What's new in iOS 11 Accessibility

Featured Image: 
iOS 11 logo

There are numerous accessibility features in iOS 11 that have rarely been discussed. Scott Davert, blogger for AppleVis, thoroughly examines iOS 11 accessibility features and improvements and shares his findings in his detailed post. 

There are a number of new features and updates that are important for students to be efficient in the classroom. Here are a few:

  • Drag and Drop
  • Misspelled Words
  • Type to Siri
    • Typing a question to Siri may be less disruptive in the classroom than speaking to Siri
  • Verbosity options:
    • Choose to speak "cap"/"deleted", play a sound, change pitch or do nothing for capital letter and when deleting text
  • New VoiceOver Gestures
    • Bring up the Dock: two finger swipe up from the bottom of the screen or VO + D
    • Directions for Split View or Slide Over (see article for steps)
    • Mail app - jump from list of messages to open message content: 2 finger swipe right or VO+J
  • See attachment for full list of  VoiceOver Keyboard commands with new commands marked
  • Preview email messages
  • Indoor mapping
    • Requires iBeacons

Braille Displays

Scott notes that the first release of iOS 11 has an issue for people who type quickly and another issue when attempting to edit anything over a few sentences long. Here are some of the new braille display features:

  • Add customized braille keyboard commands (read article to discover how this can be used for improved efficiency)
  • Formatting status
  • Emojis
  • Word Wrap
  • Delete or Enter without the space bar (dot 7 or dot 8)

Low Vision

  • General clean-up (Example: Removing "flair" to make icons crisper and cleaner)
  • Larger buttons and bolder text
  • Smart Invert
  • Highlight colors in Speak Selection
  • Upgraded Magnifier
  • Upgraded integration of hearing aids
  • Sizing of captioning for users who are hard of hearing and low vision

To read Scott's full blog, go to What's new in iOS 11 Accessibility for Blind, Low Vision and Deaf-blind Users.

Teachers of the Visually Impaired: Empower your students to take ownership of keeping up-to-date with their iOS devices. Have the student read the full AppleVis blog and to do research about what others are saying about iOS 11 and other software updates. Have your student read the VoiceOver keyboard commands to learn the new commands. Ask your student write a list of pros and cons of updating now or waiting to update. Have your student show YOU one new feature each week or send you an email about a new feature and how he/she is using that feature. Your student can post his/her findings on Paths to Technology!