On November 9th, several SD #42 (Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows) educators gathered to learn about the built-in accessibility tools that iOS devices like iPads or iPhones offer. Since these devices are readily available throughout the district, participants felt that learning about features like screen reader and guided access were particularly helpful. Whether it’s supporting students with visual impairments or those who need a website read back them, there are several accessibility features that are built into the iPad designed to assist students access the curriculum.
At the beginning of the workshop, a few of the educators didn’t realize accessibility tools like Screen Reader or Reader View existed but their goal “was to learn something new.” The students, as noted by the participants, often struggle with communication challenges, intensive behaviour and learning disabilities. But being introduced to the built-in assistive technology tools of the iPad, the participants found any of them to be quite useful. Some found that the timer function in Guided Access was helpful or that being able to clear up the clutter in Reader View would be great for those students that are distracted by extra links.
Apple’s iPad Accessibility features are broken into four distinct categories: vision, hearing, motor and physical and learning. Whether it’s for supporting a student with a visual impairment or a student who has difficulty accessing the on screen keyboard, these powerful assistive technology features allows for a wide range of diverse learners to experience the fun and functionality that the iPad offers but more importantly, it allows students to be part of the classroom learning environment alongside their peers.
SET-BC’s iOS Accessibility workshop has been a popular professional learning request this year so these SD#42 workshop participants have joined many others around the province who are discovering they already have built in accessibility tools right in their iPad operating system!
To learn more about the technology used in this SETevent, search for it by name in learningSET.