for. Watching YouTube videos of the app in action i always worth while. 
explored and found, what I feel to be, a couple of great resources for apps for the Visually Impaired:

Apps for the Blind and Visually Impaired -  highlights some of the most innovative apps available.
Gradients of Sight has provided a listing and review of each.
 Magnification and Vision Support listing by Spectronics.com is also a good guide.
spectronics.com has a listing of apps for people who have low vision, and teachers of students who have a vision impairment.
 iPhone iPad apps for the blind and visually impaired blog highlights some of the most innovative and entertaining apps available to the vision impaired.

Not assistive technology but may be worth exploring is: Apps that can aid in Visual Skills
Voice Dream Reader app  provides text-to-speech that lets you listen to any articles, blog posts, reports, papers, and books. It reads the text using the best available text-to-speech technology. You can add it to your Book share account easily. VDR allows for many color options, the Text-To-Speech can be set for wpm, and I think you will like the reading screen feature. 
ViA is a new app from Braille Institute that fills a real need for families with children with visual impairments... it helps you find apps that are accessible and appropriate for blind users! 

Please note that many of the apps in this section would not be considered LV but more instructional.
App Writer US  is an app which is a text editor for the iPad with word prediction, text-to-speech, OCR, and a special font for people who are Dyslexic.
PaperPort allows you to import pictures, documents, items from dropbox, etc. and then either type, write or use speech recognition into text boxes. A digital note taking tool, allowing the user to combine documents, web content, audio, typed text, and handwritten notes into a single document that can be shared.
SoundNote is an iPad alternative to smart pens like LiveScribe, but without the need to purchase a special pen. (It is specific to the iPad and is not available on the iPhone.) It allows you to record audio while you hand write notes with your finger, stylus, or keyboard to take notes during classes, conferences, meetings, etc. When you are finished, simply go to the section of your notes that you want to review and you are immediately taken to that section of the audio as well. 
Voice Dream Reader app  provides text-to-speech that lets you listen to any articles, blog posts, reports, papers, and books. It reads the text using the best available text-to-speech technology. 

Reading Supports to research:
There's a lot reading supports available from resources such as-
iBooks (come with iDevices)
iBooks for Textbooks (This will be big!)
Learning Ally
Talking Books from the National Library Service
Apps that offer highlighting while speaking the text:  Speak It. A great reading app called Voice Dream Reader can be used with Pocket (or Instapaper). With a webpage, save it to pocket then open Voice Dream Reader which imports all webpages saved in Pocket. Voice Dream Reader ighlights the line which is being read aloud. VVoice Dream Reader uses Acapela voices.
Voice Dream Readerapp  provides text-to-speech that lets you listen to any articles, blog posts, reports, papers, and books. It reads the text using the best available text-to-speech technology. 

Apps for Organization and Productivity:
This is a huge category and there are many, many apps to provide support in these areas. This is one of the main supports I (and many others) use my iPad and iPhone for. I often wonder how I ever stayed organized before my iDevices became part of my life. 
The built in calendar with reminders is probably the most important tool you can use. You can set it to remind you of your appointments in various time increments. It will beep, give you a visual cue...remind you more than once!! It is crucial to use this wonderful tool if you are someone who has any type of life with things you need to remember!
Evernote is perfect for taking quick voice, text, and image notes to use later. The app can also sync with Evernote’s desktop and web versions. Evernote gives whole new meaning to the word “synchronized.” This software uses technology to help organize various types of information from several different sources into one, central, web-based location. The product also allows you to clip web pages and archive them for later reference, store screen shots, photos and text notes, all within a customizable storage system. Evernote will organize things for you by the date a note or other document was created.It is a must have.

Note taking Apps: 
(That sync audio and notes at the individual note level- clicking within text or a drawing, jumps to that place in recording so that the listener does not need to listen to the whole recording playback.) 
Audi olio
Audiotorium Notes
NoteBook for iPad

Here is more links.were you can find more apps and videos for the  blind and visually impaired.
My blog iPhone iPad apps for the blind and visually impaired gets updated once or twice a week. If you'd like to get updates please use the follow by e-mail feature. Or use the contact form provided and let me know if you would like to receive updates. http://iphoneandipadappsfortheblind.blogspot.com/search/label/iPad
My Pinterest pin board changes weekly so keep your eye out for more pens.https://www.pinterest.com/chelseaastark/iphone-and-ipad-apps-for-blind-and-visually-impair

Also check out The History of Apple i Phone's blog.
You can also join the Facebook group titled iPhone iPad Apps for the Blind VisuallyImpaired it is a fun Group to ask questions and learn new things. We are always happy to add new members.


Monday, July 6, 2015

What you should do before selling an iOS 7 device (iPhone/iPad/iPod touch)

If you still have your iOS device

Before you sell or give away your iOS device, make sure that you've removed all of your personal information. Follow these steps to protect your data and get your device to its factory default state for the new owner:

Back up your Device

Back up your device Use iTunes On Your Computer.

Use iCloud

iCloud Backup provides an easy and reliable backup solution for customers who want to back up their iOS devices wirelessly and automatically.

Back up to iCloud

If you're using iCloud, it can automatically back up your data if you've chosen this option. You can verify your iCloud backup and make sure that it's up to date by following these steps:

  1. Tap Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup.
    iCloud backup settings
  1. Turn on iCloud Backup if it's off.
  2. Tap Back Up Now

AllAccess.US: Scan Logos, Access Menus, Deals & More!

All Access: SCAN LOGOS & QR CODES to Access Menus/Deals/Coupons by AllAccess.US

SCAN LOGOS TO ACCESS TALKING MENUS, DISCOUNTS, COUPONS, TICKETS, DIRECTIONS & MORE! You can scan QR Codes or ACTUAL LOGOS! Or browse for local businesses by name or category! The app has access to over one million menus & 2,000+ logos! Add your brand's logo & info by contacting us at AllAccess.US!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

iCloud Backup and Restore

Restore from an iCloud backup

If you have a new iOS device, or if you need to restore your iOS device to resolve an issue, follow these steps.
  1. Follow the initial steps in the iOS Setup Assistant (select your language, and so on).
  2. Select Restore from iCloud Backup when the assistant asks you to set up your iPhone (or other iOS device).
    Set up iPhone
  3. Select the backup you created earlier.
    Set up iPhone
You can restore a backup only by using the iOS Setup Assistant.
If you've already set up your device, you can erase all current content to go through the iOS Setup Assistant again. Tap Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. Do this only if you already have a backup, because this step will remove all current content from your device.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

iPad Air 2 Release Date, Specs Rumors: Apple Releasing New Tablet WithA8 Processor November 2014

WikipediaiPad Air 2

Apple has hectic schedule ahead of them as the Cupertino-headquarters tech titan plans to release a number of handsets later this year, as well as the iPad Air 2. In fact, the iPad Air 2 is scheduled to be released in November - possibly in the first week of the month.
Most tech enthusiasts think that a release will most likely happen in November because Apple had released the previous version of the tablet in the same month last year. However, prior to the iPad Air 2 release, Apple is set for the release of the iPad Mini 3 in October.
Although the iPad Air 2 is the second tablet in the iPad Air series, it will actually be the seventh release in the company's full size iPad series. The current version - iPad Air, is currently considered to be the best in the tablet market at the moment.
Over the years several manufacturers have tried to dethrone the iPad, but they have failed in doing so. As the iPad has such a revered reputation, even Apple may find it difficult to release a tablet that will exceed its own creation.
The iPad Air 2 will come with the new A8 processor chips, and will also feature an upgraded camera. As per the rumors circulating on the Internet, the new iPad Air may also come with a slimmer design compared to the earlier release on account of the display being incorporated into the front panel of the device itself.
It is believed that the iPad Air 2 will have a 2 GB RAM, which will facilitate the device to have split-screen multitasking capability. The handset is rumored have already gone into mass production already.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Navigating your iOS Device

Navigation Basics
Now that you’ve taken your first step into the iOS world with multitouch gestures, it’s time to learn how to navigate your device. We’ll go over where your apps are stored, how to organize them, search for them, and delete them.
The Home screen: When you first turn on your device, you’re brought to the Home screen. Here, you’ll see an assortment of icons grouped into rows, and several more icons grouped in the silver Dock along the bottom of the screen. The Home screen is where your apps live, and where you can launch them. Because only 16 apps will fit on one Home screen (20 on the iPad), you can have multiple app pages or screens for organizing your apps (up to 11). Above the Dock, you’ll see a series of dots, with one highlighted in white; these dots signify the number of app pages you have. Swipe left or right to go from page to page.
The Dock: The silver translucent bar along the bottom of your Home screen is called the Dock. If you’ve tried swiping between app pages, you’ll notice the icons in the Dock don’t change. That’s because the Dock is for apps you most frequently use; instead of having to swipe from page to page to find an app, you can drop it directly into the Dock for easy access. You can store up to four apps in the Dock.
Search in Spotlight: You can search for every email message, webpage, and app on your device, or search through Google or Wikipedia, by swiping right on your Home screen until you reach Spotlight. (If you're on the first Home screen page, pressing your Home button also summons the Spotlight screen.) To search, just type your query in the text box at the top.
Open and close an app: Want to launch an app? To open it, all you have to do is tap its icon. Once it’s open, you can return to the Home screen at any time by pressing the Home button.

Tap and hold on an app icon to enter edit mode, where you can rearrange apps, add them to folders, and delete third-party programs from your device.

Rearrange and delete apps: To rearrange the order of your icons, tap and hold any icon on the Home screen. After a few seconds, all your app icons, including the one you’re holding, will start to wiggle, and a small black X will pop up in each icon’s top left corner. Once they do this, you can rearrange any apps on the Home screen, or even drag them into or out of the Dock. If you’ve installed a third-party app you don’t want anymore, you can tap the X to delete it (you cannot delete the apps that came preinstalled on your device). When you’re finished, press the Home button, and your icons will stop wiggling and stay in their new location. You can also rearrange your icons and Home screen pages through iTunes when you connect your device to your computer.
Note that you’re not able to delete the built-in apps that come with your iOS device. These include Camera, Photos, YouTube, Clock, Weather, and the all-new Newsstand folder, among others. You’ll be able to tell which apps you can’t delete—they don’t sport the black X. You are able to move around these built-in apps to your liking, however.
Use folders: Having a bunch of apps scattered on your Home screen is OK if you don’t have too many, but when you start amassing a collection, you can use app folders. A folder is a group of apps, represented by a single icon, on your Home screen. Each folder sports miniature icons representing the apps inside, along with an overall name. When you tap a folder, the Dock fades and slides down, making room for a view of the folder’s contents. Within, you’ll find the name and icon for each app. Tap any app to launch it, or tap anywhere outside the folder to return to the Home screen.

Drag an app icon on top of another app icon to create a folder.

To create a folder, start by tapping and holding any app icon to enter edit mode; after the icons begin to wiggle, drag an app on top of another app. When you release the app, you’ll create a folder, which will open and display both apps. By default the folder is named based on the App Store category for one of the first two apps in the folder. If you want to customize this name, just tap inside the field (while still in edit mode) and enter something new. When you’re done, press the Home button to exit edit mode.
To add another app to the folder, reenter edit mode and drag the desired app onto the folder icon. Repeat until you’ve added all the apps you want (up to 12 per folder on the iPhone or iPod touch; 20 on the iPad), and then press the Home button to exit edit mode.
To edit the folder itself, its name, contents, or the layout of the apps inside, you can either enter edit mode and then tap the folder, or, while the folder is open, tap and hold any icon inside. You can then tap the folder’s name to change it, drag apps within the folder to rearrange them, drag an app out of the folder to return it to the Home screen, or tap an app’s Delete button to completely delete it from your device. Unlike apps, folders don’t have a Delete button; to delete a folder, you must remove all the apps from it.

You can rearrange your apps, add folders, and remove programs through iTunes.

Manage folders from iTunes: iTunes has long allowed users to manage installed apps when syncing, and you can edit your folders too, using your mouse and keyboard. When your device is connected to your computer, the Apps tab in iTunes lets you choose which apps to sync, as well as decide how to organize these apps. Drag an app onto another app and, after a slight delay, a folder is created—just as if you’d performed the same action on your device. You get the same editable folder name, and you can rearrange icons within the folder. Since you’re using a computer, you don’t need to click and hold to enter the jiggling-icon edit mode; you can click and drag anytime. Similarly, to edit an existing folder, just double-click it.

Multitask on your iOS device

Opening and closing an app is easy: Tap the app to open it, and then press the Home button to close it. But when you exit, you’re not actually shutting down the app: You’re freezing it in place, or sending it to run in the background. This means you can have multiple active apps running at any one time, and you can even switch between active apps without returning to the Home screen.

Double press the Home button to pull up your device's multitasking bar.

Frozen apps versus background apps: Sometimes you need an app to keep doing something when it’s not in the foreground. For that reason, Apple allows apps to perform tasks in the background using several tools. One of these tools is the push-notification system; another allows music apps to keep playing while the user switches to another app; yet another allows tasks, such as photo uploads, to continue running in the background even if you switch out of the program performing the upload. If your third-party app doesn’t incorporate one of these background features, it will “freeze”, which is to say it will remember whatever you were just doing when you re-open it, but will not process any data in the background.

The multitasking bar: You can quickly switch between apps by bringing up the multitasking bar. To do so, quickly double-press the Home button; a bar below the Dock will rise up from the bottom of the screen, showing off the apps most recently run. To switch to a different app, tap its icon.
Multitasking shortcuts: In addition to holding a list of your most recently used apps, the multitasking bar has a couple of other neat shortcuts for your device. 
If you swipe up from the bottom with one finger, you’ll bring up a secondary set of controls. On the iPhone or iPad, you can control the music currently playing on your device,  (it defaults to the Music app, but you can also control music from third-party apps). 
device's brightness, slider for controlling volume.  Airplane mode, wi-Fi, bluetooth, do not disturb, AirDrop, flashlight, Calculator, camera, lock.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Yocto Alarm Clock

Yocto Alarm Clock

Attractive, very full-featured and completely free with no ads! Contains awesome wake-up alarms, magical sleep timers, an eye-catching clock display and plenty of configurable options.
Wake up to a built-in melody (over 70 high quality sounds, from practical to fun to whacky).• Wake up to a custom playlist from your iTunes library.

Full support for fade-out, snooze, vibrate, volume control, backup alarm, and much more. Power Nap mode allows you to instantly set a custom alarm for 5 minutes to 1 hour from the current time.
Sleep Timers
Built-in soundscapes (looping sounds) get you to dreamland in no time flat. Create a custom playlist from your iTunes library. External Audio Mode. Use other apps to play audio (such as internet radio) and Yocto Clock will fade-out and stop the audio when the sleep timer expires. Sleep Timers feature a unique audio book / podcast mode. Listen to audio for a specified time, then gently switch to sleepy-time music.
Other Features
Sophisticated clock display, fully configurable. Weather forecast and current conditions.  A fun selection of fonts for the time display. Make the text any color you wish. Choose from built-in wallpaper or select from your own photo library. A full range of gestures to control the app from the clock display. An easy-to-use flashlight mode.
- Screen dimming. Many configurable options. 
A built-in Mini User's Guide to help you get the most from Yocto Clock. Full support for devices with Retina displays. Full VoiceOver Accessibility support.  A Universal App with full native support for the iPad. Yocto Clock is designed for Apple iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices.  Get your copy today from the iTunes App Store.

Saturday, March 7, 2015


ZoomReader by Ai Squared
Picture of the ZoomReader iconThe reception to our recently announced iPhone application, ZoomReader, was overwhelmingly positive and exciting at this year’s ATIA conference in Orlando.We had so many attendees run over to ask us, “I want to see that new iPhone app you guys have!” As you might have heard by now, it’s a combination video magnifier and OCR app. It uses the built-in camera on an iPhone or iPod Touch to zoom in on printed materials, apply color filters, and to take a picture of something and have the text in that image read out loud! One woman even cried when she saw what ZoomReader could do; one of her family members has Down’s Syndrome and ZoomReader will open up a brand new world for him – one where he will be able to read street signs, restaurant menus, and any printed material that he would otherwise need help reading.People were blown away by the price ($19.99). It’s a very competitive and affordable price point for a mobile application that does real time screen magnification, OCR reading of images, plus voice recognition. The reaction all of you gave us was exactly what we hoped ZoomReader would accomplish in the mobile market.In fact, we’ve also got an audio clip from a presentation we attended there called, “AT Showdown” where individuals presented an assistive technology tip or product. At the end, you’ll hear some applause and even a few WOW’s and WHOA’s. Simply press the play button below:
AT Showdown audio
We look forward to providing more information once the product is officially ready for sale in the App Store. For now, you can watch the video below that explains the functionality of ZoomReader or you can go onto YouTube to watch it there:

Saturday, February 21, 2015

New in iOS 7,8: Ask Siri to Turn on VoiceOver and other Accessibility Settings

iOS 7,8 is Apple’s new operating system for iPhoneiPad, and iPod Touch. iOS 7includes a complete redesigned look and many new features. Siri in iOS 7 has learned some new tricks that can benefit users of VoiceOver and the other built in accessibility features that iOS offers. The feature allows you to ask Siri to turn on and off different accessibility settings using your voice. For example you can say, "turn on VoiceOver" and Siri will turn on VoiceOver in seconds. This feature will make iOS accessibility features easier to find and access. If a VoiceOver user is presented with an iOS device with VoiceOver turned off and triple click home disabled they could use this new feature to ask Siri to turn on VoiceOver. Besides accessibility settings Siri can also change other settings such as brightness, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The story behind visor - a low vision aid for iPhone, iPad & iPod touch

App Developer

This story starts with my dad. He is a retired electrical engineer, a great craftsman and a dedicated family man.

Shortly after he retired, over the course of two weeks, he experienced a 90% loss of vision in his right eye. Two years later, the same thing happened to his left eye. After a battery of tests, doctors insisted that the only explanation was that my dad had suffered a stroke, (he hadn’t) and said there was very little they could do to help him regain his vision.

Just like that, my dad’s life changed drastically. Prior to his vision loss, he could be found in his workshop, tinkering with electronic gadgets or reading the newspaper the way every dad does. Now even simple tasks like making toast take a very long time. Seeing people’s faces has become nearly impossible—he has to resort to identifying people by their silhouette, their voice or their mannerisms. It troubled me to see him so sad after his vision loss, unable to do all the things he was known for. I felt helpless, but as a designer, I started to think of ways to artificially improve his vision.

We went to our local optometrist, who presented a few electronic low vision aids. Trying out the options, we found them to be bulky, difficult to use and completely overpriced, with some options costing as much as €5000. My dad, who always has his trusty iPad with him, leaned over and mumbled “Why can’t it be as easy as my iPad?” That’s when I thought: Could I design and build an iOS vision-aid app? Excited, I enlisted the help of my friend and engineer Sebastian Marr. After hearing about the existing vision-aids, he vowed to help me build a better solution.

The project had begun.

Over the next year, working in our free time, we consulted local low-vision organizations to get more information about the diversity of visual impairments and built our first prototype to test with a number of visually impaired people, including my dad. Now we had proven our theory: that it was possible to provide a highly portable, easy to use and affordable vision aid by building an app native to iOS, one of the best operating systems for the visually impaired.

12 prototypes and 6 months later, we’re proud to present visor — a low-vision aid for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Available now in the app store.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

How to enable Speak Selection on iPhone and iPad

How to enable Speak Selection on iPhone and iPad

How to enable Speak Selection on iPhone and iPad
There are lots of accessibility options available in iOS that a lot of people overlook. One of those is Speak Selection which adds the ability for your iPhone or iPad to read back text to you. Opposed to voice over functionality which speaks everything you tap, Speak Selection can be activated but is only triggered when you choose to activate it.
Here's how to set it up and use it.
  • How to enable Speak Selection on iPhone and iPad

  • How to use Speak Selection on iPhone and iPad

How to enable Speak Selection on iPhone and iPad

  1. Launch the Settings app from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad.

  2. Now tap on General.

  3. Scroll down and towards the bottom, tap on Accessibility.

  4. Tap on the Speak Selection option and turn it to On.

  5. You can further customize the speed at which your iPhone or iPad reads the text and the dialect it uses. Once you're done, just tap the Home button to return to the Home screen.

How to use Speak Selection on iPhone and iPad

  1. Launch the app containing the text you'd like your iPhone or iPad to speak back to you.

  2. Hold your finger down on the text you'd like it to read to pull up the copy/paste menu.

  3. Highlight the text and in the text edit popup, select Speak.

  4. Your iPhone or iPad will now speak the text back to you.
To see more iPhone and iPad Apps For Blind And Visually Impaired please go to iPhone and iPad Apps For Blind And Visually Impaired or iPhone and iPad Apps for the Blind And Visually Impaired at Google+