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Are you instead seeking Portable Device Accessibility Resources or Apple Device Resources?

Apple Resources

Support and resource websites

  • Accessible GPS Apps for iOS - a LiveBinder created by Chris Tabb, Orientation and Mobility Supervisor at The Maryland School for the Blind. Click the tab on the left-hand side of the web site that says "Accessible GPS Apps for iOS.
  • Mac-cessibility Network is a group of volunteers with visual impairments who provide news, commentary, podcasts, and other resources for Apple products.
  • MacForTheBlind - another support and resources site designed for users with visual impairments
  • Flying Blind, LLC provides a Tech Tidbits Newsletter that comes out every Thursday, and you can subscribe to it via their website.

Braille Display Resources 

Books and eBooks

  • iOS Access for All by Shelly Brisbin. Available as PDF or iBook. The guide is quite comprehensive, offers step-by-step instructions, and has screenshots of certain steps, which may benefit teachers. Updated for iOS 13. 
  • iOS 12 Without the EyeThis guide is available from Mosen Consulting for $19.95. It is designed for users who are already familiar with VoiceOver who want to maximize efficiency.
  • iOS in the Classroom by Larry L. Lewis, Jr. Published by AFB Press. According to the website: "iOS in the Classroom is a fully illustrated step-by-step guide to teaching the use of the iPad running iOS 9 to students with visual impairments."
  • iPad: Accessibility 2012 by Robert Miller and Miranda Anderson, Oklahoma School for the Blind.
    • Available as PDF. This manual is available free online and, although dated, is still relevant as far as learning gestures, navigating the web, and organizing apps using VoiceOver. In addition, it has several chapters on using braille displays with the iPad.  

Understanding VoiceOver for iOS

There are six primary actions required for basic mastery of VoiceOver for iOS.

  • Navigation (forward and back)
  • Activation (make a selection)
  • Page Turning (forward and back)
  • Rotor Navigation (forward and back)
  • Rotor Selection
  • Home

The Rotor is an element of VoiceOver that allows users to control a variety of navigational (movement through fields, documents, web pages) or behavioral (how the device works or presents information) functions. For example, selecting “Headings” using the rotor is a navigational function that allows a user to navigate a web page or document by headings. Selecting “Volume” using the rotor is a behavioral function that allows a user to increase or decrease the speech volume.

Key VoiceOver Commands for iOS


  • 1-finger Touch and Drag: VoiceOver focus follows finger
  • Swipe/Flick Right/Left: navigate one forward/back
  • 1-finger Double Tap: activate item that has focus
  • 3-finger Swipe Right/Left: page forward/back
  • 2-finger Twist Right/Left: select next/previous rotor item
  • 1-finger Swipe Up/Down: adjust value defined by rotor
  • Home Button: Go to home screen  (Press two times to access App Switcher)

New VoiceOver Gestures with the iPhone X

Braille Display

  • 4+Spacebar: navigate one forward
  • 1+Spacebar: navigate one backward
  • 3+6+Spacebar: activate item that has focus
  • 1+3+5+Spacebar: page forward
  • 2+4+6+Spacebar: page back
  • 5+6+Spacebar: select next rotor item
  • 2+3+Spacebar: select previous rotor item
  • 3/6+Spacebar: adjust value defined by rotor
  • 1+2+5+Spacebar: Go to home screen (Two times to access App Switcher)

Focus 40 Keys – some braille displays, like the Freedom Scientific Focus 40, have alternate keys that may be easier for some users to perform these actions.

Braille Display Resources

Bluetooth Keyboard

  • Ctrl + Alt/Option: VoiceOver (VO) keys
  • VO+R/L Arrow: navigate one forward/back
  • VO+Space: activate item that has focus
  • Option+Left/Right: page forward/back
  • Two-Finger Twist R/L: select next/previous rotor item
  • VO+Up/Down: adjust value defined by rotor
  • VO+H: Go to home screen  (Press H twice to access App Switcher)

QuickNav – QuickNav offers a simplified way to perform these actions, navigate apps and webpages, using only the arrow keys. Users can navigate webpages using single keys and navigate apps and webpages using the QuickNav rotor.