By Saleem Rahman
Accessibility Consultant InterAccess.ie
There are two types of mobile operating systems that are widely used nowadays on smart phones and tablet devices: they are iOS which is the operating system for iPhone and iPads and Android that is used on the Google pixel line of phones, Samsung Galaxy and Nokia phones and tablets.
The iOS operating system has a screen reader built in called VoiceOver. VoiceOver speaks items on the screen. To turn on VoiceOver, navigate to Settings > Accessibility > and Toggle VoiceOver to on.
Basic navigation with VoiceOver
So you have VoiceOver turned on, tap once to select an item on the screen and double tap to activate that item, your finger does not need to be on the exact location to double tap that item which is in focus. If you want to navigate the items, there are two ways you can do this:
1. swiping right to go forward an item and swiping left to go back an item.
2. exploring the screen by moving your finger to any part of the screen, and then selecting an item by double tapping it.
If you want to go home, press the home button and if your iPhone does not have a home button, slide one finger up from the bottom edge until you feel first vibration then lift your finger.
Here is a video overview of VoiceOver
The Android operating system has a screen reader called TalkBack. Just like VoiceOver, it speaks items on the screen.
Basic navigation with TalkBack
To turn on TalkBack, navigate to Settings > Accessibility and select TalkBack and turn it on.
To select an item, tap on it and to activate that item double tap on it. This is very similar to iOS.
To navigate the screen, swipe right to go forward an item and swipe left to go back an item. You can also use explore by touch; this is where you put your finger on any part of the screen, double tap to activate that item.
To go home, if the phone you are using has a home button, press that. If not, on the bottom of the phone, if you put your finger you will hear, ‘Home button’ double tap to go home. If you want to bring up a list of apps, swipe two fingers up from the bottom and that should bring up all the apps that are installed on the phone.
Here is a video overview of TalkBack