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Using the iPad to Support Learners with Visual Difficulties

by Craig Mill

on Fri Jun 03, 2016

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CALL Scotland course,
University of Edinburgh
25th January, 2018

Low Cost/No Cost Apps and Software to Support Learners with literacy difficulties

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CALL Scotland is pleased to announce the release of a new resource; ‘Using the iPad to Support Learners with Visual Difficulties’ - an easy-to-use guide.

Using the iPad to Support Learners with Visual Difficulties The new resource (in A3 poster format) is primarily aimed at Teachers and Support for Learning Teachers, particularly those supporting pupils with a visual impairment using iPads.  

The guide highlights the built-in tools in Accessibility and Vision, such as Zoom and VoiceOver. Rather than delving straight to ‘Full Window Zoom’ the guide explores some of the basic tools such as:

  • ‘Larger Text’ for making simple adjustments to font sizes, 
  • Bold Text to improve the clarity of the on-screen keyboard,
  • Window Zoom which offers increased control for magnifying specific areas of the iPad’s screen. 

A difficulty of the iPad is trying to manage the small size of the screen while zooming or magnifying around the ‘desktop’, particularly at higher levels of magnification. This is compounded when using the iPad’s on-screen keyboard as the ‘writing’ area significantly decreases when the on-screen keyboard appears. 


A Bluetooth keyboard can help to overcome this problem but typing is still challenging as you can very quickly lose your place as large text ‘rolls’ off the screen. 

Follow Focus and Smart Typing can help with this. Follow Focus follows the cursor as you type so you can keep track of what you are typing (currently only compatible with Notes and Mail), while Smart Typing automatically switches to Window Zoom in the text area when the on-screen keyboard appears – text is magnified but the keyboard remains the same size. Smart Typing is compatible with Notes and other apps such as Word and Pages. 

For more information and other hints and tips on making the most of the tools in Accessibility and Vision you can download the guide here

 

 

Tags: ipad, settings, accessibility, visual impairment

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