Lighthouse teaches the Visually Impaired How to Use iPad & IPod Technology
May 29, 2012 Leave a comment
The iPad: A Valuable Device For Low-Vision Users
Submitted by Lighthouse Volunteer,
The iPad is an amazing technological creation that can act as a camera, TV, radio, newspaper, and even as a gaming system. In addition to these incredibly convenient features, the Apple product is also particularly beneficial for those who are visually impaired or blind.
There are several features that make the iPad very accessible to users with low vision. By double-tapping with three fingers, you can magnify anything on the screen. You can set the magnification level by tapping once with three fingers and moving them upward to increase the size or downward to decrease it. To move around the screen while zoomed in, drag three fingers in any direction on the screen.
The VoiceOver feature will read out every word on the screen. It’s a bit clunky at first, but it can be extremely helpful if your vision is very limited. You can easily turn it on or off under the “Settings” area. This is a great tool if you want to give your eyes a rest and let the iPad read newspaper articles, magazines, or even books to you. Plus there are a few audiobook apps, such as one called Audiobooks, specifically designed for bookworms. Some offer hundreds of audiobooks for free, and having the ability to plug headphones into the iPad means you can listen to them wherever you are.
The iPad has a bright, backlit screen that can be adjusted to appear as dull or as bright as you wish. Whether you are using it in bright sunlight or in a dark room, you should be able to see it with little effort. There is also an option to change the contrast to have white text appear on a black background.
You can also download some handy apps that you can use to magnify printed materials. These include a free app called eMagnifier and another simply called Magnify. You can use these apps to read restaurant menus, medicine bottles, nutrition facts on food packages, and even newspapers. You also have the ability to capture images from a certain distance away and increase the resolution on them, such as street signs or billboards. You can save these images for future reference as well.
The Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind uses an iPad and an iPod Touch for services, both of which were donated by the Community Service Council of West Pasco. As part of the Lighthouse Assistive Technology Program, on a client-by-client basis, we assist individuals with developing skills that enable them to use these devices. This instruction is facilitated through Hadley webinars on the iOS software platform, which is installed on most web-enabled Apple devices. The Lighthouse also has several visually impaired staff members who use similar devices on a regular basis.
About the Lighthouse:
The Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind offers free adaptive training for persons who are blind and visually impaired of all ages, living in Pasco, Hernando and Citrus Counties. Please spread the word about our programs, stay up-to-date by reading with our newsletter, and if possible, please make a donation that helps us meet the need for services. Please contact the Lighthouse for more information:
Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind
Pasco: 8610 Galen Wilson Blvd., Port Richey, FL 34668, Phone: (727) 815-0303
Hernando: 6492 California St., Brooksville, FL 34604, Phone: (352) 754-1132
Citrus: Toll free: 1-866-962-5254
iPad 2 (actual device)
iPad App Store
iPad User Manual