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Accessibility Article: What’s New in iOS 11 Accessibility for Blind, Low Vision and Deaf-Blind Users, Submitted by Scott Davert, Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

What’s New in iOS 11 Accessibility for Blind, Low Vision and Deaf-Blind Users

Submitted by Scott Davert on 19 September, 2017 and last modified on 19 September, 2017

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team


Text of article found below:


iOS 11 has arrived for users of the iPhone 5S and later; the iPad fifth generation and later; and the iPod Touch 6th Generation. Mainstream changes such as the revamped Control Center, new HomeKit options, the new Files app, and many other enhancements have been added. Other blogs and videos will cover these changes, but as is the case with all major iOS releases dating back to iOS 5, there are many changes specific to accessibility which may not be well documented.

Without a doubt, there will be other features not written about here that people discover as they have their play with iOS 11. While I’ve been running the betas since June, I am certain I will learn of more changes as the masses get their opportunity to play with the update. While I consider myself a decent Tech Detective, I’m sure there are things I’ve missed. Please note that this article is not intended as a comprehensive guide to iOS 11; rather, it is designed to document changes likely to be of particular interest to users who are blind, have low vision, or who are deaf-blind.

Before proceeding, I would like to acknowledge the hard work that went in to documenting the visual modifications in iOS 11 done by Ryan Pugh of the NFB’s International Braille and Technology Center. Without his input, the details with regard to visual changes would not have been possible.

Important Information To Know Before Upgrading

This section applies equally to those who work with accessibility features and those who do not. iOS 11 has dropped support for applications developed for only the 32-bit platform. Before performing the upgrade, you may wish to check your device to see which apps will not be supported that are currently installed; for step-by-step instructions on how to do this, consult this guide. Note that you will need to be running iOS 10.3 or later to use this feature.

Type It, Don’t Speak It

In iOS 11, not only has Siri earned a spot under Accessibility Settings, but you can now type to Apple’s virtual assistant instead of speaking to it. This makes it possible to perform queries silently. For Braille display users, coupled with another iOS 11 feature discussed below, you will now be able to fully utilize Siri from a Braille display without interacting with the touchscreen. Look for a guide on how to do this shortly after iOS 11 is released. To turn on this feature, go to Settings> General> Accessibility> Siri, and turn “Type to Siri” on. In this menu, you will also be able to control voice feedback. You can turn it on all the time, off all the time, or have Siri respect whether your device is muted or not. If you enable “Type to Siri,” you will no longer be able to speak to it unless you have “Hey Siri” enabled. Each time you bring up Siri, a keyboard will appear onscreen. For Braille users, though you will not be put in a text field, you can simply begin typing. Once you have completed what you wish to have Siri do, press dot 8 with space, or enter on the Bluetooth keyboard. To read responses through text using VoiceOver, you will then need to flick to the right 3 times, but if you leave Siri’s speech on, you will automatically get a verbal response. Speaking of voice feedback, there is a new Siri female voice which some find sounds more natural. The male Siri voices are the same, but they sound clearer since they are now at a higher sampling rate.

Indoor Mapping Comes to iOS

At the time of posting, I have yet to venture into a space that has this ability, but iOS 11 has support for indoor mapping functionality with the Maps application. Note that this will only apply to spaces where beacons exist.

More Control Over Accessibility

I wrote above about the newly revamped Control Center. It is now on one page instead of two, and can be customized to the users’ preferences to some degree. To add and remove items in your Control Center, head over to Settings> Control Center> Customize. Here you will find a total of seventeen features that you can insert or remove from the Control Center. Among other things, you will find the Accessibility Shortcut; Flashlight; Guided Access; Magnifier; and Text Size as options. This can be easily used to almost have a secondary Accessibility Shortcut since you can simply invoke the Control Center, and enable any of these options. This can come in handy for users who utilize different accessibility tools within the operating system at different times. Visually, the Control Center has been cleaned up and appears to be more intuitive. It has been reorganized into distinct groupings of functionality. The default contrast is significantly better. Cross screen bars have been replaced by banded blocks where possible.

I’ll Answer That

If you have ever been a person who finds answering calls to be a challenge for any reason, there is now the option to have calls answered automatically. Go to Settings>General>Accessibility>Call Audio Routing>Auto Answer Calls to configure this setting. Once turned on, you have the ability to tell your iOS device how long you would like the OS to wait before answering a call. Before auto answer kicks in, you can still dismiss the call through the methods already available in previous versions of iOS. You can set the time to have the call answered automatically anywhere from 0 up to 60 seconds after it comes in. This feature not only works for FaceTime and standard phone calls, but also appears to be functioning with several other third party applications that handle calls such as Skype, Whatsapp, Facebook, and Google Hangouts.


What Has Changed?

Before discussing new features, it may be important to note what has changed for VoiceOver users. While this section will not highlight a lot of changes, a few of what the author would view as noteworthy are listed below.

Moving Apps Becomes A Drag, Sort Of

Last autumn, Apple introduced a new way of moving apps around the various Home Screens via the rotor. The primary change to this method is that dragging of multiple apps is now an option. In iOS 11, instead of swiping up to “Arrange Apps,” the touchscreen VoiceOver user must double-tap and hold to invoke “Edit Mode.” For Bluetooth keyboard and Braille display users, you can still press up or down arrow, or space with dot 3 or 6, to move to “Edit Mode”.

Once you are in “Edit Mode,” you still will need to first locate the app you wish to drag. You have the options of delete, drag, or stop editing apps. Note that if you are in “Edit Mode,” and you wait about thirty seconds, iOS 11 will automatically exit you from this mode. If you wish to move an app, find it, and then select “Drag.” Then navigate to the place you wish to “Drop” the app, and choose the appropriate option. Your options are to drop it before, after, or to create a folder with the app VoiceOver focus is set to. You can also drop an app within a folder.

The final option is to “Add To Drag Session.” This option will allow you to move multiple apps at once. When multiple apps are added, you can still “drop” them before; after; add the app currently in focus to your “drag session”; add to a folder if one is in VoiceOver’s focus; or create a folder with these apps and the app currently in focus. This comes in handy when you wish to drop several apps into a folder, and wish to add apps at the same time from various Home screens. I’ve only tested adding four apps to one “drag session,” but found it worked effectively.

Moving apps around is good practice for using the “Drag and Drop” method on the iPad. While it works on the iPhone and iPod Touch for the purposes written above, it’s also possible to, for example, add a file in the Files app to a drag session, switch to the Mail app, and attach that file to a message you are composing by “dropping” the file in the Mail application.

Previews Are Back!

In iOS 10, VoiceOver users had to perform a 3 finger single tap on a message to hear the preview of their email messages. The preview will now be read out loud by VoiceOver without the user having to interact with their touchscreen.

More Options

Continuing to cover the Mail application, there are a few other changes. When you are reading a message, the VoiceOver user will now find an “Actions” option. This enables the user to take action on the message. This has been a feature available from the “All Messages” mailbox for several releases, but never before from the content of a message. The actions of this rotor option are to reply, archive, flag, mark as read/unread, and to activate. This comes in handy for those who use the threading options who wish to act on a specific message in the thread.

If you choose to sort your messages by thread, there is another new rotor option called “Expand/Collapse Thread”. When expanded, mail threads show all messages without the need to open the thread. This lets you easily read and deal with each message individually. I prefer to use the “Messages” rotor option, as I find that more effective as a Braille user. Casting my personal preference aside, it’s good to have multiple options for the threading of emails.

Assigning The Old New Names

I wrote above that Siri has new voices. However, if you have enjoyed using some of the old Siri voices with VoiceOver, you’ll be happy to know that these are still around, but they now have names. The old American Siri voices are now named Aaron and Nicky, the British voices are known as Arthur and Martha, and the Australian voices are known as Catherine and Gordon. These TTS engines are available for download along with the rest of the voices that were introduced in iOS 10.

Verbosity Gets More Verbose

iOS 11 includes several new options for the configuring of Verbosity settings. To find the features in the below subsections, go to Settings>General>Accessibility>VoiceOver>Verbosity.

”I Periodically Have Questions”

If you have wanted to adjust the punctuation spoken with VoiceOver before, but didn’t enable this choice in your rotor, you now have the option here as well. Navigate to the punctuation setting under the Verbosity menu and select some, none, or all.

Updating In Real time

One of my small annoyances about earlier versions of iOS was that VoiceOver and Braille would not always report the status of certain things if one left the VoiceOver focus set to that element. A couple of examples include with transportation and delivery apps. If you left VoiceOver focus on the ETA element, it would not change automatically. This was an issue for those using Braille displays who wished to quickly check the status of something, but couldn’t without going to the previous or next element then navigating back to the element of interest. When turned on, Speak Detected Text will automatically speak any text that is changed on the focused element. It can still be turned off, so if you find it annoying, the option to disable it is also in this submenu.

Capitalize On This However You Want

Continuing to explore the new Verbosity options, you can now specify how VoiceOver speaks a capital letter. Your options are to speak the word “cap”, play a sound, change pitch, or do nothing. Another option under the Verbosity menu is “Deleting Text”, which offers similar options. You can have the word “deleted” spoken, play a sound each time something is deleted, change the pitch, or do nothing. The same options exist for embedded links. This means that if you encounter a link on a web page, you can have VoiceOver speak the word “link”, play a sound, change pitch, or do nothing.

Bringing More Verbosity Options To The Table

In this case, I’m not referring to the kitchen table, though I suppose I could be if you are using your iOS Device at said table. This refers to handling tables on the web. It’s now possible to control whether you have the headers of the column and row you are in spoken, as well as the number of the column and row you are currently in reported with VoiceOver speech. It was an option before, but now you can disable it if you would like. Note that if you decide to turn this information on, it is not displayed in Braille.

I’m Reading You Loud And Clear

Though the title of this option is “Media Descriptions”, this setting actually has to do with captions and subtitles. It’s now possible to read these with speech output, Braille, or to have both at the same time. If you are using Braille, you will need to be a fast Braille reader to keep up. This will come in handy for those who watch films where there are subtitles, or if you need some textual support to offset a hearing loss while watching a movie. This feature, however, will not work well for those who are totally deaf-blind since there is no context included within the captions and subtitles. For example, you will get everything that is being said, but you have no idea who may be saying it. It’s also worth noting that not all captioned videos are supported. This feature has been tested on Netflix and with iTunes movies, and found to work as expected with those services.

And… Here Comes The Pitch

It’s true that baseball season starts to heat up this time of year, but it’s also true that this has nothing to do with the feature discussed in this section. Under the “Speech” button of VoiceOver, you now have the ability to change the pitch of speech output. Whether you wish VoiceOver to sound like it has an Adam’s Apple the size of a medicine ball, has with lungs full of helium, or somewhere in between, you now have that ability. Leaving the slider at 50% will give you the pitch you are familiar with. It’s also worth noting that the pitch will be applied to all voices, and that these changes will also be applied to “Speak Screen” and “Speak Selection” functions. It would be nice to have “Pitch Change” as a rotor option so that it can quickly be adjusted on the fly, and to have it be something you can adjust with each voice.

Describe It All To Me! Well… Sort Of.

In iOS 10, Apple introduced the ability to generate alt text for the photos in your photo library and camera roll. With iOS 11, this has expanded to a few third party apps like Facebook. When you find an image you would like to have described, perform a 3 finger single tap when VoiceOver focus is set to that item. Note that for this feature to work, you will need to have the Screen Curtain disabled. To toggle the Screen Curtain on and off, perform a 3 finger triple tap. This also works to varying degrees with images containing text, where iOS will sometimes recognize text and perform OCR on it. It is not, however, a function that works across all applications. The best way to determine whether the app you are using is supported seems to be to just try it. If you are a Bluetooth keyboard user, you can also use this feature directly with the keyboard command VO+F3. Note that with some keyboards, you may also need to include the FN key in this command depending on how your keyboard is configured. You can also set up a Braille keyboard command for performing this function as described in the Braille section of this article.

VoiceOver On Demand

With Mac OS, you have always had the option to jump directly to the VoiceOver Utility. iOS 11 has this covered with the same keyboard command found in Mac OS: VO with F8. This will take you directly in to the VoiceOver menu instead of having to navigate to it from the “Settings” screen. You can also customize a keyboard command on a Braille display to perform this function, though it isn’t set up by default.

I Misspelled What?

While sighted users have always had an easy time finding misspelled words, this hasn’t been true for VoiceOver users unless you pause after each word to see if it is misspelled. There is a new rotor option, which now appears called “Misspelled Words”. It is not always appearing with each text field as was intended, but works well for finding those pesky spelling mistakes quickly. Once the VoiceOver rotor is set to this option, flicking up and down to cycle between misspelled words works well. However, if you wish to correct a word, you will still need to do the rest of the process through the “Edit” rotor options as it was done in previous versions of iOS.

New Gestures With New Features

Specifically, for iPad users, one of the changes is the addition of the Dock which is no longer limited to four items. The Dock now resembles what users of Mac OS have been experiencing for several years. The Dock has always been accessible from anywhere within the operating system, and this is now true for iPad users as well. To bring up the Dock, perform a 2 finger swipe up from the bottom of the screen, or press VO with D on a Bluetooth keyboard. You will find applications you have added manually, but also a list of your most recently used apps.

Putting the iPad in “Split View” functions much like it did in iOS 9, though now the Dock has become the main focal point for setting up “Split View” or “Slide over”. Start by using a 2 finger swipe up from the bottom of the screen to bring up the Dock. Then select an application, and in the “Actions” rotor, swipe up to choose “Open Side App”, (Slide Over) “Pin to Left”, or “Pin to Right”. Then double tap to carry out the desired action. Like before, you can tap the left, right or middle of the screen to switch between each app. You can also use the rotor to navigate to “Containers”, and then flick up and down to go between apps. Remember that Split View is only supported on the iPad Mini II and later, and also on the iPad Pro models.

If you are someone who has not enjoyed the Mail app when it is divided in to columns of messages on one side and then the message you are trying to read opens on the other, iOS 11 has given VoiceOver users the option to quickly jump from the table of messages to the message content. On the Mac, and also now on the iPad, this can be done with VO and the letter J. You can also perform a 2-finger swipe right if you are a touchscreen user.


Important Information Before Upgrading

If you are a Braille user, it’s worth noting that many users of Braille displays are reporting that their cursor puts them in random places on the screen when attempting to edit anything over a few sentences long. Further, if you are a fast typer with the Braille keyboard, it’s also been documented that the translator will miss letters. The longer the block of text, the more this happens. If you plan to do a lot of typing and editing with a Braille display, the first release of iOS 11 may not be for you. When working within any text field using either contracted or uncontracted Braille, these bugs seem to be present with both U.S. English and Unified English Braille. By typing rapidly, I mean anything over around 50 words a minute.

No Longer Lost In Translation

Those major bugs aside, there are many nice things about iOS 11 for Braille users. One of the changes is that you can natively use contracted Braille input without having to worry about the translator not taking what you have previously written into account. Though the translator works well, when editing, the cursor will exhibit the behavior documented above.


Many users of Braille displays have desired for different commands to be part of the key mapping of iOS. Braille users of Mac OS have had the ability to customize Braille keyboard commands for quite some time. With iOS 11, you can decide not only what function you would like to be able to carry out from your Braille display, but also what keyboard combination you would like that command to have. If the command you desire is already in use by another function, that’s okay, you can change it to something else. The commands are specific to each Braille display. Though most Braille displays have a Perkins style keyboard, they also have buttons that make them unique. For example, the Braille Edge from HIMS has four rectangular buttons on either side of the spacebar. These can be assigned specific functions, or even Bluetooth keyboard equivalents. The same is true of the Focus displays, which have many controls on the front of the device that can be either assigned, or re-assigned, a specific command. The amount of options available for new commands will vary based on the Braille display’s specific capabilities and programmable buttons.

To assign a new command for your Braille display, go to Settings>General>Accessibility>VoiceOver>Braille>More Info. While you still have the “Disconnect” and “Forget This Device” options, you will also find one called “Braille Commands”. Within this screen, you will find seven options for configuring new or existing commands. You will also find the option to “Reset All Commands” at the bottom of this screen. There are too many options to list, but I will describe how to add or change a command by example below.

One advantage to using a Bluetooth keyboard on iOS has always been the ability to carry out a lot of tasks quickly using a robust set of keyboard commands. It is possible to, for example, carry out many Bluetooth keyboard commands to make using the Mail app more efficient. Command plus N creates a new message, Command plus R will reply to an open message, Command plus Shift plus R will reply to all, etc. When formatting text, Command plus B will bold the selected text, Command plus I will italicize it, Command plus U will underline it, etc. Touchscreen users must use the rotor for these options which involves a lot more steps than the keyboard. Bearing the power of the “Command” key in mind, let’s set up a Braille command to invoke this key using a Braille display.

  1. After navigating to Settings>General>Accessibility>VoiceOver>Braille>More Info>Braille Commands, activate the “Keyboard” button.
  2. Scroll down to the “Toggle Command” button. Note that there is also a “Command” button without the toggle, but I’ve found that trying to press a letter with this command doesn’t always work, whereas the toggle does.
  3. Navigate to “Assign New Braille Keys”, and activate it.
  4. Press a key, or combination of keys, that you wish to be assigned this command. Be sure to either pick something you do not ever use, or a brand new command altogether. For example, on the VarioUltra, I used D4 and D5 pressed together. Though this has already been assigned a command, which will force VoiceOver to translate whatever I’ve typed, that command already exists with space and dots 4-5.
  5. If the command you have chosen doesn’t already have something assigned to it, you will be done with this process. If the Braille keyboard assignment does have a command already associated with that keyboard combination, you will get an alert telling you what the already assigned action is, and asking you if you wish to change it.
  6. Choose “OK” or “Cancel”, and the appropriate option will be chosen.

You can now press that Braille keyboard combination you have assigned this function, once to toggle the Command key on and once to toggle it off, and perform all of the commands I listed above and many more. For example, to bold a selected block of text, press the Command key toggle, the letter B, and then press the Command key toggle again. You have many other options, such as the ability to invoke Siri. This allows you to then use Siri from your Braille display without ever having to take your hands off the keyboard.

What’s The Status Of The Formatting?

Another new feature in iOS 11 is the ability to detect what formatting attributes are in a document using the status cell. To turn this option on, go to Settings>General>Accessibility>Braille>Status Cells”, and choose to turn on “Show Text Status”. Cracking the code of what dot stands for each type of formatting will take a bit of memorizing, but you can easily pull up a list of which dots symbolize which text attribute by pressing the cursor routing button over the status cell. You can exit this mode by pressing Space with B. As the insertion point in your text changes by using the Braille cursor, so too should the status cell if the text formatting is different. If your cursor is not routed to somewhere on the screen, the formatting will follow wherever the insertion point is set to.

Feel Those Emoji’s

VoiceOver users who use speech have had the ability to listen to whatever emoji they have selected, or to whichever one they encounter. Prior to iOS 11, this was very limited for Braille users. They often saw a series of symbols that didn’t differ from emoji to emoji. Now, Braille users can tell what emoji they are encountering just like their speech using counterparts.

The Text Goes On And ON And On And…

Another new Braille function is “Word Wrap”. No, this is not a feature which will quote various Hip-hop lyrics, but is a feature which will not break up the contents displayed by words. Instead, you may find that you have half of a word at the end of the display, and then when you pan forward, you will find the rest of the word. This option may come in handy for users who are on smaller displays. You will find it under Settings>General>Accessibility>VoiceOver>Braille>Word Wrap.

Less Spaces Are Good

Prior to iOS 11, it was necessary to press the Spacebar in conjunction with dots 7 or 8 to perform a delete or to activate the Enter key. With iOS 11, you can simply press dot 7 or 8 without the Spacebar, and these functions will work correctly. However, as old habits die hard, you can still use the Spacebar with dot 7 or dot 8 like you could before.

Low Vision

General Clean-Up

The new features and enhancements in the below sections show that Apple has done substantial work to improve the low vision experience. While the below added functions are important, there are a lot of smaller changes to the appearance of the operating system that will make the upgrade potentially a good one. For example, a number of default icons have been visually cleaned up, removing “flair” to create a crisper and clearer presentation. Here are a few noteworthy changes, but not an exhaustive list:

  • The paintbrush ends on the App Store have been removed, and the lines across the pencil have been cleaned up to create a crisp overlapping “A” with curved lines.
  • The times on the clock have been boldened and clarified.
  • The Maps icon has been simplified to become more visually distinct.
  • The number of lines on the Notes and Reminders icons have been reduced.
  • The Calculator icon has been given a slight overhaul changing it from orange and gray boxes to a black calculator image with orange and white buttons on it.
  • The iTunes Store has a new icon changing from a music note to a crisp star.

Other little changes that can make a big difference include a larger navigation bar in some apps, a QR scanner built directly into the camera that eliminates the need for a third party app with unknown accessibility standards. Bigger, bolder and better controls for formatting in the notes app make the experience less of a strain.

The App Store Redesign

All around the App Store the off-white background has been removed in favor of a flat white theme throughout improving color contrast across the board. The install now buttons for apps are far larger and visually distinct, with a full button around the “install now” text. Reviews and ratings are now a dark gray instead of yellow, and much larger and more prominent, icons at the bottom of the screen are bigger and heavier. Search suggestions are twenty percent larger and far bolder. The search box itself has doubled in size and the grey of the box has been lighted to improve contrast against the black text as you type. The updates page has much larger text and icons and the buttons have a larger rounded look and there is even a system wide setting that has been added to disable feedback request inside of Apps to reduce visual clutter and eliminate those frustrating pop ups. The small cleanups around the Store are innumerable and make for a much more comfortable experience, the final big change that should be called out, there is finally an option to disable auto playing videos around the store and reduce the visual burden they can create.

iOS 11 Gets More Bold… Somewhat

Though iOS 11 sports more bold text, the issue is that it isn’t consistently done. For example, the passcode screen numbers are over twice as thick and significantly clearer than in iOS 10, while icons on the Home Screen and some native apps setup screens have only a modest increase in size and line thickness. One could easily miss that bold is even turned on, particularly on the web. This is a really nice feature in the areas where it has been implemented, but the places where it is functioning are the minority rather than the majority.

A More Dynamic iOS

iOS 11 brings with it more enhanced dynamic type. In all native menus and apps we examined, the line wrapping successfully shifted over lines and allowed the full body of text to be viewed. The irritating cutoffs and overflows that existed in iOS 10 have been removed. The tap and hold function for a larger pop out control in the middle of the screen does exactly what it says it will. However, the improvements do not carry over to the web where text appears to be presented exactly as it was in iOS 10. To enable this feature, head over to Settings>General>Accessibility>Text Size, and turn on “Larger Accessibility Sizes”.

Bigger Is Cleaner

In the Zoom window, the cleanness at high magnification levels is considerably improved. The Zoom window is not as impressive at enhancing images, but even at a 15x greater magnification level, it is still able to render a cleaner and smoother image than in iOS 10.

Sometimes, Being Negative Is Smart

Invert Colors has been made “smarter” in some places throughout the operating system. This feature is intended to not invert things like media, images, and some apps that have darker color styles to make them more clear. To enable “Smart Invert”, head over to Settings>General>Accessibility>Display Accommodations>Invert Colors and enable “Smart Invert”. It’s possible to use the Invert Colors functions from prior to iOS 11 by enabling “Classic Invert Colors”. Using smart inversion with the camera makes it easier to differentiate between objects of very similar colors, and apply tints to each to make them visually distinct. Smart Inversion determines whether to apply color inversion to a single object, or multiple objects, seemingly based on what is in frame. In some cases, this feature will invert one object, and not another directly beside it, to create sufficient contrast to differentiate the two.

With Smart Inversion active, there are still a few issues with app buttons that begin dark against a dark background, and light against a light background. Against a mostly black background, the background is not inverted, and neither is the Stocks icon. The edges of that image remain a little unclear. Native pictures and videos seem to not be inverted, but the same cannot be said for media on the web and third party applications. In Apple’s defense, this may require an update, or additional coding work by the app developers.

The biggest low vision issue we have been able to identify with the Smart Inversion is that pink and blue will turn green and orange. While providing improved color contrast, it is not sufficient to make it fully visually distinct on smaller items. This makes it markedly worse for those who are color blind. There are some holdover issues with inversion inside the Weather app. This is especially true where the inversion now creates an orange/brown background while the images of the sun remain a bright yellow. This makes them less distinct with inversed colors than without.

There are some inconsistencies in the way in which app logos are inverted. Examples include the list of apps in the Control Center, the Siri app suggestions were only sometimes inverted, the YouTube app was blue in one instance and then the normal red and white the next time, etc.

I Like More Colorful Speech, But Can You Give Me The Highlights?

Speak Selection has been around for several versions, but seems to get enhancements with each operating system. iOS 11 is no exception. You can now highlight colors with Speak Selection. This comes in two flavors: words and sentences. You can either use these functions independently or together. This can be used to track focus which is especially useful for complex web pages without intuitive reading orders. However, the line or colored band does not move in real time if you scroll the page until the next sentence is started. This could potentially create some visual confusion.

The selection of colors leaves something to be desired with only blue, yellow, green, pink, and purple available. The highlight bands are also inverted when Smart Inversion is active. Before inversion, a visually distinct sentence highlight of purple and green will be inverted into dark green and orange brown. This may result in having to repeatedly alter settings to use this function if you regularly use Smart Inversion. This is because the bad contrast will appear in only areas where the smart inversion actually inverts.

An Upgraded Magnifier

Though a slight delay still remains when going from darkness to bright light, this appears to be less than what is found in iOS 10. The Magnifier is now better able to handle glare, and adjust to rapidly changing light. Smaller objects, text, and stacked items seem to be receiving cleaner and faster focus. The upgrade is especially noticeable when using the magnifier to examine text either in print or on a computer screen.


This Phone Was Made For You And My Hearing Aids

Over the years, Apple has been working with hearing aid manufacturers to develop Made For iPhone (MFI) hearing aids. iOS 10.2 saw some upgrades to the newer models, in that the technology behind AirPods and the w1 chip was implemented. It is my understanding, though I do not have a set of MFI hearing aids to test myself, that the stability issues found in iOS 10 have been addressed with the newer models using the w1 chip. Again, I do not have access to a set of MFI hearing aids, so it is impossible for me to tell you what else has been changed. It is my hope that someone who owns a pair of MFI hearing aids will take the time to inform us all of what has changed.

Can You Give Me More Background?

For those who are hard of hearing with low vision, or those who have low vision that wish to access subtitles, iOS 11 brings additional options for captioning. It is now possible to increase the size of captions, and to add an outline to make them more visually distinct. The outline functions presents the text in a far more consistent and clear manner than the bold function. This makes captions far more clear on the screen especially against a backdrop of a very bright, or very dark video. To play around with this new functionality yourself, navigate to Settings>General>Accessibility>Subtitle & Captions>Style.


Apple continues to make changes and enhancements to its mobile operating system for everyone. Their work toward inclusive design continues to keep them ahead of many other platforms in terms of built-in accessibility options. Certainly, the enhancements in iOS 11 prove this trend continues. Just like previous iOS releases, whether you should upgrade or not depends on whether the bugs present in the new release will impact you on a greater level than you can tolerate—and whether you feel the new features are worth the upgrade. If possible, it may be best to try out the new version of iOS on another device before installing it on your own. To check out a list of bugs related to VoiceOver and b/braille, check the this AppleVis post. To download the update over the air, go to Settings> General> Software Update, and follow the prompts onscreen. Alternatively, you can update your device through iTunes.



Guest Post: VocalEye August 2017 Newsletter

Image: dog’s face in a sprinkler

1) Hot Dog Days!
2) Described Performances and Events:
Aug 2: Celebration of Light Fireworks
3) Aug 6: Vancouver Pride Parade
4) Aug 11: The Drowsy Chaperone at Theatre Under the Stars
5) Aug 27: Accessible Fringe 101
6) Last Call for Raffle Tickets
7) Buddies
8) Support
9) Reminders

The dog days of summer are upon us and there’s still fun to be had! This month, we describe 3 spectacular outdoor events and we’ll be handing out free Fringe Memberships to VocalEye users who attend ($5 value). (

We’ll put our Fingerworkers to the test tomorrow at the Celebration of Light (August 2). This event is pretty much “sold out”, but we might have room for one or two more. Check with Donna,

Happy Pride Week! We are thrilled to partner with the Vancouver Pride Society for our third year, making the Pride Parade more accessible with live description. Allan and Eileen are very excited to describe the parade for you. Seats and headsets are still available and we hope you can join us for this fun, free, fantastic event! Reserve your spot with Donna,

I just got a phone call today from the Vancouver WhiteCaps and they’re offering Pride Partners a special deal that I’m passing on to all of you: tickets to the Sat August 19 game (Vancouver vs Houston) for $27 (regular price is around $60). Support Pride Night will include pre-show events and the first 1,000 ticket holders will receive a complimentary pair of Pride shoelaces (rainbow stripes, natch!). Contact Adrien at 604.669.9283 ext. 2804 or and mention VocalEye (you may want to call just to hear a beautiful Parisian accent).

You won’t want to miss our last described show of the season, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE at Theatre Under the Stars in Stanley Park with a Touch Tour afterward. What a perfect way to end the season!

August marks the beginning of the end of summer and also the end of VocalEye’s seventh season. Details for next season are coming soon, but here are a few highlights:

The new season begins with the Vancouver Fringe Festival: 100 shows, 700 performances, 11 days. We’re not describing all of them, of course, but 30 shows are designated as Low Vision Friendly and VocalEye will describe one performance as well. Find out what all this means at our Accessible Fringe 101 orientation (details below).

We are delighted to return to the Arts Club for our 8th season! Single tickets are now on sale for all described performances with shows and dates on the Arts Club website. Be sure to mark your calendars for Beauty and the Beast. We’re describing this one twice: Sunday, December 17 at 2 pm with a Touch Tour; and again on Wednesday, December 20 at 7:30 pm (no tour). Season subscriptions are also available with more savings and perks. Call 604-687-1644 for more info. (

We’ve also confirmed another described season at The Belfry in Victoria. They’re offering a season ticket package for described performances for greater savings this year. Call 250-385-6815 for more info. (

VocalEye will also return to the Surrey Arts Centre, the Kay Meek Centre, The Gateway in Richmond and Stanley Park for The Ghost Train. (

Save the date: Saturday, November 4 for VocalEye’s 5th annual TALES FROM THE BLIND SIDE storytelling fundraiser at Moose’s Down Under. (

I could go on, but summer’s almost over already. Get out there and enjoy!

See you soon!





VANCOUVER PRIDE PARADE described on Sunday August 6, 2017 from Noon until 3 pm, Beach Avenue Accessible Seating near Alexandra Park. Free public event. (

Headsets and priority seating will be provided free of charge for people with vision loss in the accessibility area from 11 am to 3 pm on Parade Day (Sunday, August 6). Reservations are required. Contact 604-364-5949 or

Seating and equipment are limited. We recommend arriving early.

Please note: The new accessibility area is located on the water side of Beach Avenue at the foot of Broughton Street. This is across the street and farther down the parade route (to the left) when compared to our location in previous years.

VocalEye is proud to describe the 39th Annual Vancouver Pride Parade for people who are blind and partially sighted. This is VocalEye’s third year describing the Vancouver Pride Parade thanks to a request from Richard Marion, a member of the blind community.

Described by Eileen Barrett and Allan Morgan with live-tweets from VocalEye volunteers.

Your sighted friends are welcome to listen in on Eileen and Allan’s description of this year’s Pride participants. Bring an extra set of ear buds and ask us for a splitter and you’ll be able to share your receiver. Friends can also follow our live tweets on Twitter ( .

The Beach Avenue Accessibility Area features seating, shade and accessible washroom facilities. Free bottled water will be available, but to reduce waste, we encourage you to bring your own water. VocalEye will provide light snacks and treats. Be sure to dress for the weather as necessary, it can be cooler near the water, and don’t forget your sunscreen! You may want to bring a little cushion for your seat.

THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, described by Eileen Barrett on Friday, August 11 at 8 pm at Theatre Under the Stars, 610 Pipeline Road, Stanley Park, Vancouver. TUTS offers a free companion rate for VocalEye users. Regular ticket prices range from $30 to $49. To purchase tickets, please call 604-734-1917. For best headset reception, seating is recommended in the left section of the audience, rows 10 and higher. Running time is approximately 1 hour 50 minutes. This performance will be followed by a Touch Tour and we’ll also draw the winning raffle tickets. (

Arrive early and grab a bite to eat at the Garden Café or a light snack from the snack bar. There is a wide range of hot, cold and alcoholic beverages for sale as well. Bring your own seat cushion for more comfort. A limited number of cushions will be reserved for VocalEye guests on a first come, first served basis (

You’ll be sitting outdoors, so be sure to dress for the weather and be prepared for cooler temperatures in the evening.

“There’s nothing snoozy or sleepy about this TUTS production of The Drowsy Chaperone: it’s flat-out, full-on fun. Plus it’s wickedly clever.”
-Jo Ledingham (

Alone in his modest, one-bedroom apartment, a die-hard musical fan plays his favourite cast album, a 1928 smash hit called The Drowsy Chaperone. As the record spins, the show magically bursts to life, filling his living room with colourful characters, immersing him in the hilarious tale of a celebrity bride and her impending nuptials, complete with gangsters, playboys, singing, dancing and drinking.

“There’s much ado these days about a Canadian musical, Come From Away, making it big on Broadway and scooping a Tony Award for direction earlier this month. (

But what many people forget, or don’t know, is that just over a decade ago, another subversive little Canuck musical pulled off the same magic. Written by Bob Martin and Don McKellar as a wedding present to Martin’s wife, it was first staged off the beaten track in Toronto’s storied Rivoli bar back in 1998. A long, winding, and unlikely path led it to the bright lights of Broadway by 2006, nabbing it five Tony Awards and the chance to go on to England, Australia, and Japan.” -The Georgia Straight (



The Vancouver Fringe Festival tagline is “Theatre for Everyone”, an ideal that VocalEye fully supports! (

Personally speaking, I am a long-time fan of the Fringe. Full disclosure: I performed in the very first festival (1985) and have been involved with more than a dozen Fringe shows as an actor or director and many, many more as an audience member. Frequent Fringe-ing or Fringe Binge-ing is one of my all-time favourite things to do. With $14 tickets, a free companion rate and 60 minute shows (on average), you can do it, too! Let us show you how…

If you are a VocalEye member with vision loss or a Theatre Buddy who’s new to the Fringe, this orientation session will show you how its done!

When: Sunday, August 27 from Noon until 3 pm.
Meet up location: northeast corner of Broadway and Granville
Session location: Carousel rehearsal space, 1411 Cartwright Street, across from Kid’s Market and the Waterfront Theatre

This free orientation session includes:
* a walking tour from Broadway and Granville to Granville Island (starts at Noon)
* Accessible Fringe 101 session (begins at 12:30)
* Introduction to the Festival
* first-person reports from blind and low vision frequent Fringers, Deb Fong and Tami Grenon
* Low Vision Friendly programming
* tips on how to Fringe: choosing shows, booking tickets and more
* walking tour of Granville Island’s Fringe venues and landmarks
* snacks and refreshments
* free Fringe membership ($5 value)
* the opportunity to connect with a Fringe buddy
* the opportunity to become a Fringe buddy

This year’s Fringe is scheduled from September 7 to 17. There are more than 30 shows designated as Low Vision Friendly, plus one VocalEye described performance of “A Very Unpleasant Evening at the Rockefeller Rink Sometime Late December…ish”, on Saturday, September 16 at 3:50 pm at The Cultch Historic Theatre. This fresh and quirky comedy features some delightful characters, including one who happens to be a legally blind zamboni driver. Find out more at the orientation session!

To register, please contact Donna,
Deadline to register is August 24, 2017

Don’t miss your chance to win one of three great prizes!
* First Prize: Plextalk Linio Pocket daisy/mp3 player from Canadian Assistive Technologies, value $369
* Second Prize: One-year subscription to with AfterShokz bone-conducting headphones, value $210
* Third Prize: Save-On gift card, value $100

Ticket Price: $5

With three easy ways to purchase:
1. at the equipment table at one of VocalEye’s events
2. from a friendly VocalEye board member
3. or from Steph, 604-364-5949.

Draw Date: Friday, August 11, 2017 at 10:30 pm

Draw Location: Theatre Under the Stars, 610 Pipeline Road, Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC V6G 3E2

Presence not required at time of draw. Winners consent to the release of their name by VocalEye, 303-355 E 15th Ave, Vancouver V5T 2R2 | 604-364-5949

Number of tickets for sale = 300 | BC Gaming Event License # 95264

Limit one prize per winner | BC residents only

All proceeds go toward VocalEye’s description programs.


Theatre Buddies are available to guide VocalEye Members 18 years of age and over from a designated meet up location to and from selected theatres in the lower mainland. Reserve your Theatre Buddy by calling 604-364-5949 or send us an email. 48 hours notice is required.

** 8) SUPPORT…
VocalEye will describe more than 40 performances and events this season for people who are blind and partially sighted, thanks to the generous contributions of our funders and supporters ( .

We gratefully acknowledge the Canada Council for the Arts, the BC Arts Council, the Province of British Columbia, the City of Vancouver, Metro Vancouver, our Community Donors and Individual Donors for their critical financial and in-kind support. VocalEye is currently in the process of becoming a registered charity and will not be able to issue tax receipts for donations until our application is approved. In the meantime, donations are greatly appreciated from anyone not requiring a tax receipt.

We thank you for helping us provide people with vision loss greater access to arts and culture.

* VocalEye’s complete season of described performances can be found on our website ( .
* Tickets and headsets must be reserved by calling the theatre, unless instructed otherwise.
* Be sure to mention VocalEye when booking your tickets to receive any discounts offered and indicate whether you have partial vision, a guide dog or other seating preferences. Seating options may be limited.
* Arrive early to pick up your equipment so you can be seated in time for a sound check and to listen to our pre-show introduction that includes brief descriptions of the set, characters and costumes. These begin 10 minutes before curtain.
* Our handheld receivers come with a single earpiece that can be worn on the left or right ear, or you can use your own earbuds or headphones. The audio signal is mono, so it will come through on only one side.
* VocalEye Memberships are FREE for people with vision loss.
* VocalEye Members are eligible for Theatre Buddy assistance, ticket discounts and equipment pickup without a deposit.
* VocalEye newsletters are available in your choice of formats: Plain Text or HTML with images. Both include a link at the top to a simple Word Doc format.
* VocalEye respects your right to privacy. We will not rent, sell or trade our list. Our mailings are intended to inform you of our events, programs, services and fundraising activities. You may unsubscribe at any time.
* You can help us spread the word about described performances and arts access for people with vision loss by sharing this newsletter with those in your network.

Thank you for reading through. See you at the theatre!

Tech Advertisement: The ScanJig, Helping the Blind, Visually Impaired and those with Fine Motor Difficulties Accurate Text Recognition With The First Scan

Assistive Technology
Helping the Blind, Visually Impaired and those with Fine Motor Difficulties
Accurate Text Recognition With The First Scan

The ScanJig is a simple device that can improve functional capacities of individuals who are visually impaired, blind or have fine motor difficulties .
• Versatile – holds smart phones or tablets in the correct position for precisely aligned, focused images. Scan documents, business cards, checks and books. Get accurate text-to-speech conversion. Helps those with motor difficulties use apps.
• Enhance App Performance – OCR apps (e.g., KNFB Reader), Education apps (e.g., SnapType)
• Tactile – guided positioning of both the device and document. Get correct alignment and field of view on the first scan.
• Portable – folds down flat and snaps shut to easily fit in a backpack or carry bag.
• Simple to Use – just open the ScanJig, place your phone, and start scanning in seconds. Work from the seated position facing the touch screen.
• Smart Glasses – remove the device holder and use just the document stand.
• Durable – molded plastic parts for stable, precise imaging and firm support for larger devices.
• Open Design – angled to capture more light and avoid shadows.
Optional accessories:
Support Bracket – for book scanning with the KNFB Reader app.
Extended Shelf – for iPad users


We accept Purchase Orders and Credit Cards


For more information email

Copyright © 2016 Spectrum Business Solutions, All rights reserved.

RNIB: Factsheet for Employers and Employment Professionals; Guidance and good practice for Risk Assessors

Factsheet for employers and employment


Blind and partially sighted people at work

 – Guidance and good practice for Risk



About this factsheet


This factsheet is for anyone who needs help with safety management in a place where blind or partially sighted people work. Blind and partially sighted people compete for, perform and succeed in a wide range of jobs. Many need little or no adjustment to their workplace or to working practices, and yet many employers worry about employing blind and partially sighted people, sometimes having concerns for their safety and for the safety of others.


This guidance has been compiled in consultation with: health and safety professionals; people in the workplace who assess the risks to employees; employers; and with blind and partially sighted people. We aim to help risk assessors by providing the information they need to reach decisions, and ensure a safe environment with safe working guidelines.




  1. The need for Guidance
  2. Blind and partially sighted people at work
  3. The process of Risk Assessment
  4. Key points for Risk Assessment
  5. Common issues


5.1   Dealing with Guide Dogs

5.2   Mobility and travel

5.3   Lighting

5.4   Trip hazards

5.5   Lone working

5.6   Evacuating the building

5.7   Stairs

5.8   Safe use of computer systems

5.9   Machinery

5.10 Caring for others


  1. References
  2. Sources of help and further information



1. The need for guidance


Carrying out a risk assessment of the workplace or an activity for blind or partially sighted people doesn’t have to be difficult, but it can sometimes be a daunting prospect. If you haven’t worked with blind people before, it can be very easy to over-estimate risks or make assumptions about what blind people can or can’t do.


People who risk assess the workplaces and activities of blind and partially sighted people, looking for advice, often approach RNIB. While we are aware that mistakes can be made, we also know that risks can be managed successfully and we want to share good practice.


This guidance has been produced to highlight some of the things that we’re often asked about, share examples of successful risk management and suggest sources of help.


We are also aware that risk assessment, or health and safety in general, has been used as an excuse not to employ blind and partially sighted people (Hurstfield et al, 2003). We hope that the guidance we have put together will help to overcome unnecessary barriers.


Most importantly, we hope that this guidance helps you to reach informed decisions and, in so doing, ensures that blind and partially sighted people can continue to work effectively and safely.



2. Blind and partially sighted people at work


In the middle of the last century, blind people were encouraged to work in specific occupations. These included jobs as switchboard operators, masseurs, piano tuners and even basket weavers.


Things have changed quite considerably and blind and partially sighted people now succeed in a range of jobs across different sectors. “This IS Working 2” (RNIB, 2009), gave examples of ten people working as: a company director, senior physiotherapist, sales and marketing manager, shop owner, policy officer, development and funding officer, teacher, administrative assistant, and outreach worker. A copy of this document, which includes testimonials from employers, can be fond here:


Blind people do succeed at work. When safety management works well, we know that all employees, including blind and partially sighted people, can work safely.



3. The process of risk assessment


Employers are required by law to manage health and safety in the workplace. Each organisation will have their own ways of doing this and the roles of individual risk assessors can be different.


This document does not deal with the mechanics of undertaking and recording risk assessments. The principles are the same for everyone, but guidance is already available on dealing with “disability” in relation to safety management. See, for example, ‘Health and Safety for Disabled People and Their Employers (Health and Safety Executive and DRC).


IOSH, the Chartered body for health and safety professionals, offers advice on their website about the responsibilities that the Equality Act imposes on those who manage safety.


They specifically suggest that:


  • the Equality Act has an effect on the way you
  • manage safety.
  • while you may be able to use health and safety issues related to disability as a reason not to employ someone – or to refuse a service to someone – you can only do so if certain conditions are met.
  • if the safety of a task may be affected by someone’s disability, then a risk assessment should be carried out for everyone, not just for disabled employees.
  • if you don’t document the steps you’ve taken to consult disabled workers or customers, and to make reasonable adjustments, your organisation could be involved in an expensive tribunal case.


This factsheet will focus on how risk assessment can affect blind and partially sighted people at work.



4. Key points for risk assessment


In general, the following points will help to shape your risk assessments:


4.1 Risk assessments should address a task and everyone



Whilst the legislation requires employers to identify groups that might be at risk of harm, telling someone that “you must be risk assessed” sends out a negative message. In a way, it suggests that the individual is the issue, when this is clearly not the case. It sounds much more positive to tell someone that activities are being assessed.


4.2 The individuals involved must be consulted


The Health and Safety Executive’s “Five Steps to Risk Assessment” recommends that: ‘In all cases, you should make sure that you involve your staff or their representatives in the process. They will have useful information about how the work is done that will make your assessment of the risk more thorough and effective.’


Your blind or partially sighted employee is usually the best person to describe how their sight loss affects them and you should be able to tap in to that knowledge. Risk assessments carried out without the involvement of blind and partially sighted employees are significantly more likely to be inaccurate.


4.3 “Adjustments” must be considered as part of the process


Employers have a responsibility to make “reasonable adjustments” to working practices and physical features. This is likely to include the provision of auxiliary aids. While this might be beyond your area of responsibility as a risk assessor, you must be prepared to take proposed changes into account.


4.4 It is important that you do not make assumptions about

the level of someone’s functional vision


Most blind people have some useful vision. Some people will be able to see fine detail, while some may have very good peripheral vision. Even people with the same eye condition can have widely different levels of useful sight.


Employers often ask for medical guidance to help understand what people can or can’t see. However, this is often presented in medical terms and is usually lacking an occupational focus.


Asking the individual to describe their sight is often the best way to gather information to assess risk. Professionals who work with blind and partially sighted people at work can be another source of information. Making assumptions about what people can and can’t see will produce flawed risk assessments.



5. Common issues


Employers often contact RNIB to ask for advice about specific worries they have about the safety of a blind or partially sighted colleague. Things we have been asked about include:


5.1 Guide Dogs at work


Guide dogs are one example of an aid to mobility. However, it has been estimated that as few as one or two per cent of blind or partially sighted people use guide dogs to get around. It is therefore important that you don’t assume that people either use guide dogs, or choose to bring them to work.


Having said that, if an employee brings a guide dog to work, proper planning is required to ensure that things run smoothly.


We have been asked about accommodating guide dogs at work and, in most cases, working practices can be adopted to ensure a safe and comfortable working environment.


Some of the common questions revolve around:


Toileting – a suitable area must be identified for the guide dog. While in some places there are very obvious locations for this, some companies (particularly in town centres) find this difficult.


Moving around building – the extent to which a blind person uses a guide dog once at their workstation will vary, depending on the person’s other mobility skills and knowledge of the environment. It is important that the guide dog user is aware of his or her responsibilities. Working rules should be established. These could include where the dog goes when not “on harness” or how often breaks are required.


Induction/emergency procedures – it may be necessary to review your evacuation plans. There may already be a structure in place (such as personal emergency evacuation plans) to facilitate this within your organisation. Standard instructions, such as those issued during induction should be available in the correct format for the employee to read.


Colleagues – the extent to which colleagues interact with guide dog users is likely to vary. There are both positive and negatives to this. For example, colleagues can distract a working dog, or alternatively can assist with “walking” the dog. Colleagues may need to be told of their responsibilities.  For example, they may need to know when it might be appropriate to play with or to walk the dog, or to know when the dog is working.


Allergy/Fear of dogs/cultural influences – Some thought may need to be given to where guide dogs are based while people are working to allay concerns.


If in any doubt about any aspect of working with Guide Dogs, representatives from the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association will want to help you with this.


5.2 Mobility and travel


When considering potential risks involved in travelling, it is important to bear in mind that most blind or partially sighted people will travel easily with no problems. Some may need support.


Blind and partially sighted people have varying levels of sight and particular eye conditions affect sight in different ways. We can’t assume that people with the same eye condition are affected in the same way, as people with the same eye condition often see the world in entirely different ways. Familiarity with the area and environmental factors, such as lighting, are other things that can affect someone’s mobility.


Additionally, people adjust to sight loss in different ways. It is safe to say that the mobility skills of blind and partially sighted people vary considerably.  Some people travel independently, while others use mobility aids or support from others to travel.


It probably goes without saying that an individual should be consulted when considering potential risks with travel. It is also good practice to ensure that any concerns about mobility are kept in perspective – issues should not be allowed to be blown out of proportion.


If an individual is looking for mobility support for specific parts of their travel, two agencies might be able to help.


In each local authority area, there are mobility specialists, sometimes known as rehabilitation workers, who can teach people how to use mobility aids and help them learn to navigate routes. They either work for the local authority social work team, or the organisation that holds the register of blind and partially sighted people.


The Access to Work programme supports people at work and individuals can apply for financial assistance to travel to and from work and within work. The Access to Work programme can only cover the additional costs of travelling to meet disability-related and it is not intended to replace the standard costs involved in business use.


5.3 Lighting


Both the quality and quantity of lighting has a significant impact on all working environments. For some people, it can help to create a comfortable workplace. For others, lighting can pose a barrier to effective working.


Guidance on lighting levels tends to be either general, aimed at a technical audience, or individual, based on one person’s experience. For example, Building Site (1995), suggests that light levels are crucial. It suggests that lux levels (a measure of luminance) for blind and partially sighted people should be 25 per cent to 50 per cent above the “general” level.


The difficulty with such generalised recommendations is that individual blind and partially sighted people have very different needs. Increasing the general “background” lighting levels might not necessarily make a working environment safer or more comfortable.


For some people, increasing background light would be helpful. But it might be more effective to introduce additional light sources, rather than make the existing fittings brighter. This is particularly true if units can be switched on and off to allow more control over lux levels.


Other people find it difficult to work with high levels of lighting and prefer a darker working environment.


As well as the amount of light, the source of light is also an important factor.   Many people find that natural light is best. This can mean that making the best of light from windows is preferable to using electric lighting. Similarly, some people find that light fittings emulating natural light (daylight bulbs) are very effective.


The key to resolving lighting issues is to talk to the people involved and call in specialists where necessary. Sometimes simple changes can make a huge difference to a working environment. At other times, more work is required to strike a balance between the needs of one individual among a group of other employees.


5.4 Trip hazards


Research suggests that blind and partially sighted people are more likely to trip than sighted people (Legood et al, 2009). Yet, when we introduce controls to reduce risk, it is very important to keep a sense of perspective. Introducing “no-go” areas, such as stairs or in specific areas you perceive as dangerous, can be discriminatory. It is very unlikely that the only way to manage potential trip hazards is to exclude people from certain areas, as other alternative steps can be taken to reduce risk. Most blind and partially sighted people can navigate around buildings and other workplaces. If you feel strongly that there are parts of a workplace that are not safe, you should seek advice.


5.5 Lone working


Working alone is an integral part of many jobs. Whether this involves visiting customers at home, working from other premises, travelling either locally or more widely or working at home.


Lone working is an area that often raises concerns for employers. But while there may be occasions when a blind or partially sighted person is exposed to risk, these risks are often no greater than a sighted colleague would face.


It is very easy to make assumptions about potential dangers and introduce unnecessary risk controls. And yet, very many blind or partially sighted people work successfully and safely on their own, sometimes in challenging environments.


Considering risks


It is important to consider how an individual is affected by sight loss.  Some people travel independently and confidently. Others look for support, particularly in unfamiliar environments.


Some employers have found it helpful to consider the extent of an individual’s sight loss. Having an understanding of what a person can or cannot see can make it easier to discuss risks. Medical “evidence” is not likely to help with this. A diagnosis does not usually describe the extent of functional vision.  Most of the time, your blind or partially sighted employee is the best person to describe this to you.


Minimising risk


Your starting point for managing risks should be the systems you already have in place for your lone workers. Your local working practices must be robust and comprehensive, so that the work of all of your lone-working employees is covered. Your blind or partially sighted employee is no different in this respect.


5.6 Evacuating the building


Most blind and partially sighted people will understand the need for plans to deal with unexpected evacuations, for example, in the case of fire.   Employers generally deal with evacuation routes, procedures and assembly points during an employee’s induction period.


It is important to ensure that written evacuation procedures are available in different formats during induction. For example, having a Word version of the procedures available will allow most users of access technology to read them.


Some blind or partially sighted people would welcome the chance to familiarise themselves with the main routes and practise leaving the building by emergency exits. This could be arranged with their line manager when starting work.


If a blind or partially sighted person is finding it difficult to learn routes and needs some support, it may be appropriate to allocate a “buddy” to assist with evacuation until routes are learned.


Further information can be found in the publication “Fire Safety Risk Assessment: Means of Escape for Disabled People”, Department of Communities and Local Government, 2007.


5.7 Stairs


While risk assessing the use of stairs, your starting point should be to assume that blind and partially sighted people are subject to the same risks as any other employee. Therefore, any steps you might take to reduce risk apply to all employees.


If you believe that there are risks to stair users, you may want to consider the following extracts form Building Sight:


“Lighting on stairs should be sufficient to highlight any obstructions on the flight of the stairs, but should highlight the treads as opposed to the risers to emphasise each step.  It is very important that ceiling-mounted luminaires do not become a glare source – they should be well shielded. Alternatively, large-area, low-brightness sources can be mounted on a side or facing wall.”


“The stair covering should not have a pattern that can cause confusion between tread and riser or between one tread and another.”


It is worth pointing out that making physical changes of this type may be the responsibility of your landlord, but this does not mean that you shouldn’t raise the issues with them.


5.8 Safe use of computer systems


Employers are required to “analyse workstations, and assess and reduce risks. Employers need to look at the whole workstation including equipment, furniture, and the work environment; the job being done; and any special needs of individual staff. The regulations apply where staff habitually use display screen equipment as a significant part of their normal work.” (HSE, 2006).


It is entirely likely, then, that the needs of blind and partially sighted people will be highlighted as part of a general risk assessment of display screen equipment.


In addition to this, employees will often highlight difficulties in using computer systems related to their sight. Unless the individual has a good idea of their requirements, it is usually a good idea to seek specialist advice. RNIB or Action for Blind People offices will be able to recommend ways to make it easier to change the way screens look, or alternative ways of accessing screen content.



5.9  Machinery


Employers often have legitimate concerns about blind or partially sighted people operating power tools, hand tools or other machinery such as grass cutting or gardening power tools.


There will be times when you will need to eliminate risk by specifying tools that should not be used at work.
However, it is very important to discuss with an individual exactly how their sight restricts them and how real the risks are. Bear in mind that some new employees may underplay any difficulties as they may have had negative experiences with past employers.


Another factor to take into account is the environment in which people will be working. If you can control the immediate work area, machinery can be made safe to use. For example, in a factory, machines can be fitted with guards and walkways restricted to improve the safety of the work environment. If you are in doubt, ask for advice.


5.10 Caring for others


Many blind and partially sighted people work in jobs where they provide social care services. This can include working in nurseries, care homes and delivering community services.


As you would expect, the generic risk assessments carried out to cover the working routines of care workers are often sufficient to ensure a safe working environment for blind and partially sighted people.


However, employers sometimes have concerns about certain aspects of working that could be perceived as dangerous. These could include, for example:



Reading facial expressions to predict behaviour:


This is a contentious issue. The vast majority of blind or partially sighted people will be able to read facial expressions, but some will find it difficult or impossible. Logically, this could suggest that a blind person may be at higher risk of sudden changes in behaviour.


However, there is a considerable body of research that shows how people are able to perceive mood or feelings from verbal communication only. So the extent of the risk involved is not at all clear.


Reducing risk in this situation calls for a balanced judgement based on an understanding of an individual’s sight and the requirements of the job.


Missing visual cues, such as evidence of substance misuse or

concealed weapons:


Potential hazards of this kind could be addressed by adopting working practices that apply to all employees. This could include ensuring that thorough background information is obtained with referrals. Additionally, initial assessments of the individual customers should cover the likelihood of issues arising. There may be situations where it is safer for people to work in pairs.


Reading correspondence while visiting customers:


In some jobs, workers may be required to read forms or letters when visiting people in their homes or other settings. Generally, this can be overcome by using access technology, such as portable video magnifiers or scanners.


Perceived difficulties dealing with children:


Nurseries, after school clubs and similar establishments that provide childcare services have well-developed risk management systems in place. If a blind or partially sighted person starts work, the working practices in place are often robust enough to ensure safe working.


Occasionally, parents have concerns about blind or partially sighted people caring for their children. Concerns could include tripping, not seeing children putting things in their mouths, escorting children in the local area or identifying parents when children are collected.


In your role as a risk assessor, you should discuss concerns with the individual to establish whether any of these concerns are genuine and if so how they could be minimised. For example, another worker could check the identity of parents collecting children.


It is really important that the concerns of parents are not confused with actual risk.



6. References


‘Building Sight: A handbook of building and interior design solutions to include the needs of visually impaired people’, P Barker, J Barrick and R Wilson, London HMSO in Association with RNIB, 1995


‘Fire Safety Risk Assessment: Means of Escape for Disabled People’, Department of Communities and Local Government, 2007


‘Five Steps to Risk Assessment’, Health and Safety Executive


‘Health and Safety for Disabled People and Their Employers’, HSE and DRC


J Hurstfield et al, ‘The extent of use of health and safety as a false excuse for not employing sick or disabled persons’, research report 167, HRC/DRC, 2003


JMU Access Partnership, Fact Sheet 24 – Lighting


Legood R, Scuffham PA and Cryer C, “Are we blind to injuries in the visually impaired?  A review of the literature”, June 2009


RNIB and Thomas Pocklington Trust, ‘Make the most of your sight, Improve the lighting in your home”, RNIB and Thomas Pocklington Trust, 2009


‘This is Working 2’, RNIB, October 2009


‘Working with VDUs’, HSE leaflet INDG36(rev3), revised 12/06



7. Sources of help and further information


7.1 RNIB and Action for Blind People


Employment services for employers


We can help you retain a current employee who is losing their sight, and we can help you to take on someone who is visually impaired.


Advances in technology mean that visually impaired people can now overcome many of the barriers to work that they faced in the past, and government schemes like Access to Work mean that many of the costs can be met.


We provide a number of services that can be directly commissioned by employers. These include:


  • Work-based assessments – a visit to a workplace, by one of our specialists, to evaluate the potential for equipment, software, and adjustments that would better allow an employee to fulfil their role.
  • 1 to 1 access technology training. Our technology specialists can visit your workplace and provide training tailored to suit your employee’s needs.
  • Visual and disability awareness training.


For further information about any of these services, please contact us via our website or directly via our employment services mailbox:


Web site:




Employment factsheets


We currently produce the following factsheets for employers and employment professionals:


  • Access to Work
  • RNIB work-based assessment services
  • Blind and partially sighted people at work – Guidance and good practice for Risk Assessors
  • Testing the compatibility of access software and IT applications
  • Guidelines on meeting the needs of visually impaired delegates on training courses


In addition to this you may like to check out our ‘This IS Working’ documents, which showcase blind and partially sighted people working in a range of occupations, and include testimonials from employers, as well as our ‘Vocational rehabilitation’ document, which sets out the business case for retaining newly disabled staff.


All of these factsheets and documents can be found in the employment professionals section of our website which also contains the latest research in the field, as well as information on IT and accessibility, the Equality Act, success stories, and more.


We also produce a number of factsheets aimed at blind and partially sighted people, on a range of employment related issues. These can be found at


RNIB Helpline


The RNIB Helpline can refer you to an employment specialist for further advice and guidance. RNIB Helpline can also help you by providing information and advice on a range of topics, such as eye health, the latest products, leisure opportunities, benefits advice and emotional support.


Call the Helpline team on 0303 123 9999 or email


7.2 Access to Work


Access to Work is a scheme run by Jobcentre Plus. The scheme provides advice, grant funding, and practical support to disabled people and employers to help overcome work related obstacles resulting from a disability. Read our Access to Work factsheet, or visit the Access to Work pages at to learn more about qualifying for the scheme. Further details are also available at


7.3 Guide Dogs


The best place to find out information relating to guide dogs. Visit:


7.4 The Health and Safety Executive


HSE is responsible for enforcing health and safety at workplaces. Visit:


7.5 Equality and Human Rights Commission


The Equality and Human Rights commission have a statutory remit to promote and monitor human rights; and to protect, enforce and promote equality across the nine “protected” grounds – age, disability, gender, race, religion and belief, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnership, sexual orientation and gender reassignment. The website includes a section on employment.


Factsheet updated: April 2013




Accessible Devices: Philips offers a line of accessible TV and Video Players for blind and low vision users.

Taken from a CoolBlindTech article:

The entire line of 2017 Philips brand televisions and video players now offers Enhanced Accessibility to allow blind and visually impaired users to control the devices’ functions. Adding Enhanced Accessibility to products entails the addition of voice guide descriptive menus, easy to read user interface, guide dots on remote controls, easy access to closed captioning/subtitles and secondary audio, easy access to support, and an easy way to identify these products with the help of an Enhanced Accessibility logo.

Remote controls on the affected Philips products feature guide dots so that users can easily control key functions, such as power on/off, volume adjustment and mute, channel selection, playback functions, input selection, and other important functions.

Philips groups these new capabilities under its Enhanced Accessibility feature set, which also includes an easy-to-read and navigate user interface, large format support information, and closed captioning, a long-mandated requirement for assisting the hearing impaired.

The user interface voice guide and other features are new requirements established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as part of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA). The new rules mandate that certain built-in functions in TVs, Blu-ray players, and DVD players, among other consumer electronics products, be usable by individuals who are blind or visually impaired. The deadline for meeting the new requirements was December 20, 2016.

The new rules mandate that any key functions available only via an on-screen menu must offer user interface voice guides, with the menu options spoken and user selections audibly confirmed.

“The FCC regulations on Enhanced Accessibility allow us to design our products so they can be enjoyed by more consumers,” said Karl Bearnarth, executive vice president, sales and marketing, P&F USA, Inc., the exclusive North American licensee for Philips consumer televisions and home video products.

“We took this initiative very seriously and were determined to ensure that our entire line of TVs and video players, including basic DVD players, met the requirements and that they were as intuitive as possible to use for those who are visually impaired.”

P&F USA, Inc. is a subsidiary of Funai Electric Co., LTD and is the exclusive licensee for Philips consumer televisions and home video products in North America.

Funai Electric Co., Ltd., established in 1961, is headquartered in Osaka, Japan and is a major original equipment manufacturer supplier for appliance, consumer electronics, computer, and computer peripheral companies.

Advocacy Org Leaves the Scene: Thank you and Farewell ASIC, Access for Sight-Impaired Consumers

At a meeting held the morning of Saturday January 17th, 1998, with 20 members of the blind community present, the concept of a consumer-driven advocacy coalition was discussed and a few short weeks later, Advocates for Sight-Impaired Consumers was born. After
20 years of providing advocacy services for the benefit of British Columbians and other Canadians, after engaging a total of 122 individuals to serve on its volunteer board at different times, and after undergoing a minor amendment to its brand in 2007, the Access for Sight-Impaired Consumers Board has elected to wind down its entire operation effective May 31st, 2017. In doing so, it leaves behind a legacy of independence and access initiatives that will benefit persons who are blind, deafblind or partially sighted for generations to come. The list in part, includes:

* Leading the call for and creating the position paper for accessible pedestrian signals including wayfinding messages, a pedestrian clearance tone and other optional functionalities.
* Successfully advocating for high-contrast tactile platform edging on all Metro Vancouver SkyTrain and Canada Line platforms.
* Successfully advocating for and seeing the initial implementation of descriptive video and closed captioning services in Famous Players theatres that expanded into identical services in Cineplex Entertainment complexes.
* Developing the concept of, and assisting with the implementation of, the “VIP Assistance Line” which provides sighted guide assistance in and around SkyTrain and Canada Line stations.
* Successfully advocating for the installation and implementation of automated stop announcements on all conventional transit and community shuttle routes operated by the Coast Mountain Bus Company in Metro Vancouver.
* Successfully advocating for the installation of audio ATM machines at Vancouver City Savings branches.
* Creating a heightened awareness amongst senior officials at Elections BC of the needs of voters who are blind or partially sighted and working collaboratively with Elections BC to provide braille candidate lists, large-print facsimile posters of the election ballot, rigid plastic voting templates, a pilot telephone voting option for all persons with a disability for the 2017 general election, and participating in the creation of a training/awareness video to educate election officials on how best to assist voters with sight loss.
* Successfully advocating for the expansion of the Taxi Bill of Rights throughout BC which was voluntarily adopted by 33 taxi companies.
* Successfully advocating for the design and implementation of universally accessible bus stops with appropriate features to assist transit users with various disabilities (including blindness) so that they can independently locate a public transit passenger loading zone in the Metro Vancouver area.
* Successfully advocating for a pilot installation of taxi meters with optional audio output by the Vancouver Taxi Association. The success of the pilot project has resulted in the BC Passenger Transportation Board establishing guidelines for the implementation, installation and operation of Soft Meters (tablet-based) with optional audio output.
* Successfully advocating for the availability of accessible prescription medication information in an audio format from 10 pharmacy chains throughout BC.

These are only some examples of the many projects that were the focus of ASIC’s attention over the years.

As the ASIC Board works to tie up all administrative and operational duties by May’s month end, it is their intention to update the Resources section of the ASIC website and to leave the entire website running for as long as feasible. The Community Calendar will be discontinued. Accessible Media Inc began featuring audio promotions of community events throughout BC starting mid-April 2017. Details regarding community events may be sent to

ASIC’s Contact Us web page has been updated and now offers a telephone number which will be manned by former ASIC Board member Reed Poynter going forward. British Columbians who are blind, deafblind or partially sighted may write to our existing email address or call to obtain the name(s) of various resources when tackling a self-advocacy issue. Or, individuals may seek assistance from any one of the many other consumer advocacy organizations listed on our web page at:

At the close of the final meeting of Access for Sight-Impaired Consumers, ASIC’s Chair Rob Sleath summarized the past 20 years by
saying: “The past 20 years has given many caring and compassionate individuals an opportunity to give back to their community by volunteering time and energy toward the goal of improving the independence and access for British Columbians who are blind, deafblind or sight-impaired. It has been an honour and a privilege to work with these individuals, and we hope our efforts will enhance the independence of all British Columbians for years to come. To all those who supported Access with Sight-Impaired Consumers with donations, gifts-in-kind, financial support and/or through their donations of time and energy, I extend a simple but most sincere thank you! We could not have achieved so much without your generous and vvalued support.”

Guest Post: Check out the GARI Web Site to learn more about Accessible Smart Phones, TVs and other Devices

The Global Accessibility Reporting Initiative

The Global Accessibility Reporting Initiative (GARI) is a project created in 2008 by the Mobile & Wireless Forum (MWF) and designed to help consumers learn more about the various accessibility features of wireless devices and to help them identify a device that best suits their needs.

The project website ( includes information on more than 110 accessible features in over 1,100 mobile phone models from around the world, as well as information on accessible tablets, accessibility related mobile applications, and as of late 2016, accessible Smart TVs and Wearables.

As part of the GARI project, the MWF has committed to regular reviews of the features that we report on in light of changes in the technology and customer needs. As a result, we invite all stakeholders to provide any comments or suggestions on the features that they would like to see reported on by manufacturers, as well as comments on the usability of the GARI website.

Comments or suggestions can be made by 31 July 2017 in order to be included in the current review cycle.

Guest Post: How to Download YouTube Videos for Dummies

How to Download YouTube Videos

By Ashley Watters, Abshier House.

YouTube is a video-sharing website where users post all kinds of media.
YouTube is so popular that it has one billion unique visits every single month. From how-tos to educational cartoons, YouTube has a large selection of videos from every genre.

You’ve likely watched videos on YouTube and seen something that you might want to watch when you don’t have access to the internet. Need a cartoon for your child who watch while on an airplane?
Or, maybe an instructional video to review while actually doing the task later? Downloading YouTube videos is quite simple.

How to download YouTube videos with

The easiest way to download YouTube videos involves using It’s so simple that you don’t even have to visit the website directly.

Follow these simple steps:

Navigate to Youtube and find the video that you want to download.

Once you have found the video, highlight the full address in the navigation bar and add “ss” after the www portion of the URL.For example, if the website address is, you would type

Once the address is complete and you have entered “ss” into the appropriate part of the URL address, hit enter on your keyboard.You will be redirected to’s website. A download button will appear on the screen.
Click the download button and save the video to your device.

Your video is now downloaded to your device for viewing at a later time.

How to download YouTube videos with Keepvid

You can also use to download YouTube videos. This website works similarly to

Heed these steps to use Keepvid:

Go to YouTube and find the video you’d like to download.

Click the Share button underneath the video on YouTube to copy the link.

Open a new window and navigate to
Paste the link into the download text box.
Click download and save the video.All done!

Keepvid can also download videos from other websites, including videos posted to social media.

Before you begin downloading videos from YouTube, you need to understand the legal issues that accompany your use of those videos. YouTube content is copyrighted. That means that you absolutely cannot download it for anything other than personal use.

Also, Google (the owner of YouTube) includes terms of service for users.
These terms specifically state: “You shall not download any Content unless you see a ‘download’ or similar link displayed by YouTube on the Service for that Content”
(Section 5 – B). The following is provided for informational purposes only.

There are several methods for downloading YouTube videos. The instructions above discuss two popular ways to complete the task, but other options exist. There are numerous software suites available to download these videos.
If you prefer this method, you can easily find choices by searching the internet for “YouTube downloading software.” The directions you find here discuss the use of websites that are specifically created to download YouTube videos.

Guest Post: How to Re-Arrange App Icons on your iOS 10 Device

Dear GTT Members,

Thanks goes out to GTT Edmonton member, Owais, who has written a tutorial on arranging iOS app icons that he would like to share with us. See his email below.

Subject: Arranging Apps In Ios 10

Hello Gtt. I have prepared a Tutorial that demonstrates how to Arrange Applications in iOS 10 since Apple has made it very easy to do this. In this tutorial I have prepared all the steps to arrange apps with a Braille Display and without a Braille Display. I hope this helps everyone.

Arranging Apps In iOS 10 With A Braille Display:
Note: This tutorial assumes that the user is already connected to a Braille Display.
Step 1. First locate on your Home Screen of the iOS Device to an app. It will help if your at the very top of the Home Screen.
Step 2. Press Spacebar and Dot 6 to go to your options of your current Rotor Settings. Try to find Arrange Apps.
Step 3. Click or Double-Tap on it with your Rotor Keys. The Braille Display and Voiceover will announce Arranging Apps.
Step 4. Scroll up or down once and then back to the app you were previously on. You will then read the App’s name and the word “Editting” beside it.
Step 5. Be careful here because Double-Tapping on this may Delete the App however you will get an Alert Pop-Up.
Step 6. Locate to the app that you wish to move and swipe up by pressing Spacebar and Dot 3. Look for Move the specific app for example Messages.
When you swipe up your Ios Device should say Move Messages.
Step 7. Double-Tap and a Pop-Up should be seen spoken to choose a Destination.
Step 8. Now anywhere on your phone locate to an app on your phone that you would like the currently moved app to be with.
Step 9. When you have found that app swipe up by pressing Spacebar and Dot 3 again. You will see place Message in this case before or after or the current app. Another option you will have is to Create a folder with the following 2 apps. Select the option you want and press the either of Rotor keys to Double-Tap. Your app will then be mrved.
Step 10. To end the Editting Mode press the Home Button or do the same steps if you wish to mrve other apps.
Step 11. When you create folder with several apps the iPhone may name it randomly according to the Category of apps they fit in. You may change the App’s name by going into the Folder and putting your Ios device in Editting as explained above as you want to move an app.
Step 12. Instead of mrving apps go to the very top of the folder. You will see Clear Text and when your Ios Device has focused the Braille Display on the Folder’s Title, a Pop-Up comes saying “Double-Tap to edit text field.”
Click on it using the Braille Display Rotor keys and simply enter the Title you wish to give this Folder. Press Spacebar and E when your done.
Step 13. End your Editting as described above.
Note: When you have completed formatting your Ios Device’s Layout place your Rotor Setting option to Activate Default since if it’s focused on Arrange Apps, your phone will go back into Editting Mode as soon as you Double-Tap on the app to use it or when you press Enter.

Arranging Apps Without A Braille Display:
Step 1. Swipe Up or Down on your Ios Device’s screen and Double-Tap on Arrange Apps. Swipe to the right/left and then back to your current app you would like to move and Voiceover will announce for example Messages Editting.

Step 2. Be careful here and don’t Double-Tap since that may lead you to Deleting your app. Please note that if you click on this button here as well Voiceogher will alert you telling you that your about to delete an app.
Step 3. Swipe up to find move Messages for example and Double-Tap on it.
Voiceogher should announce Choose A destination.
Step 4. Locate to the app you wish to move the current app before or after.
Step 5. Swipe up or down and you will get options to place Messages after or before or even create a folder with the following 2 apps. Select the one you want.
Step 6. Now your app has been moved and your done. Press the Home Button if your done formatting your Screen Layout or follow the same steps to mrche your other apps.
Step 7. When your folder in a folder and wish to change the folder’s name in which your apps are located do the follow things.
Step 8. Proceed to the very top of the folder and put your Ios Device back into Editting Mode.
Step 9. You will hear Voiceover announce the folder current name in addiy to a Pop-Up saying Double-Tap to edit the Text Field.
Step 10. Double-Tap and use your Touch Screen to enter the Title you wish to give your folder.
Step 11. Double-Tap on done and your all done.
Note: Make sure your screen is focused on Activate Default instead of Arrange Apps when your done since this will do the same thing as described in the note with the Braille Display above.

Best Regards,

Please send your questions and comments to,

Training Opportunity: Eyes-Free Academy Presents, “iPhone Eyes-Free – Mind’s Eye Navigation on the iPhone Touch-Screen” by iHabilitation Canada

Eyes-Free Academy Presents:
“iPhone Eyes-Free – Mind’s Eye Navigation on the iPhone Touch-Screen”

As you may already know, iHabilitation Canada has been busily learning about multimedia recording and online learning management systems. We’ve done this to discover how these technologies can be integrated to create inclusively-designed instruction in Eyes-Free iPhone operation for both teachers and learners.
You can imagine how happy we are to announce the launch of our Eyes-Free Academy, because it does just that! Our first course, “iPhone Eyes-Free – Mind’s Eye Navigation on the iPhone Touch-Screen”, is offered free of charge because we want to encourage feedback regarding future course content.
To find out more, please join our low traffic Email info list at the above URL. You’ll receive a booklet with a more detailed explanation of Eyes-Free Academy course content and teaching methodology.

Our approach promotes the idea that almost anyone can navigate the iPhone touch-screen via the Voiceover screen-reader, rather than looking at the phone.

This introductory iPhone Eyes-Free course, which is inclusively-designed, provides detailed audio/video real-time demonstrations along with PDF documentation to suit various accessibility needs. The course comprises six sections: introduction, lessons and summary.

We have also posted a promotional video on our YouTube channel that describes the course and the philosophy behind iHabilitation Canada. You can find the video at the above URL. The channel will also showcase future course material.

Thank you,
Tom Dekker VRT
Founder, iHabilitation Canada
778-265-2513 or 250-661-9799