Blind Bargains

What's new in iOS 6 from an Accessibility Perspective

Apple has just released </a href="">iOS 6, the latest version of their mobile operating system for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. iOS 6 features an all new maps app, an expanded Siri experience, Passbook, Facebook integration, improvements to Mail and Safari, and much more. This new version also contains improvements to the VoiceOver screen-reader, as well as other accessibility enhancements.

VoiceOver and Zoom

iOS 6 brings a much Improved typing experience while using VoiceOver. First, VoiceOver is more responsive while entering text using the touch keyboard. Also, it is no longer necessary to double-tap shift, numbers/symbols and delete while using the touch-typing setting. While using Maps, VoiceOver now is able to read streets and intersections when touched. iOS 6 adds a new option to the rotor called "actions." For instance in Mail, while highlighting a message, Flicking down will cycle between delete and normal. iOS 6 finally allows for the simultaneous use of VoiceOver and Zoom.

Guided Access

Once enabled under Accessibility, Guided Access keeps iOS in a single app, and allows you to control the features you want to be allowed. In addition, the home and sleep/wake buttons are disabled, and specific areas on the screen can be restricted. This could be useful for a teacher who wishes to lock the phone on a specific application for a test, for example.


iOS 6 restores support for the Hims line of braille displays and notetakers including the BrailleSense and BrailleEdge 40.


It's clear that Apple is still committed to improving iOS for its customers with disabilities. Several outstanding bugs from iOS 5 have been fixed in this latest version. Have questions? Did we miss anything? Post them in the comments. iOS 6 is available for the iPhone 3GS or newer, iPad 2nd and 3rd gen, and the iPod Touch 4th gen.

Category: Software
Displaying 2 comments.
nimer Friday, 21-Sep-2012 12:31 AM ET:

How about modifications to be able to use single tap?

allisonfm Sunday, 23-Sep-2012 1:49 PM ET:

That would be interesting, but currently, the single tap is what we use in order to select an item. If a single tap to open method was introduced, how would one reliably select an item before activating it?

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