Accessibility features built into Apple devices

Mac OS (for MacBook) and iOS (iPad and iPhone) have the following features built into each device with no extra payment or download required.  Configure them by going to settings and then accessibility. The clips below use iPad for demonstration but the features are used almost identically on an iPhone and in a similar way on a MacBook or iMac.


VoiceOver reads whatever is displayed on your screen and allows you to navigate between settings, apps and programs

VoiceOver with braille


Siri acts as your personal assistant – locating, opening, sending….anything you want her to do


Dictation – speak your emails, messages and documents instead of typing and your speech will be converted to text

Magnify and Zoom

A pinching movement with two fingers on an iPad or iPhone screen zooms in or out on the whole screen. In addition:

Magnify allows the camera to be used as a magnification tool.

Zoom activates a window which can be dragged around the screen and magnifies the section inside the window’s frame.

Display Accommodations

Both Mac OS and iOS have options to adjust font and cursor sizes and change the screen’s appearance, contrast, colour filters and reduce motion on the screen.


SpeakScreen reads aloud text displayed on the screen.


Accessibility devices to pair with Apple devices

These Apple devices can be paired with braille displays.  Find supported braille displays for iPhone, iPad and even iPod here and for MacBook and iMac here.

Why not consider installing a Ring Doorbell and a Kwikset Kevo Smart Lock combination? The Ring Doorbell will allow you to speak on your iPhone or iPad to whoever is at your door so you can decide whether you want to open the door.  Then you can open the door using the Kevo Smart Lock app without having to locate keys and locks.

Apps to support those with vision impairment

Apps for Learning Voice Over