Accessibility Features for the Visually Impaired and Autistic on Your iPad
For the visually impaired, the iPad offers Zoom, large text, and Invert Colors as part of its Accessibility or Universal Access Features tools. There's even a feature for the autistic. To help focus autistic children, iPads with iOS 6 also offer a Guided Access setting.
The Zoom feature offers a screen magnifier for those who are visually challenged. To zoom by 200 percent, double-tap the screen with three fingers. Drag three fingers to move around the screen. To increase magnification, use three fingers to tap and drag up. Tap with three fingers and drag down to decrease magnification.
The Zoom feature does have a downside: When magnified, the characters on the screen aren’t as crisp (though the Retina display on the third-generation iPad is still pretty sharp), and you can’t display as much in a single view.
You can make text larger in the Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Messages, and Notes apps. You have the choice of six point sizes (from 20pt to 56pt), in addition to the default, which is Off.
The colors on the iPad can be reversed to provide a higher contrast for people with poor eyesight. The screen resembles a film negative.
Parents of autistic kids know how challenging it can be to keep the child focused on a given task. The Guided Access setting that came as part of iOS 6 can limit iPad usage to a single app and also restrict touch input on certain areas of the screen. You can turn the feature on or off by employing Triple-Click Home, the very next setting.
Set the Triple-Click Home feature to summon the following accessibility tools. Clicking Home three times rapidly can be used to toggle VoiceOver on or off, toggle Invert Colors on or off, or toggle Zoom on or off. You can also set up a prompt to be asked which of these functions you want to accomplish.
In addition, Triple-Click Home can be used to summon Assistive Touch, which lends an assist to people who rely on a joystick or another adaptive accessory because they have difficulty touching the screen.
A new Accessibility setting in iOS 6 lets you change the Home-click Speed for activating Double and Triple-Click Home. You can stick with the default, or choose a Slow or Slowest setting.