Skip to 0 minutes and 1 secondDANIEL POELL: Hello, my name is Daniel Poell. And today, I'm going to demonstrate to you how a blind person operates iOS and the iPhone. iOS contains screen reading technology for blind and visually impaired people called Voiceover, and with this technology, even a blind person, like me, is able to work with the iPhone with a touchscreen-driven device.

Skip to 0 minutes and 30 secondsVoiceover contains some special gestures. With a one finger swipe to the left and or to the right, I can scroll through the home screen icons, just as if I would work on a PC and press the arrow keys.

Skip to 0 minutes and 43 secondsVOICEOVER APP: Clock. 10:49.

Skip to 0 minutes and 45 secondsDANIEL POELL: I'm now just going from one home screen icon to the next.

Skip to 0 minutes and 48 secondsVOICEOVER APP: Camera. Photos. Maps. Safari. Google. Videos. Notes. Reminders.

Skip to 0 minutes and 58 secondsDANIEL POELL: Let's say I would like to start an app. Currently, I have selected the Reminders app. So a double tap on the screen will now open the Reminders app. Important to say that I don't have to hit the Reminders app itself because it's already preselected by Voiceover, which means I don't have to hit the icon. I just make a double tap somewhere on the screen and I will enter the Reminders app.

Skip to 1 minute and 23 secondsVOICEOVER APP: Reminders. Erinnerungen. Button. Heading.

Skip to 1 minute and 25 secondsDANIEL POELL: Now we are within the Reminders app, where I can use just the same gesture to explore this application. Just a one finger swipe to the right will bring me from the top to the bottom, reading all content in the app--

Skip to 1 minute and 40 secondsVOICEOVER APP: No items.

Skip to 1 minute and 42 secondsDANIEL POELL: --which is quite few, at the moment.

Skip to 1 minute and 45 secondsVOICEOVER APP: New Reminder. Stack of other lists.

Skip to 1 minute and 48 secondsDANIEL POELL: I can also do the same backwards, to go back to the top again.

Skip to 1 minute and 52 secondsVOICEOVER APP: New Reminder. Edit.

Skip to 1 minute and 54 secondsDANIEL POELL: Of course, there are also other gestures, which I can't explain right now, that would accelerate all of this much. So I can go to the top or to the bottom with special gestures, for example, and so on. By pressing the Home screen, just like every other normal sighted user would do, I come back to the Home screen. The Reminders app should be focused.

Skip to 2 minutes and 19 secondsVOICEOVER APP: Reminders.

Skip to 2 minutes and 20 secondsDANIEL POELL: Yeah it is. So I can just needlessly go on with where I've been before.

Skip to 2 minutes and 25 secondsVOICEOVER APP: App Store. Settings.

Skip to 2 minutes and 29 secondsDANIEL POELL: To, for example, scroll, let's say, to the next Home screen page, I use a three finger gesture. By swiping with three fingers to the left, I will reach the next Home screen page.

Skip to 2 minutes and 40 secondsVOICEOVER APP: Page two of four. Calculator.

Skip to 2 minutes and 42 secondsDANIEL POELL: Yep. There, I can scroll through the icons, just like I've done on the first screen.

Skip to 2 minutes and 49 secondsVOICEOVER APP: Extras folder. Smart tools. Smart tools.

Skip to 2 minutes and 52 secondsDANIEL POELL: And so on. yeah. By swiping to the right with three fingers, I return to the first Home screen.

Skip to 3 minutes and 1 secondVOICEOVER APP: Page one of four. Calendar. Friday, August 21.

Skip to 3 minutes and 5 secondsDANIEL POELL: There are much more Voiceover specific gestures but by knowing all of them, you can operate your iPhone nearly just as a sighted person and nearly all apps are accessible if they're not totally graphical. Thank you.

Screenreader Control

You will see from this video how the screen reader VoiceOver on an iPhone allows Daniel to very effectively use his smartphone.

Does your mobile phone have a built-in screen reader? Try it out and avoid looking at the screen if at all possible!

How did you get on? If you are a screen reader user, please share any hints and tips that might help others.


© This video is created by Johannes Kepler University Linz and licensed under CC-BY BY 4.0 International Licence. Erasmus + MOOCs for Accessibility Partnership.

© This text is a derivative of a work created by Johannes Kepler Universität Linz and Technische Universität Dresden, and licensed under CC-BY BY 4.0 International Licence adapted and used by the University of Southampton. Erasmus + MOOCs for Accessibility Partnership.

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This video is from the free online course:

Digital Accessibility: Enabling Participation in the Information Society

University of Southampton