iOS. A wide range of features for a wide range of needs.

Intuitive by design, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch also come with assistive features that allow people with disabilities to experience the fun and function of iOS. With these innovative technologies built right in, iOS devices become powerful and affordable assistive devices.

Features that are helpful beyond words.

If you are blind or have low vision, you can use VoiceOver, an advanced screen reader, to get the most from your iOS device.

iPhones showing VoiceOver speech output when navigating the Washington Post website in Safari. “Top Headlines. Home prices rise, but sales volume falls. Governments pressuring web firm for user data...”

VoiceOver

VoiceOver* is a revolutionary screen reader that lets you know what’s happening on your Multi-Touch screen — and helps you navigate it — even if you can’t see it. Touch the screen to hear what’s under your finger, then use gestures to control your device. VoiceOver works with the apps that come with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
Learn more about VoiceOver

Speak Selection

If you have a hard time reading the text on your iOS device, use Speak Selection to read your email, iMessages, web pages, and books to you. Highlight text in any application, tap Speak, and Speak Selection reads the selected text aloud. You can adjust the voice’s dialect and speaking rate, and have words highlighted as they’re being read.

iPad Mini showing screen zoomed to a larger magnification level.

Zoom

Zoom is a built-in magnifier that works wherever you are in iOS, from Mail and Safari to the Home and Lock screens. And it works with all apps from the App Store. A simple double-tap with three fingers instantly zooms in 200 percent, and you can adjust the magnification between 100 and 500 percent. While you’re zoomed in, you can still use all of the familiar gestures to navigate your device. And Zoom works with VoiceOver, so you can better see — and hear — what’s happening on your screen.

iPad with colors inverted. iPhone showing Large Text options in Accessibility Settings.

Font Adjustments

When you activate Larger Dynamic Type, the text inside Calendar, Contacts, Mail, Messages, Notes, and even some third party apps, is converted to a larger, easier-to-read size. And you can choose bold text to make the text heavier across a range of built-in applications.

Invert Colors

If a higher contrast helps you better see what’s on your display, iOS lets you invert the colors displayed onscreen. Once you set your colors, the settings apply systemwide, even to video, so you get the same view no matter what you’re seeing.

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The view of what you can do is about to change.

If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you can communicate in a variety of ways with iOS features like FaceTime video calling and unlimited texting. And assistive technologies such as closed captions and mono audio help you enjoy your content.

iPad and iPhone showing Facetime call between a friends; one at the market, and out on a hike.

FaceTime

FaceTime video calls let you communicate in more ways than one. Catch every gesture and facial expression — from a raised eyebrow to an ear-to-ear smile. Thanks to its high-quality video and fast frame rate, FaceTime is ideal for people who communicate using sign language. And because Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch all come equipped with FaceTime, you can talk to iOS and OS X users across the street or across the globe. As if you’re face to face.1

Closed Captions

Watch movies and podcasts with closed captions. Just look for the CC icon to buy or rent captioned movies from the iTunes Store or find captioned podcasts in iTunes U. Download straight to your iOS device to watch on the go. iOS also supports open captions and subtitles. You can even customize captions with different styles and fonts.

iPhone video displaying trees and the closed captions: I live next to this huge and lovely forest…
iPad mini and iPod Touch showing iMessage conversation between friends discussing plans for the evening.

Messages with iMessage

iMessage lets you start up a conversation — or keep it going — without needing to say or hear a word. Send unlimited messages to anyone on an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac. Or send a group message to keep everyone in the loop. You can also share photos, videos, locations, links, or the occasional smiley.2

Mono Audio

When you’re using headphones, you may miss some audio if you’re deaf or hard of hearing in one ear. That’s because stereo recordings usually have distinct left- and right-channel audio tracks. iOS can help by playing both audio channels in both ears, and letting you adjust the balance for greater volume in either ear, so you won’t miss a single note of a concerto or word of an audiobook.

Animation showing camera flash when user receives an alert.

Visible and Vibrating Alerts

iPhone lets you know when something’s up, in a way you’ll notice. It delivers both visual and vibrating alerts for incoming phone and FaceTime calls, new text messages, new and sent mail, and calendar events. You can set an LED light flash for incoming calls and alerts. Or have incoming calls display a photo of the caller. Choose from different vibration patterns or create your own.

Made for iPhone Hearing Aids

Apple has worked with top manufacturers to create hearing aids designed specifically for iPhone. These hearing aids deliver a power-efficient, high-quality digital audio experience, and will allow you to manage your hearing aid right from your iPhone. Learn more

Explore the FCC's hearing-aid compatibility (HAC) ratings of iPhone.

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We make it easy to push all the right buttons.

Innovative iOS technologies make the Multi-Touch screen easily accessible to those with physical or motor challenges who find it hard to tap or use gestures.

iPhones showing AssistiveTouch user interface.

AssistiveTouch

iOS devices are remarkably intuitive and easy to use. And AssistiveTouch lets you adapt the Multi-Touch screen of your iOS device to your unique physical needs. So if you have difficulty with some gestures, like pinch, you can make them accessible with just a tap of a finger. Or create a custom gesture. And if you have trouble pressing the Home button, you can activate it with an onscreen tap. Gestures like rotate and shake are available even when your iOS device is mounted on a wheelchair. And iOS devices also support a number of third-party assistive devices that help you interact with your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

iPhones showing AssistiveTouch user interface.

Switch Control

Built directly into iOS, Switch Control is a powerful new accessibility technology for anyone with impaired physical and motor skills. Switch Control allows you to navigate sequentially through onscreen items and perform specific actions using a variety of Bluetooth-enabled switch hardware.

Keyboard Shortcuts

If there’s a word or phrase you frequently use, create a custom shortcut — and iOS will type it out for you. For example, “appt” can expand to “appointment” or “cyl” to “Call you later.” Keyboard shortcuts make it easier and faster to type your name, email address, home address, or any other text that you commonly type.

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Focus on doing more with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

iOS devices are fun and powerful learning tools for people with attention challenges or other cognitive and learning disabilities. You can minimize visual stimulation to help with focus, limit access to a single app, and tap to easily access text-to-speech tools and definitions.

iPad mini showing Guided Access, allowing a parent or teacher to disable the Home button and other onscreen buttons in an app.

Guided Access

Guided Access helps people with autism or other attention and sensory challenges stay focused on the task (or app) at hand. With Guided Access, a parent, teacher, or therapist can limit an iOS device to stay on one app by disabling the Home button, and even restrict touch input on certain areas of the screen. So wandering taps and gestures won’t distract from learning.

iPhones showing Speak Selection speaking an iMessage, Dictionary LookUp of the word 'scholarly', and Safari Reader simplifying a web page for an easier reading experience.

Speak Selection

We all learn in different ways. Some of us learn better when more than one sense is engaged simultaneously. If you have a learning disability like dyslexia, Speak Selection* can help with reading. Highlight text on the screen, tap Speak, and your device reads the selected text out loud. You can also have words highlighted as they’re being read, so you can follow along. You can even adjust the voice’s dialect and speaking rate to suit your needs.

Dictionary

Say you’re reading an article on astronomy and are stuck on some terminology. Just look it up — dictionary definitions are integrated into iOS. Get quick access to definitions and commonly used phrases to help with spelling, pronunciation, and grammar.

Safari Reader

For some students, navigating the web can be a sensory overload. Safari Reader reduces the visual clutter on a web page by removing distractions. It strips away ads, buttons, and navigation bars, allowing you to focus on just the content you want. And Safari Reader works with Speak Selection and VoiceOver, to provide auditory reinforcement for what you're seeing.

Speech

People with speech impairments can also benefit from iOS features. FaceTime lets you communicate visually, whether you use sign language, gestures, or facial expressions. iMessage lets you chat with others via text. And Speak Selection helps with speech development by speaking the words you’re reading. Or you can compose your own text and have your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch speak for you. There are also over 100 third-party speech apps that can turn your iOS device into a powerful augmentative communication device. Learn more about third-party apps