iPad: Making Technology Accessible1
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iPad: Making Technology Accessible

“Technology is an Equalizer” – Sundar Pichai

When we say that we need to make technology accessible, it needs to be inclusive to each and every person. For that there’s a huge amount of investments and research getting done.

Over the years many companies have created products keeping accessibility the core of their business. This has helped them to provide technology to everyone and use those products to its full potential.

Some of the leading companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, etc. have started providing accessibility features in their products. In turn, it helps businesses to enhance their brand value, increase their global reach, and drive towards innovation.

In this article, we will discuss how Apple is paving the way for diversity, accessibility, and inclusivity. Over the years, they have been leaders in the market and were the first ones to come with accessibility features for their products. Going further, let’s discuss some of the features of the iPad which are widely useful.

Useful Features of iPad for Accessibility:

Dictation:

For low vision students or visually impaired people it becomes difficult to write things. This is when the dictation feature comes to the rescue. Once this feature is enabled, you can dictate various things including punctuation and it will help you write almost anything easily.

For example: Guardians can help in enabling this feature and then users can use it to dictate various things which convert in text format. Hence, the users can efficiently use an iPad for their daily purpose. Less back and forth in using and understanding the products.

Note: It is important to dictate punctuation like period, double quotation marks, and more to include them in the writeup.

Not only writing, but there are many other things which you can do using dictation, we will see them further.

Siri:

Siri is the personal digital assistant of various iOS operating systems. With this, users can efficiently ask Siri to perform various tasks. This feature also helps visually impaired people to efficiently use the iPad to its full potential.

For instance: you can perform simple tasks like “Hey Siri, please read my emails” or “Hey Siri, please message Steve”. These commands will help them to read, respond, and write things when and where needed.

Siri just needs internet connection to recognize users’ voice. And if you are wondering how it deals with contact duplication, then worry not, it will ask for confirmation before making a call or sending messages. And to confirm the contact, you can further give voice instructions.

Screen Sharing App:

Screen sharing apps have revolutionized and helped low vision people immensely, especially for students. Screen sharing app provides users with the option to zoom in and watch things closely. For example; teachers will be having the application and using a projector they can start with a screen sharing app. Further, using the same screen sharing app students can split screen and read the texts by proper zooming in sessions and all. This helps students to learn things efficiently and apply them in the need. Not only this, students can also take screen-shots in real time and save them for later reference. This feature helps students to learn things efficiently, make notes in run time, and have fun study sessions.

Annotation App:

This feature helps students with low vision. They can easily write, draw, or sketch things using an annotation app. Let’s see how: students can take pictures of materials on the board, print out worksheets, and more. Furthermore, they can open the image in the annotation and make the necessary changes. They can zoom in and out as per their requirement and are fun for students doing coloring worksheets. Additionally, students who have low vision and struggle with their own bad handwriting can use these apps to directly write answers.

OCR Application:

Optical Character Recognition applications are useful to visually impaired students. OCR software can capture digital images or texts and convert them into editable word documents or PDF. It does not stop here, further, it even converts them into audio version so they can hear and understand what the text has to say. Thus, helping people to use technology in the best way possible. If you are not happy with the existing OCR apps, you can always reach out to companies which can help you with iPad app development. Herein, you can have the entire application created from, the scratch and add features according to your need.

VoiceOver Reader:

Apart from OCR apps iPad too has its in-built feature of name VoiceOver which helps users by reading the screen. Additionally, it even supports Braille language which helps reading for visually impaired people. To use the braille on iPad, you can connect the refreshable braille display via Bluetooth or enter it directly into the touch-screen using the Braille screen input. Further, the software automatically converts the Braille language into the voice-over description which helps them to follow along the texts.

Magnifier:

Magnifier works like a digital magnifying glass. People who are visually impaired or have color blindness can efficiently use this feature. They can simply put the camera towards the image and can magnify and see the entire picture clearly in larger size. Users can also apply various filters if needed and set the color of their choice to view it. Thus, students who have low vision can effectively use this application to read everyday things without stressing their eyes much.

Sound Recognition:

Sound recognition is helpful for people having hearing impairment. Your iPad can hear various sounds and using the software notifies you to know about different sounds. This can be very useful when it comes to various hazardous places. Thus, having this feature enabled, helps users to be safe and use it to its full potential.

Audio Description:

Now watching movies and TVs has become easier compared to earlier. With the help of this feature people having hearing impairment can read the audio descriptions of the movies. You just need to enable the AD in the Apple TV or on iTunes App. People should not be left even when it comes to entertainment. Using the accessibility features, they too can enjoy movies, TV shows, Music, and more on all Apple Products.

Live Listen:

Live Listen is one of the best possible solutions for hearing aids. It is an assistive hearing software which lets you hear and do the live conversation with people. You people having hearing impairment can enable this feature and also access the shortcut when needed. Additionally, Apple has also created various hearing devices which helps you to hear efficiently. They provide amazing sound quality, are easy to set up over Bluetooth and help people in having effective communication and listening by setting them according to your environment’s need. Here is a complete list of devices which are compatible with hearing aids.

FaceTime:

Who would have thought you can use FaceTime as accessibility? Well, Apple made it happen. When you are in the video call using sign language to communicate, the software understands it and will automatically make you noticeable to others in the call. Be it in group call or one on one. Not only this, but with the higher frame rate, FaceTime can efficiently capture each gesture and expression.

Custom iPad App Development:

There are already multiple in-built features available in iPad for accessibility. But, if you are not satisfied with them or need more features, you can always go with the option of custom development. If you are a business, NGO, school, or any institution affiliated with visually/hearing impaired people, you can reach out to companies like us which can help you with iPad app development. Herein, you can develop features according to your need and make technology accessible and equalizer to everyone.

You can include some dedicated features depending on your students’ use. Carry out proper research with the help of your IT partner company and then create a perfect application for your students.

Wrapping Up:

The birth of technology itself has revolutionized almost every sector in the world and has helped man-kind in many ways. Today more than ever we depend on technology to bring rapid and fast-paced positive changes. Its use cases are more than you think in many fields and is helping people to be on the same level and work as an equalizer.

Technology stands by the example of how we grow together, companies too understand this and try to make products more accessible and inclusive. Having served in the industry for more than decades, we understand the need to create products which are accessibility compliance. If you need to create iPad applications, our team of experts can help and guide you through. We have helped thousands of clients by providing our services and made tech accessible to everyone.

 
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