Accessibility Features of the new iOS5 – The Cheese Moved Again!

Ever read the book “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson MD?

This book is about change, which is inevitable and appears to me to be happening at a faster rate all the time. Change is good and inevitable. For the clients we service it means better options for accessibility tools for work, leisure, play, education and communication. For those of use servicing clients it means keeping up with changes in hardware, software, Web 2.0 services to provide appropriate options to our clients. If you are an iDevice user it means learning about the new iOS5 changes.

Some of the big new cheesy changes in the new iOS5 for iPad, iPhone and iPod are more accessibility features for individuals with disabilities. Apple continues to be dedicated to providing accessibility to individual with disabilities and has created new and improved accessibility options in the iOS5.

Some of the exciting changes to check out specifically for individuals with challenges with learning, mobility, organizational or memory are:

  • Speak selection – text to speech capability with selection of a word
  • Assistive Touch – Creates alternative ways of accessing the home button or gestures for individual with mobility challenges (check out a brief overview on the MacMost video). This is a wonderful step forward for accessibility for individuals with mobility challenges.
  • Typing Shortcuts – a similar feature to Microsoft Word autotext feature
  • Dictionary – Provides a dictionary look up when you tap a word
  • Reminders App- Simple to do list app built into the new iOS5 system
  • Airplay Mirroring – (Requires and Apple TV)- Will mirror what is on your iPad on the screen with an Apple TV.
  • Voiceover – Upgrades to voiceover tools

There are more accessibility features to support individuals with visual impairment and hearing as well as many other system changes as iCloud management of your apps, email, photos and documents to check out.

Although I am just getting up to speed with some of the upgrades here are some resources to start researching the new accessibility features you might need for your clients after you have updated your iDevice to the new iOS5:

  • Apple provides an overview of Accessibility on their website and goes in-depth of the latest in accessibility by device, iPad, iPhone and iPod/iTunes. Click on the devices for specific latest accessibility information by device. Accessibility features of each device is broken into disability areas as
  • MacMost has a helpful video overview of some useful accessibility options. Use this if you want to see some of the options setting on video!
  • Luiz Perez has an overview well worth reviewing of the new accessibility features for iOS5 for iDevices. The review is on his blog The Website of Luiz Perez.

As each device may have some differing features or possibilities make sure you check out the features by device.  Also be sure to update your device or software to the latest version.

Check out the new features and how the accessibility features can improve the functional capabilities of the clients you service. I already see some great changes but will take some time to explore how it affects certain apps and their use.

If you have used any of the new accessibility options with your clients, please share! More to come with the new iOS5 accessibility options!


About Carol Leynse Harpold, MS, OTR/L, SCLV, ATP, CATIS

OTR/L with more than 35 years experience in pediatrics, school based therapy and adult rehabilitation. Masters of Science in Adaptive Education/Assistive Technology with 20 years experience in AT in education of elementary, middle school, secondary, post secondary students and work environments for adult clients. A RESNA Assistive Technology Practitioner with ACVREP CATIS credentials, AOTA Specialty Certification in Low Vision, USC Davis Executive Certificate in Home Modifications, servicing adults and students with disabilities in employment, education, and home environments. A 2020 graduate of the University of Alabama Birmingham Low Vision Certification Program.
This entry was posted in Accessibility, Apps for OT's, iOS, iPad, iPod, Mobility Impairment, Occupational Therapy and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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