As accessible as it is personal.

The world’s most personal device was designed for every person. So a person who’s blind can take group selfies. A person who’s deaf can call Mum from overseas. And a person who can’t move from the neck down can send text messages to friends.


VoiceOver on iPhone

VoiceOver is a gesture-based screen reader that lets you enjoy using iPhone even if you don’t see the screen. With VoiceOver enabled, just triple-click the Home button to access it wherever you are in iOS. Hear a description of everything happening on your screen, from the battery level to who’s calling to which app your finger is on. You can also adjust the speaking rate and pitch to suit you.

VoiceOver in Apps

Because VoiceOver is integrated in iOS, it works with all the built-in iPhone apps. You can create customised labels for buttons in any app — including third-party apps. And Apple works with the iOS developer community to make even more apps compatible with VoiceOver.

VoiceOver on iPhone

VoiceOver Gestures

You can control VoiceOver using a simple set of gestures. Touch or drag your finger around the screen and VoiceOver tells you what’s there. Tap a button to hear a description, then double-tap to select. Or flick left and right to move from one element to the next. When you interact with an element, a black rectangle appears around it so sighted users can follow along. When you prefer privacy, you can activate a screen curtain to turn off the display completely, but still hear all that VoiceOver has to say.

VoiceOver and Text Input

With VoiceOver enabled, each character on the keyboard is read aloud as you touch it, and again when you enter it. A flick up or down moves the cursor so you can edit precisely. To help you type more quickly and accurately, iOS supports multiple character input methods — including handwriting — and corrects misspelled words. Enable Speak Auto-text and you hear a sound effect and the suggested word spoken. Keep typing to ignore it, or tap the Space bar to have your iPhone type it for you.

New in iOS 11 VoiceOver Image Recognition

VoiceOver can now describe images to you, such as telling you if a photo features a tree, a dog or four smiling faces. It can also read aloud the text in an image — whether it’s a snapshot of a receipt or a magazine article — even if it hasn’t been annotated. And in the Photos app, you can touch to explore the facial expressions of people in your photos. Just tap the image with three fingers to have VoiceOver describe what’s there.

VoiceOver and the Rotor

VoiceOver features a virtual control called the rotor. Turning the rotor — by rotating two fingers on the screen as if you were turning an actual dial — lets you efficiently move through a web page or document. When you’re on a web page or PDF, turn the rotor to hear settings like “headings”, “links” and “images”. Then flick to choose how you navigate the page. For example, you can skip from one heading to the next.

VoiceOver Braille Keyboard

VoiceOver includes system-wide support for braille chords in six- and eight-dot braille, enabling direct braille entry without the need for a physical braille keyboard. The braille keyboard is available in the rotor, so you can use it to type text, unlock your iPhone, launch apps and find content in apps like Music.

Updated VoiceOver and Braille Displays

iPhone is fully compatible with more than 70 refreshable braille displays. You can connect a Bluetooth wireless braille display to read VoiceOver output, including contracted and uncontracted braille and equations using Nemeth Code. When you edit text, your display shows it to you in context, and your edits are seamlessly converted between braille and printed words. And braille displays with input keys can be used to control your iPhone when VoiceOver is turned on.

VoiceOver and Pronunciation Editor

The Pronunciation Editor allows you to create a list of words or phrases, along with the phonetic ways you want them to be pronounced. With VoiceOver turned on, these words and phrases will then be read aloud with your preferred pronunciation in documents, messages, web pages and other text.

Updated Audio Descriptions

Watch movies with detailed audio descriptions of every scene on your iPhone. Movies with audio descriptions are displayed with the AD icon in the iTunes Store. 

iPhone now also lets VoiceOver users access closed caption and subtitle tracks audibly or through their braille displays.

Updated Display Accommodations

Invert Colours on iPhone

iOS lets you invert colours, reduce the white point, enable greyscale, or choose from a range of colour filters to support different forms of colour blindness or other vision challenges. You can select a common preset or fine-tune the colour tint and hue to customise the display settings to work for you. With the Smart Invert Colours setting, iOS automatically recognises when a piece of media is using a dark colour style, so you can reverse the colours of the display without affecting the look of images, videos and certain apps. And once you set your filters, the settings apply to everything that appears on your iPhone.

Invert Colours on iPhone


Zoom is a built-in screen magnifier that works wherever you are in iOS. And it works with all apps from the App Store. You can zoom in Full Screen view or Picture in Picture view, allowing you to see the zoomed area in a separate window while keeping the rest of the screen at its native size. You can adjust the magnification between 100 and 1,500 per cent, and access multiple filter options in either view. While you’re zoomed in, you can use all the familiar gestures to navigate your iPhone. And Zoom works with VoiceOver, so you can better see — and hear — what’s happening on your screen.

Updated Font Adjustments

When you activate Larger Dynamic Type, the text inside a wide range of apps — including Calendar, Contacts, Mail, Messages, Music, Notes and Settings, and even some third‑party apps — is converted to a larger, easier‑to‑read size. Apps adapt to accommodate larger font sizes so text remains legible and clear as it grows. And you can choose bold text to make the text heavier across a range of built‑in applications.


Magnifier on iPhone

Magnifier works like a digital magnifying glass. It uses the camera on your iPhone to increase the size of anything you point it at, so you can see the details more clearly. Use the flash to light the object, adjust filters to help you differentiate colours or snap a photo to get a static close-up.

Speak Screen

If you have a hard time reading the text on your iPhone, use Speak Screen to read your emails, iMessages, web pages and books. Turn on Speak Screen and swipe down from the top of the screen with two fingers, or just tell Siri to Speak Screen and have all the content on the page read back to you. You can adjust the voice’s dialect and speaking rate, and have words, sentences, or words within sentences highlighted as they’re being read.

Magnifier on iPhone

Updated Siri

Siri helps you with the things you do every day.* Siri can send messages and make phone calls; schedule meetings; and even turn VoiceOver, Guided Access and Invert Colours on and off. And because Siri is integrated with VoiceOver, you can ask where the nearest sushi restaurant is and hear the answer read aloud. If you prefer to communicate by typing, there’s a new accessibility option to set Siri to “Type to Siri” mode.


Dictation lets you talk where you would type. Tap the microphone button on the keyboard, say what you want to write and your iPhone converts your words (and numbers and characters) into text. So it’s easy to type an email, note or URL — without typing at all.

New in iOS 11 Accessibility Shortcuts

Accessibility Shortcuts on iPhone

The redesigned Control Centre is customisable, so you can easily add and organise shortcuts for the tools and settings you use the most. For example, you can add a quick link to Magnifier so it’s always handy, or add a Text Size control so you can adjust text size on the fly without leaving the app you’re using. You can also turn on Guided Access or get to all the Accessibility Shortcuts you have enabled.

Accessibility Shortcuts on iPhone



External Resources

The Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Explore instructional videos with tips on using vision accessibility features in iOS.

Learn more about the Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Join a community of Apple product users who are blind or have low vision.

Learn more about

VIPhone Discussion List

Connect with a community of people using VoiceOver and other Apple products.

Learn more about the VIPhone Discussion List

Mac-cessibility Network

Get information on the use of Apple products by those who are blind or have low vision.

Learn more about the Mac-cessibility Network

Developer Resources

Apple Accessibility for Developers

Resources to help developers make their apps more accessible.

Learn more about Apple Accessibility for Developers

Explore the vision accessibility features built into our other products.