Apple Accessibility – Vision

Note: The following examples assume version iOS10 or above. Screenshots may vary slightly to your screen display.

Changing the text size

Dynamic Type offers an additional way for low vision users to change the font size on the display screen. This accessibility feature makes certain apps that support Dynamic Type more accessible to users. These apps include Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Settings and Notes.

  • Use the Accessibility settings to turn on Zoom Magnification.
  • Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Larger Text
  • Toggle on ‘Larger Accessibility Sizes’.
  • The button slider supports 15 different levels of text size. Move the slider to the left or right to find a text size accessible to your visual requirement.
A screenshot showing how to increase the size of text on an Apple device
Fig1. Button slider to increase text size.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making the text bold

Turning on ‘Bold text’ will increase the font weight and may contrast the text more favourably against a white background.

  • Use the Accessibility settings to turn on Bold text.
  • Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Bold text
  • Toggle on ‘Bold text’.
  • You will need to restart your Apple device to complete the action.

Inverting the colour schemes

Classic Invert

Inverting the colours of everything on the screen can make the display easier to use for people with low vision or for those who find the traditional light colour schemes too uncomfortable on the eyes for extended periods of time.

  • Use the Accessibility settings to turn on ‘Classic Invert’.
  • Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations > Classic Invert
  • Toggle on ‘Classic Invert’.
A screenshot showing how to enable a classic invert on an Apple device
Fig 2. Classic Invert  button enabled within Display Accommodations Accessibility.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smart Invert

Items like photos, images and app icons remain the same whilst the display UI becomes inverted. It is like a darker mode. For example, web page images remain in their original format and colours whilst the background display including some text is inverted. On the home screen you can see that the App icons and wallpaper remain unchanged.

  • Use the Accessibility settings to turn on ‘Smart Invert’.
  • Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations > Smart Invert
  • Toggle on ‘Smart Invert’.
A screenshot showing the smart invert setting on an Apple device
Fig 3. Smart Invert button within Display Accommodations Accessibility.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Improving text and icon visibility

      This can be achieved through increasing the contrast settings. Display text and icons should be easier to see as their backgrounds transparency levels reduce.

  • Use the Accessibility settings to turn on ‘Reduce Transparency’.
  • Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Increase Contrast > Reduce Transparency
  • Toggle on ‘Reduce Transparency’.
  • Use the Accessibility settings to turn on ‘Darken Colours’.
  • Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Increase Contrast > Darken Colours
  • Toggle on ‘Darken Colours’.

        

Magnifier

You can use your iPhone or iPad camera as a magnifying lens. This is could be useful for low vision users when reading a restaurant menu, medicine containers or food products.

  • Use the Accessibility settings to turn on Magnifier.
  • Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Magnifier
  • Toggle on ‘Magnifier’.

 

Speech Accessibility

In addition to the VoiceOver screen reader, there are a couple of quick access speech features that can be really useful for low vision users.

Speak Screen

If you are reading your emails or an eBook and would like some auditory reinforcement to ease the strain on your eyes, Speak Screen is a great tool to use.

  • Use the Accessibility settings to turn on ‘Speak Screen’.
  • Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Speech > Speak Screen
  • Toggle on ‘Speak Screen’.
  • Whilst reading the screen text, swipe down with two fingers from the top of the screen. The Speak Screen panel bar will appear and the screen text will begin to be spoken from the top of the page.
  • Use the Speak Screen panel bar to speed up or slow down the speech rate, pause the talkback or to skip backwards and forwards between screen pages.

    

A screenshot showing the speak screen panel bar displayed over a book on an Apple device
Fig 4. Speak screen panel bar displayed on the screen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speak Selection

      This is useful when you want certain highlighted text passages to be read back to you.

  • Use the Accessibility settings to turn on ‘Speak Selection’.
  • Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Speech > Speak Selection
  • Toggle on ‘Speak Selection’.
  • Tap ‘Speak’ on the highlighted text toolbar to have the text read back to you.
A screenshot showing a highlighted section of text with the speak option available on an Apple device
Fig 5. Highlighted text toolbar displayed on the screen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speech settings

  • To view other settings related to Speech go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Speech >
  • ‘Highlighted Content’ allows you highlight the words and sentences that are spoken in colours of your choice.
  • ‘Typing Feedback’ allows you to hear speech feedback on characters and words that you type.
  • ‘Speaking Rate’ allows you to set the speaking speed to a pace that suits you.

 

Please click here to read an Overview to Apple Voiceover.

Please click here to read about Apple VoiceOver Screenreader.

Please click here to read about Hearing options with Apple Accessibility.

Please click here to read about Zoom Magnification with Apple Accessibility.