Hello Dark,

The iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS are both accessible with Voice Over built-in. However, There is only one button on the face of the phone in the centre of the bottom edge. There are two buttons on the left side near the top, and a switch above the two buttons.


The button on the face is called the Home button. It is used to close back to the main screen. The buttons on the side turn the volume up and down. The switch activates scilent mode.

The phone has a built-in compass, excellerometer, Giroscopes, Bluetooth, and Wifi. All of these built-in gadgets make the phone quite fascinating for playing a vast variety of games. It can also connect to, and be operated by, Bluetooth braille displays and, with the most recent build, Bluetooth keyboards.

So, how can a totally blind person use an iPhone if it has only one button and a completely flat display? I have an iPhone 4 and absolutely love it. Apple developed a completely revolutionary screen reader. It will tell you whatever is under your finger where ever you touch the screen. It also detects multiple fingers. The commands follow.

Touch the display to know what is under your finger

Tap the display twice quickly with one finger to open the highlighted item, or tap the display with another finger whilst one finger is touching the item to open / activate it

Tap the display once with two fingers to stop or resume speaking

Tap the dissplay twice with two fingers starts or stops actions such as making and answering calls, hanging up calls, starting and stopping iPod playback, Etc.

Tap the screen once with three fingers speaks the page number or number of rows displayed

Tapping the screen twice with three fingers mutes and unmutes speech

Tapping the screen three times with three fingers turns on the screen curtain so nobody else can see what is on your display

Flicking your finger quickly to the right across the screen moves the highlight to the next item

Flicking one finger to the left moves to the previous item

Flicking one finger up and down moves to previous or next item of the current rotor setting (see rotor below)

Two finger flick down reads the page starting at the selected item whilst two finger flick up reads the entire page from the start.

Three finger flick up scrolls down a page whilst three finger flick down scrolls up a page

Three finger flick left scrolls right one page whilst three finger flick right scrolls left one page (like turning a page in a book)

Four finger flick up moves to the first element on the page whilst four finger flick down moves to the last element

The rotor is a selector. to use it, you place your thumb and a finger on the screen and turn them like turning a knob on a radio. The rotor allows you to change things like navigation through edit fields (between characters and words), languages for speech, typing mode for the onscreen keyboard, cut / copy / paste highlighted text, Etc.

Pinching is moving your finger and thumb toward or away from each other selects and unselects text.

Once you get use to it, Voice Over on the iPhone is really cool. That said, there is definitely a learning curve since it is using touch and hear rather than touch and feel. I actually like it better than my old phone with buttons because it is does so much.
David Chittenden, MSc, CRC, MRCAA

Email: dchitten...@gmail.com


On 9/15/2010 9:58 PM, dark wrote:
the other day, I phoned my phone company, o 2 to talk about my mobile phone, 
and discovered that with my contract I actually get a free hand set, and! that 
they do specifically accessible ones.

so, if they will pay for an accessible phone for mewhy not have one?

At the moment I'm using a rather ancient nockier, which has no speech software 
at all, but does have useable buttons, thus making it possible for me to phone 
people, ----- but not much else.

However, I'm now wondering how the accessible phone thing works and which model 
to ask for. O2 suggest the I4 I phone, which apparently comes with speech, or 
the I phone 3gs which allows you to download speech software from I tunes onto 
it. Are these workable phones for a visually impared person? do they have 
decent keys, and is the software actually good enough to do anything decent 
with such as play games?

Any advice would be much appreciated, especially in view of the various I phone 
games and applications that seem to be popping up these days.
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