Introducing Students to VoiceOver for iOS

The PRCVI outreach team has had quite a few requests this school year for assistance with students who are just getting started with VoiceOver on iOS devices. Here, we've compiled some apps that will help students learn and practice VoiceOver gestures and some accessible and educational games to practice their new skills!

For students who may not be familiar with terms such as "flick," "drag," and "tap" (all of which are important when using VoiceOver), it can be helpful to introduce them to these gestures using physical objects before introducing them to the iOS device. For example, students can practice flicking versus dragging a small object (such as an index card) across a table, and can practice tapping and double-tapping on the same spot (such as a tactile dot). Once the basic differences between these gestures are understood, they can apply them while exploring the Home screen or while using a basic app.

There are several apps designed specifically to introduce iOS gestures to students with visual impairments. These apps include:

In addition to the apps listed above, VoiceOver's help mode allows students to perform gestures and get feedback (such as, "One finger double-tap, activate." Some students prefer using this mode to practice gestures, since they get immediate feedback about the gesture performed. VoiceOver's help mode can be toggled on with a four-finger double-tap and toggled off with the same gesture.

Once students have the basics of swiping, dragging, and tapping, they can practice their skills using accessible games. Some examples of accessible games for students include:

We hope you find this information helpful in introducing your students to VoiceOver on iOS devices. If you are a TSVI in British Columbia and would like outreach support in this area, our outreach team is always happy to help!

About the author

Jen Jesso

I have worked in various roles in the field of visual impairment since 2007. In addition to working as a teacher of students with visual impairments, I recently completed coursework to become an orientation and mobility specialist. I have been fortunate to work with the fantastic team at PRCVI since 2014.

I enjoy many aspects of my role at PRCVI, but highlights include working with teachers of students with visual impairments and their students on outreach visits and working on PRCVI initiatives and projects.

Outside of work, my interests include reading, computer programming, swimming, and spending time with friends and family.

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