I need some help setting up my blind mom's iPad

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Hi! My mom agreed to try an iPad to listen to her audiobooks. I would like to make it as easy as possible for her using all the accessibility functions available for the blind. The voice over function looks great but complicated and all the other options are confusing!
Is there a post here that explains everything? Thanks for your help!



Submitted by Shelby Craig on Tuesday, May 3, 2016

There is a shortcut that can be set up to enable voiceover quickly. You only have to set it up once and then you can use it anytime. Go to settings and from there, go to general and then accessibility. Select the accessibility shortcut and then select voiceover. Then you can push the home button three times anytime you want to turn on or turn off voiceover. This way, you can toggle voiceover on and off easily.

Submitted by david s on Tuesday, May 3, 2016


As with everything else, Voice Over is only hard in the begining. You can turn on VO like the post above said or you can simply ask Siri to turn voice over on or off. With VO, your mom can move around the screen by performing a one finger swipe left or right to move around the screen. To open something, perform a one finger double tap. To learn the basics, download an app called Voice Over tutorial which is free from the app store.

If you're in the US, a couple of good and accessable book apps are BARD Mobile and Overdrive. They are both free and once you've set up a free library account, you can download audio books.

BTW, Facebook is also accessable. I found that when I tell my clients this, they become even more eager to learn. LOL

If you need further help, just post.

HTH and good luck.

Submitted by DrewWeber on Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Hi Surella, I'm glad you've found Apple Vis and hope the community can be of some help to you. :) The Voiceover Shortcut is an awesome easy way to quickly enable the Voiceover screen reader. (Thank you Shelby). If your mother has some useful residual vision, she may be able to use the Zoom function, located in settings/general/accessibility. Zoom, will magnify the screen content, while Voiceover reads aloud both the text and allows the user to interact with on screen controls. With Voiceover enabled, look around the screen by dragging your finger on the screen, or, if learned where an item/text field/control is located tap once on that area of the screen to place the focus of the Voiceover curser there. Then double tap quickly anywhere on the screen to interact with the element.
Flicking: Flick with one finger left to move back a control/element or, right to move forward. This is more like pushing an arrow button on a remote to move across the screen vs finding an element with one’s finger. A lot of times this is easier when just starting out.
Text fields/typing: Standard typing allows one to hear spoken/find the letter they are looking for then double tap to type the letter. Touch typing, available in the router, allows the user to find the letter under their finger and lift to insert/type. Enable by (two fingers spread out on screen turn like a dial), then swipe down with one finger once Voiceover reports “typing”, swipe down with one finger to change the mode. Voiceover is useable in all the stock iOS apps to speak aloud content and interact with controls.
I hope this information is useful for assisting your mother in using her IPad. If you have any further questions, please just reach out.

Submitted by Surella on Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Your comments are super helpful! Thanks to everyone for your help.

Submitted by SoundSchemer on Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Hi, I'm also happy to assist you. If you would like to contact me, I can easily help, I have an iPhone, but have also used an iPad, which is quite a lot of fun, as iOS is. If you use skype, facetime, or anything like that, Please let me know if you would need assistance.