iPad: Accessibility

In case you’ve been wondering, Apple did consider accessibility issues when releasing the iPad. There is a built in screen reader you can activate called VoiceOver (or can have a sighted techie activate), an additional zoom feature and “White on Black” which reverses the display colors (useful for some lower vision users).

I would also reiterate that the larger screen enhances accessibility for low vision users, some motion impaired users and users who may need to a holistic view of a text.

But the iPad won’t be perfect for everyone. Writer Steve O’Hear notes that some people still won’t have enough function for the touch pad interface. The iPad does allow for a keyboard dock, which is also good if you need to type a long report.

I also have to note that I haven’t tested Voice Over yet, so I can’t comment on its effectiveness. One thing I wish were more available is the ability to change default fonts. There is theoretically the ability to change font settings in some apps, but it’s not universal or even easy to find. It can have an impact for legibility (especially when the default font is a decorative handwriting font as it is in Notes).

It’s not perfect, but I am glad Apple is paying attention to this issue.

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