Accessibility tools to empower everyone

The true value of technology isn’t how powerful a device is, but by how much it empowers you. Technology is an important contributor to enhance teaching and learning, and a powerful tool for collaboration, inspiration and the measuring of success. But how can educators ensure that every learner can enjoy that technology, to the best of their abilities?  

Having previously worked in a role supporting those with Special Educational Needs (SEN), it is clear that every student is different and there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Having access to tools that can enable different types of needs is invaluable.  

iPad hosts an array of built in assistive tools to complement vision, hearing, mobility, learning and literacy. Whether you are in the classroom or distance learning, these tools will enable you to work with all types of learners, ensuring they receive the best experience possible. 

Vision

Seeing the screen is just one way to experience iPad. Assistive features ensure that anyone with a vision impairment is not restricted. 

Features include: 

  • Fully control your iPad using only your voice and have it talk back to you 
  • Use customisable colour filters to complement different forms of colour blindness 
  • Use Zoom or Magnifier to make your screen bigger or take a closer look
  • Braille capability including braille display or direct braille without the need for braille display 

Hearing

Apple have built powerful features into every operating system and device to ensure students who are deaf or hard of hearing, do not have to compromise their learning. 

Features include: 

  • FaceTime for communication using sign language
  • Siri to ask questions, set reminders or issue commands 
  • Hearing aids which are compatible with iPhone and iPad 
  • Use the Noise App to track your hearing health 

Mobility

The powerful assistive features in all Apple products give people with physical limitations greater control over their lives. Teaming multiple accessibility tools allows for an enriched learning experience for every student. 

Features include: 

  • Switch Control to navigate sequentially through onscreen items and perform specific actions using a variety of Bluetooth-enabled switch hardware 
  • Voice control using Siri and Dictation 
  • AssistiveTouch lets you adapt the Multi-Touch screen to your physical needs 

Learning & Literacy

Learning, creating and exploring the way they think is key to a successful learning experience. Apple technology breaks down barriers and enables individuals with SEN to learn in a way that is tailored to work for them. Not only can technology assist with physical impairments, but also for students with attention and sensory challenges.  

Features include: 

  • Speak Screen to have all the content on pages read back to you 
  • Safari Reader reduces the visual clutter when browsing the web. It strips away ads, buttons and navigation bars, allowing you to focus on just the content you want 
  • Guided Access lets parents, teachers or therapists limit iPad to one app at a time, and limit the amount of time spent in an app 

Check out our tutorial videos around how to use many of these features here

To learn more about Apple Accessibility and how XMA can help you utilise these features, visit our accessibility page here.