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Screenreader Control

Blind people use a screen readers to operate mobile devices. In this video Daniel Pöll gives a short introduction about how he uses this software.
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DANIEL 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.
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Voiceover 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.
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VOICEOVER APP: Clock. 10:49.
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DANIEL POELL: I’m now just going from one home screen icon to the next.
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VOICEOVER APP: Camera. Photos. Maps. Safari. Google. Videos. Notes. Reminders.
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DANIEL 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.
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VOICEOVER APP: Reminders. Erinnerungen. Button. Heading.
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DANIEL 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–
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VOICEOVER APP: No items.
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DANIEL POELL: –which is quite few, at the moment.
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VOICEOVER APP: New Reminder. Stack of other lists.
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DANIEL POELL: I can also do the same backwards, to go back to the top again.
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VOICEOVER APP: New Reminder. Edit.
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DANIEL 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.
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VOICEOVER APP: Reminders.
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DANIEL POELL: Yeah it is. So I can just needlessly go on with where I’ve been before.
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VOICEOVER APP: App Store. Settings.
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DANIEL 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.
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VOICEOVER APP: Page two of four. Calculator.
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DANIEL POELL: Yep. There, I can scroll through the icons, just like I’ve done on the first screen.
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VOICEOVER APP: Extras folder. Smart tools. Smart tools.
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DANIEL POELL: And so on. yeah. By swiping to the right with three fingers, I return to the first Home screen.
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VOICEOVER APP: Page one of four. Calendar. Friday, August 21.
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DANIEL 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.
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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