Accessibility on Your iPad

Let me start off by saying VoiceOver is not an application, it is a feature that comes already installed on the iPad.  It is also the world’s first gesture-based screen reader for the blind.  Instead of memorizing keyboard commands or pressing tiny arrow keys, you can simply touch the screen to hear a description of the item under your finger, then double-tap, drag, or flick to control your iPad. VoiceOver speaks over 30 languages and works with all of the applications built into iPad, as well as many of the iPad apps already in existence.  To enable this setting all you have to do is go to your settings and in the general tab click on the accessibility button, then switch the VoiceOver feature on.


VoiceOver also features a virtual control called the rotor.  Turning the rotor — by rotating two fingers on the screen as if you were turning a dial — changes the way VoiceOver moves through a web page based on a setting you choose.  For example, a flick up or down might let you move through a page by header, link, or image.

Zoom on your iPad lets you magnify the entire screen of any application.  Zoom up to five times the normal size and move left, right, up, and down to view any portion of the screen close up.  Zoom works everywhere, including the Home, Unlock, and Spotlight screens, and with every application, including those you purchase from the App Store.  In addition to Zoom, a new Large Font feature on the iPad lets you increase the font size of important information in Mail, Contacts, Notes, and Messages.  This feature is also available in the accessibility option.

Every iPad can also display subtitles and closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing when playing movies, streaming live videos, or viewing podcasts that support the closed captioning function, not every application supports this feature.  Movies and podcasts with closed captioning are available on the iTunes Store and can be downloaded directly to your iPad or synced to it using iTunes.

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