Accessibility Overview Workbook Series 1: Introduction

This workbook series was designed with teachers and students in mind. It will allow both groups the chance to get hands on with their devices and learn how to access basic accessibility features on a mobile device running iOS (iPad/iPhone).

Series Outline

Section 1:  Accessibility Options

Section 2:  VoiceOver (VO)

Section 3:  Rotor

Section 4:  Siri

Section 5:  Dictation

Section 6:  Zoom

Section 7:  Font Adjustment  

Section 8:  Invert Colors

Accessibility Overview Workbook Series

In this workbook series we will learn how to access basic accessibility features on a mobile device running iOS (iPad/iPhone). Today’s lesson will cover sections 1-Accessibility Settings, and 2-VoiceOver.

Section 1: Accessibility Section Settings

This video will take a look at the settings on iOS.

Learn more about iOS Accessibility on Apple's website

Section 2: VoiceOver

VoiceOver Basics

  • Setting Up VoiceOver*
    • Settings→Accessibility→VoiceOver.  Switch on VO.
  • Accessing the VO by Triple clicking the home button
    • Settings→Accessibility→Accessibility Shortcut.  Set Triple Click Home Button for: VoiceOver; Or
    • Ask Siri to Turn over VoiceOver for you. You can either press and hold the home button for two seconds to activate Siri or use the “Hey Siri” voice command to turn VoiceOver on.  (This is also helpful if you get stuck on the password enter screen). 

VoiceOver Practice

  • Settings→Accessibility→VoiceOver→(Turn VoiceOver on) →VoiceOver Practice. Single finger tap "VoiceOver Practice" to select, then single finger double tap to activate or launch the Voice Over Practice session.  Once launched, touch the center of the screen with one finger to get started.

Download the "What do the gestures do?" worksheet here (accessible Word version)*. Complete the worksheet below. Not sure what a specific gesture does? Go to VoiceOver Practice on your iOS device, perform the desired gesture, and listen as VoiceOver announces the action.

*For access via an iOS mobile device, Click on the link->Share->Copy to Pages.

What do the following gestures do?

1 Finger Single Tap (Touch)


1 Finger Double Tap


1 Finger Swipe/Flick Right


1 Finger Swipe/Flick Left


1 Finger Swipe/Flick Down


1 Finger Swipe/Flick Up


2 Finger Swipe/Flick Up


2 Finger Swipe/Flick Down


2 Finger double tap


2 Finger Single Tap


2 Finger Scrub


Rotor Clockwise


Rotor Counter Clockwise


3 Finger Single Tap


3 Finger Double Tap


3 Finger Swipe/Flick Up


3 Finger Swipe/Flick Down


3 Finger Swipe/Flick Left


3 Finger Swipe/Flick Right


4 Finger Swipe/Flick Right


4 Finger Swipe/Flick Left


3 Finger Triple Tap


Learn more gestures here (Apple website) or a complete list of gestures, Bluetooth keyboard commands and refreshable braille display commands here.

*For devices running older versions of iOS, you will have to use Settings→General→Accessibility→VoiceOver


Now practice what you have learned.

  • Make sure VO is on.
  • Press the Home Button to go to the Home Screen.
  • Dragging:  Practice dragging your finger across apps by placing one finger on the screen and going from left to right, up and down.  Listen to the titles of the apps.
  • Swiping/Flicking:  Swipe between apps.  Go left or right.
  • Read All:  Use two fingers to swipe up and allow VO to read all of the apps on the screen.
  • Use a single finger, single tap to stop VO from reading the apps. 
  • Select an app, then with one finger, double tap on the screen to open the app.  Use the gestures that you learned above to listen to and navigate the app.
  • To exit an app, either press the home button one time, or you can use a 4 finger pinch to close the app.

Quiz:  Which gesture do you need to use to go to the next page/screen of apps? 


The video below demonstrates using VoiceOver gestures on the iPad's home screen.

About Voiceover on Apple's website

Additional posts in the Accessibility Overview Workbook series

Pinterest tag for Accessibility Overview Workbook Series: Part I Intro


Read more about: Assistive Technology