[Athen] adaptive technology & IPads

Jeffrey Dell jeffreydell99 at gmail.com
Fri Dec 2 14:19:45 PST 2011

Hi Wink
A decent resource is
For blind users VoiceOver makes a great deal of the content on the
iPad accessible. Zoom is a decent built in screen magnifier but not
as comprehensive as screen magnifiers for desktops. There is no good
quick inverse contrast option. The White on Black option in the
accessibility settings does not work in all apps. In some cases it
doesn't even do a great job in apps released by apple. The feature to
jack up the font size also only works well in the Apple apps.
Apps are only as accessible as the programmers make them. I have
downloaded many apps to test them to find that the interface is not
accessible at all. Apple has included an option for labeling buttons
in apps that are not labeled properly but this would need to be done
on each device. This feature is not a fix for horribly designed apps
it's more like a band aid.
Many of the accessibility features can be toggled on and off with a
triple click of the home button. This feature is under Settings >
General > Accessibility > Triple Click the Home Button. The Ask
feature can bring up a list of accessibility options.
There is a Speak Selection option under the vision heading. This
option is supposed to bring up a Speak option with the Copy, Paste,
and Cut options after selecting text. I haven’t gotten this feature
to work because it doesn’t play nice with VoiceOver. Kurzweil and
R&WG are or have released web apps that offer some reading and writing
features for people across mobile platforms. If a person were to use
these they would need to access them through Safari. Those features
would lack the integration of a program like R&WG on a desktop with
apps local to the device.
There is a Dragon Dictate App that works ok. It would probably work
better if they would institute an option for some very basic profile
training. When a person dictates they get the text in a little edit
field. From there the user can copy and paste the text anywhere they
want. Dragon Dictate is the technology that the dictation feature in
Siri is built on. Hopefully Apple will be releasing the features of
Siri to the iPad 2 soon. I don’t know why they did not allow iPad 2
users to use Siri when iOS 5 was released. It certainly has the
system resources for it. It was probably an issue of server traffic.
Cleveland State

On 12/2/11, Wink Harner <wink.harner at mcmail.maricopa.edu> wrote:

> Hi all,


> Our center for teaching & learning along with our IT department have a beta

> project planned for spring 2012 that involves the development of learning

> spaces. In this mix, they've applied for and received a grant to purchase a

> bevy (am not sure how many IPads constitute a bevy) of these computers for

> interactive classroom use (student use) and for instructors to use for

> creation & delivery of classroom materials.


> Our department (Disability Resources) does not have any Apple products

> because the majority of our adaptive technology works in the IBM/PC

> environment, and so I am unfamiliar with what technology is native to the

> Apple environment that addresses the large font/high contrast, screen

> reading, reading & writing support (such as Read Write Gold), or any other

> possible technology apps that might work or substitute for a variety of

> common disabilities.


> The IT department (of course!) is absolutely saying that Apple is 100%

> accessible for adaptive technology, and I shrink from absolutes like that!

> Being a skeptic, I would like to find out from you, my esteemed and

> knowledgeable colleagues, what apps are built in on IPads, are there

> additional apps which we could procure & install ahead of time or know where

> to find them should the need arise.


> What I would like NOT to happen is to enroll a student in one of these

> learning environment classes (a classroom with modular furniture and some

> slick technology) and find out that access for our SWDs does not exist! Nor

> will the classes be flagged as a learning environment class so we will be in

> the dark about enrollment until the students are already in the classes.


> Advice, recommendations, directions (flee, flee!) would be helpful.


> Thank you in advance for your thoughtful assistance,


> Wink



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