iPad Accessibility

Reading SupportText-to-speech (TTS) can be helpful for a number of emerging readers. It can support students with visual impairments, learning disabilities, motor challenges, and it can build reading skills

Text-to-Speech Overview –video and slideshow
  1. Set up built-in text-to-speech (TTS) features
    1. “Speak Selection” -PDF Instructions (with embedded videos) -Updated
    2. Adjust voices, speaking rate, highlights, etc. -PDF Instructions -Updated
    3. “Speak on Touch” -Video Instructions
  2. Use The Snap&Read app for reading acccessibility with paper documentsPDF/Video instructions
  3. Google “G” App -The Google app can capture images of paper documents, signs, handwriting, and other text and read them aloud. It can also translate the text to another language and read it aloud. –video
  4. 8th Generation  iPads: These new iPads have the capability to read the text  from paper handouts that have been photographed using the camera app.  video (see writing section below to see how iPads can also type onto a photo)
  5. Claro ScanPenThis simple app allows a student to take a photo of a worksheet, textbook page, or any other typed text and convert it to digitized -OCR- text to then be read aloud with TTS in 3 quick steps. Easy to use. –video
  6. Bookshare -Bookshare is an organization that offers students with “qualifying disabilities” alternative formats to access assigned novels and some textbooks. Books can be read on the website or downloaded and then put into a text reader  app on the iPad. Bookshare books are read out loud in a digitized voice -TTS. *click this link for more info*
  7. Translate webpages in the Chrome app –video
  8. Set up text-to-speech in multiple languages to have text read aloudPDF/video


Writing Support –Dictation (speech-to-text), word prediction, and recording voice notes – all options are available on 4J iPads.

Dictation can help students express what they know. Allowing students to submit their ideas using their voice can be a great 1st step in the writing process and can help students to get their ideas into written format.
Speech-to-Text Overview –video and slideshow

Here are a few tips when using this tool:

  1. Rehearse a given thought/idea using slow & clear speech for practice.
  2. After activating the dictation microphone, wait 1 second before speaking.
  3. Dictate punctuation/endmarks.
  4. Start/stop the microphone between thoughts/ideas, unless capable of clearly speaking multiple sentences with endmarks and without long pauses or excessive background noises.
  5. Look away from the screen while dictating to reduce distractions and increase focus on the intended speech.
Word prediction can support students with spelling, reading, and motor challenges.  It predicts word choices and completes word spelling based on phonetics and context.  It can help build spelling skills and increase the use of vocabulary. Students with motor challenges and learning disabilities can type out more words with fewer keystrokes.
Word Prediction Overview –video and slideshow
Click the resources below for support with writing accessibility:
  1. Updated PDF Instructions
    1. Use The Snap&Read app for reading and writing accessibility with paper documentsPDF/Video instructions
    2. iPad Dictation (speech-to-text)
    3. CoWriter Word Prediction Writing App ***NEW*** -Great writing space for using robust word prediction and speech-to-text in English with optional topic dictionaries
      1. Co:Writer Universal Keyboard
        i. Must use the onscreen keyboard to type (not the external keyboard)
        ii. INSTRUCTIONS –link
    4. Read&Write Writing App ***NEW*** -Great writing space for using word prediction and speech-to-text in multiple languages with picture/visual support for the vocabulary
    5. Read&Write Word Prediction Keyboard –This is a versatile onscreen keyboard that will provide word prediction and speech to text in any writing space or app
    6. iPad Adobe Fill&Sign -Quick and easy annotation tool for paper handouts.
    7. iPad Markup tool –PDF Instructions
      1. With “Live Text” for 8th generation and newer iPads) 
        1. Step-by-step PDF instructions –Printable PDF
        2. Video instructions –Video
  2. Set up dictation in another languagePDF/Video Instructions
  3. Use the Easy Spelling Aid app to dictate short sentences and then copy onto paper –video 
  4. Use the Notes app to scan worksheets and annotate with iOS MarkupInstructions
  5. Use SeeSaw to complete a writing assignment with dictation, word-prediction and voice recordings – video
  6. Use the Notes app to use multimedia tools to produce a written task – video
  7. Use the Canvas app with multimedia tools to adapt a writing assignment –video


Wit and Wisdom curriculum

***UPDATED*** APRIL 2024

We have created a new workflow that teachers and students can use for sharing and completing W&W module workbooks on their school devices. Teachers will present QR Codes that link to the workbooks.  Students will open the workbooks using their iPad cameras. Once opened, students can open/save the workbooks in a variety of apps. We are recommending students open the workbooks in the Snap&Read app. This app provides the most reading and writing accessibility for students.
PDF Instructions –link
Video Instructions –link
Short Slideshow –link
The info below is another option and was developed during the school year 2022/2023:

Much of the online version of the curriculum is accessible with the screen reader built into iPads, but the handouts and some other materials are not. This is a workaround to address this.  This video shows staff and students how to access the student handouts while in the online version of  Wit and Wisdom.      https://youtu.be/6T0UAqFa-AI 

For students who are not using the online version of Wit and Wisdom, visit the 4J Learning Hub to learn how students can access digitized materials and use accessibility tools:  https://sites.google.com/4j.lane.edu/4j-instruction-and-curriculum/home.  

The Wit and Wisdom section of the  Learning Hub contains this Google Doc. It explains all of the processes of sharing digitized PDFs with students and how students can interact with the PDFs.  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Ur1TZ7s5HKOQhZTU5WmPcQyjdtuDKw2k9TgoLt4s-gU/edit?mode=html#


PDF Accessibility –It may seem complicated to access and complete PDF assignments using reading and writing accessibility features. Fortunately, all iPads have the Snap&Read app.

Sometimes PDFs are assigned without having first been digitized to make them accessible with text-to-speech. PDFs should be digitized first then assigned. For information on how to scan and convert paper document to digitized PDFs refer to our blog page -UDL/AEM. 
  1. Use the Snap&Read app to annotate and read PDFs –Video
  2. Use the Books app to annotate/draw and read PDFs with accessibility features –video
  3. Use the Books app to complete and submit PDFs assigned in Seesawvideo
  4. Use the Books app with Canvas PDFs in the Chrome Browser –Students can access a Canvas PDF assignment in the Chrome Browser and then open the PDF in the Books app. After reading and writing in the PDF using accessibility features like text-to-speech, dictation, and word prediction, students will save the PDF in their “Files” app. When ready to submit the assignment, students will upload the PDF to Canvas from the “Files” app. –video
  5. Canvas PDFs from the Canvas App –Using the Canvas App for PDF assignments is less complicated than the above strategy. However, many schools are not using the Canvas App widely due to known glitches and instability. In some cases, students may be asked by their teacher to use this method for PDF assignments only. –video
  6. Book  Creator – great app for making creative books that can include text, drawing, photos, videos, and more. (free for lite version) –video 



Using an iPad in a Foreign Language

iPads can be set up to offer support in multiple languages. They can read aloud text and allow students to dictate words and sentences in the language of choice. The new Read&Write app has a built-in writing area that gives students a robust word prediction tool in Spanish, French, and English.  Click the link below for an updated instruction sheet on how to set up the R&W app in combination with other iPad accessibility features that support bilingual educational settings. –Click Here


Organizational Accessibility and Resources

There are several apps and strategies that can assist with scaffolding and organizing tasks. Students who use accessibility features and/or alternative inputs have many great options on the iPad. 

Voice Notes are a great way for a reluctant writer to show the teacher what they know by recording their thoughts and answers to questions on an assignment.  Students can listen to their voice notes/memos to help organize their ideas for writing tasks.

 Here are some ideas to help with organization:

  1. Create a school planner or task tracker using the Notes app –video
  2. Take notes using Voice Memos and other media in the Notes app –video
  3. Use multimedia tools in Notes to assist with the writing process – video
  4. Graphic Organizers
    1. Use the Books app to annotate/draw over PDF graphic organizersvideo
    2. Graphic Organizer Documents/PDFS:
      1. This website has some great GOs –https://my.hrw.com/nsmedia/intgos/html/igo.htm
      2. Who, What, When, Where, How, Why
      3. What I learned
      4. Cornell Notes
      5. Five-Paragraph Essay
      6. Brain Storming Web
      7. Opinion Essay -Outlining
      8. Opinion Essay -Strong Writing Support
      9. Story Map
      10. Story Starter Sentences
    3. Inspiration Maps app -Build beautiful diagrams, graphic organizers, and outlines with ease. –video
      1. How to use Inspiration Maps –video