iPhone Basics for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Around the world, blind and visually impaired users are checking their Email, browsing the web, traveling independently, and doing more thanks to the iPhone. Using Apple's built-in VoiceOver screen reader and Zoom magnification tool, every iPhone model from the iPhone 3gs to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is accessible out of the box, meaning no special software or modifications need to be made for an iPhone to be usable by the blind.

Getting Started

If you're new to the iPhone, there are several resources which will help you begin your journey. Start with Apple's official accessibility page to learn about the basics. AppleVis is the largest resource for accessible apps, tutorials, and getting started materials. In addition, books from the National Braille Press and Shelly Brisbin are excellent resources for beginners and seasoned iOS users alike.

Useful Accessories

Picture: A tactile screen protectorOnce you get your new iPhone, A T Guys has a variety of accessories which will enhance your experience. Many new users start with our SpeedDots Tactile Screen Protectors. These overlays are thin, adhesive-backed covers that go over the top of your phone and add tactile markings to many common controls and icons on your device. Locations like the Back and OK buttons, the number 5 on the phone keypad, and the tabs across the bottom of the phone's screen which feature commonly used apps all include dots. We also mark virtually all of the letters on the standard typing keyboard, except for the letters F and J which are intentionally left blank for orientation. The dots feel similar to braille, though you do not need to know braille to use them.

A T Guys carries a variety of additional accessories including wireless keyboards which are great for taking notes, a talking external battery pack for charging your phone on the go, and wireless Bluetooth speakers. We even offer an accessible cooking thermometer which works with your phone. You can view our accessories on this page.

We know the world of smart phones can be daunting, but we're here to help. We've seen many people who have never touched a computer master their iPhone. From teenagers to seniors, thousands of users all over the world are experiencing a greater level of independence thanks to their phones. If you have questions, you can send us a message or call us at (269) 216-4798. We also offer customized training for individuals or groups.