As an Accessibility Advocate, I'm having Accessibility Issues with my iPhone with VoiceOver.

Accessibility Advocacy

Hello World! I'm a disabled & blind man with an iPhone 6S+ for 70+ days. Prior to my vision-loss, I was a Computer Scientist & Electronics Engineer for 35 years. My hands & fingers suffer from arthritis.

I'm working my iPhone 6S+ with VoiceOver linked to my LogicTech Bluetooth QWERTY keyboard. It uses iOS 12.3.1 and will not receive iOS 13, per reports from WWDC 2019.

My biggest FAIL is not being able to copy text for pasting into another app. Instructions dictate that I must use the pinch-out gesture to make the selection with VoiceOver. Well, with arthritis and callouses, pinching gestures has become a failure for me! I then tried memorizing the text, source code, and then do App Switching to type what I just heard what VoiceOver told me, resulting in another failure.

Since Apple touts their Accessibility features, I guess they have not had a blind old man with arthritis fingers work their iPhones, yet! I already disabled the useless 3D button feature long before it was announced Apple has discontinued it! Even Siri does not the intelligence to copy a block of text! As an Accessibility Advocate, if someone gave me an iOS 13 device with VoiceOver already activated, I will identify all the accessibility issues, that the younger generation would never notice!

Yup, I'm 49 years old with 35 years of Computer Science experiences! It's understandable why the 20-somethings & 30-somethings aren't interested in my accessibility issues with technology, but I'm not yet a museum artifact!

Thanks for reading my latest post on the AppleVis website! Have a Great Day!




Submitted by Namnoom on Saturday, June 8, 2019


There are plenty of other ways to accomplish this. One option is to use a 3 finger quadruple tap to copy the last thing that VoiceOver said to the clipboard. Maybe that'll work better for you.

Also, the 6S will be receiving iOS 13.

Submitted by Jim on Saturday, June 8, 2019

Have you tried to enable the text selection rotor item in Settings>General>Accessibility>Voiceover>Rotor? Using this, you are able to rotate to the text selection item in the rotor, then flick up or down to set the selection level and then from there swipe right or left to select more or less of the text based on the setting you set by flicking up or down.

Submitted by Simon on Saturday, June 8, 2019

I hear what you're saying. Apple is almost all the way there in terms of Bluetooth keyboard accessibility, but not quite. There are a couple of things you can do to make this easier.
First of all, if you're editing a piece of text you can use shift+arrows, cmd+A to select all, cmd+C to copy, and so on.
On any piece of text, anywhere, you can press vo+shit+c or tap four times with three fingers to copy the last thing VoiceOver said. You'll get a lot of extra text and symbols sometimes, such as the word "button". This is a quick and dirty selection method that is guaranteed to work though. You can always open a new note and clean up the resulting selection that way, then copy it back using one of the other methods described here. (The Drafts app is my favourite for this kind of quick editing job.)

On selectable text that is not editable, your rotor should have an "edit" option with actions to select all and copy. This might not work in all cases, but it will let you capture the text.

Another way of overcoming the pinch gesture limitations is by enabling VoiceOver's alternate text selection. if you go to settings > general > accessibility > VoiceOver > rotor, you can enable "text selection" and use it from the keyboard. In short, once you turn the rotor to the text selection option, a flick or arrow up and down will change the selection unit, and right or left will select or unselect it.

Here's how these work in more detail:
In both cases, when controlling the phone from a keyboard, you'll need to have QuickNav turned on (left+right arrow). Here are the QuickNav commands and their associated screen gestures:
up arrow, down arrow, left arrow, right arrow: Simulate a flick in the given direction.
Up arrow + left arrow: Turn the rotor left.
Up arrow + right arrow: Turn the rotor right.
up + down arrow: Simulate a double-tap.

If you just want to select all, turn the rotor to "edit", flick down to select all, and double-tap. If there is no select all option, you might be able to skip this step. Next, flick down to "copy" and double-tap again.

To use the text selection, turn the rotor to the text selection option. You can then flick down to change the selection unit (character, word, etc.) Finally, you can flick right multiple times to select the next character, word, or other chosen unit. Flicking left will unselect by unit. Once you're done with this, do not double-tap; turn your rotor back to edit, flick to copy and double-tap.

Edit: I didn't know there was a hotkey for the copy spoken text action. Neat.

Submitted by Chris Smart on Saturday, June 8, 2019

and as someone else said, the 6S is not excluded from iOS 13. The 6 and 6 Plus are though, so not good for my Father's 6 Plus. It is five years-old though, which, compared to how quickly some people switch phones, seems like awhile. I personally manage about three years before feeling that irresistible urge to upgrade.

Submitted by Kai on Sunday, June 9, 2019

Hi, I was wondering if you’ve tried any of the touch accommodations in the accessibility settings. When you first go to the accessibility options, it’s on that first screen. You’ll need to scroll down to find it. I think it might be able to help you out. I haven’t used them because I don’t have a need to. I am almost completely blind and use voice over. I am extremely smart when it comes to the iPhone. If there’s any way I can help, please let me know. Please try the touch accommodations in the accessibility settings, they should be able to help you out. Hope that helps and good luck.