Basics of Accessibility Features on the iPad mini - dummies

Basics of Accessibility Features on the iPad mini

The Accessibility or Universal Access Features tools on your iPad mini are targeted at helping people with certain disabilities. The following sections explain each one in turn.

Basics of the iPad mini’s Zoom feature

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 (although the Retina display is still pretty sharp), and you can’t display as much in a single view.

Basics of the iPad mini’s Large Type

You can make text larger in the Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Messages, and Notes apps. Drag the slider from left to right or from the small “A” towards a larger “A.” You can turn on a Larger Dynamic Type switch to enlarge the text even more in certain supporting apps.

Basics of the iPad mini’s Bold Text

Not everyone took kindly to the design changes brought by iOS 7. Some people don’t think the text is bold or bright enough. These people should consider turning on the Bold Text switch. Note that doing so (or turning it off again) requires that you restart your iPad.

How to use the iPad mini’s Increased Contrast setting

This setting is another effort to bolster legibility. Turn this contrast switch on and see whether it makes a positive difference to your eyes.

How to use the iPad mini’s Invert Colors setting

The colors on the iPad can be reversed to provide a higher contrast for people with poor eyesight. The screen resembles a film negative.

The iPad mini’s Mono Audio setting explained

If you suffer hearing loss in one ear, the iPad mini can combine the right and left audio channels so that both channels can be heard in either earbud of any headset you plug in, as well as through both of the iPad mini’s built-in speakers. A slider control can adjust how much audio is combined and to which ear it is directed.

The iPad mini, unlike its cousins the iPhone or the iPod touch, doesn’t come with earbuds or headphones. You have to supply your own.

Basics of the iPad mini’s Speak Selection setting

When this setting is on, the iPad speaks any text you select. You also find a slider control to adjust the speaking rate. And you can highlight words as they are spoken.

How to use the iPad mini’s Speak Auto-Text setting

When this setting is on, the iPad automatically speaks auto-corrections and capitalizations.

Basics of the iPad mini’s Reduced Motion setting

We think the parallax effect of icons and alerts added with iOS 7 is pretty cool, but your neighbor may not agree. By turning this switch on, you can reduce the parallax effect and be fairly confident that your wallpaper will remain still.

How to use the iPad mini’s On/Off labels setting

You read that when certain switches are on, you’ll see green showing. If you turn on this particular switch, you’ll still see green, but you’ll also see a nerdy 1 when the setting or switch is turned on or a little 0 when the switch is off.

Basics of the iPad mini’s Guided Access setting

Parents of autistic kids know how challenging it can be to keep the child focused on a given task. The Guided Access setting that 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.

Basics of the iPad mini’s Switch Control setting

Several controls are represented under the Switch Control setting. The general idea is that you can use a single switch or multiple switches to select text, tap, drag, type, and perform other functions. However, turning on Switch Control changes the gestures that you use to control your tablet and are presumably already familiar with. Switch Control makes use of different techniques.

For example, the iPad can scan by or highlight items on the screen until you select one. Or you can choose to take advantage of scanning crosshairs to select a location on the screen. You can also manually move from item to item using multiple switches, with each switch set to handle a specific action.

Basics of the iPad mini’s Assistive Touch setting

Turn on this setting if you need to use an adaptive accessory, such as a joystick, because of difficulties touching the screen. Plus, when this setting is on, you can create your own custom gestures.

How to use the iPad mini’s Home-Click Speed

Slow down the speed required to double or triple-click the Home button, which is next on the list of Accessibility options.

Basics of the iPad mini’s Accessibility Shortcut

Double-pressing the Home button launches multitasking. But you can set up the iPad so that triple-clicking the button (pressing three times really fast) turns on certain Accessibility features. (This tool used to be called Triple-Click Home.) By doing so, you can turn on or off VoiceOver, Invert Colors, Zoom, Switch Control, and AssistiveTouch.

How to enable the iPad mini’s Subtitles & Captioning feature

To turn on closed captioning or subtitles for a movie or video in which they’re available, tap this setting. You can also choose a style for your subtitles.