How Apple ‘Accessibility Settings’ have Helped Me

Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen, Fellow Spoonies.

Although this may not be a traditional introduction to a new blog I have decided to go ahead and write this anyway – after all if what I intend to write about doesn’t ‘stick to the rules’ why should I?

I have always been aware of the ‘Accessibility’ settings on Apple products particularly the iPhone however, I have never really explored them. I have an iPhone 6 and when setting up my iPhone it gave me the option to zoom in my screen. I chose this option as I decided it would make life a little easier to read E-mails and post on social media. When I first bought this iPhone I was working more than one job and spent a lot of time communicating with people via E-mail, my job also consisted of posting on Facebook and Twitter. I found this zoom mode to be of excellent help. Now this zoom mode is not within the accessibility setting it is within the ‘Display and Brightness’ options. However, there are further options within the ‘Accessibility settings’ – to reach these settings start from your Home Screen and open Settings – General – Accessibility – Zoom. Some people may also find the magnifier setting useful. This is where the iPhone uses your camera and displays what the camera sees onto your screen but magnified.

Now although I think that zoom is a great setting it is not the setting that I wanted to aim this blog post on. The setting I would like to talk about can be found in Settings – General – Accessibility – Speech. Within this setting you can turn on ‘Speak Selection’, speak selection allows you to highlight any text by selecting the text (that is highlightable) and then gives you a ‘speak’ option this is where the iPhone will read the text on the screen to you – brilliant! I suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Chronic Pain, amongst other things that mean I am often very fatigued and suffer from ‘brain fog’. There are many articles and blogs that I enjoy reading however, I often have to save them to read at another time because I am too tired to read a long piece of text and my concentration lacks. Therefore the speak button allows me to hear the articles and anything else I wish to read. I am also able to highlight the text that the iPhone is reading to me so if I wish I can follow along.

I cannot express how happy discovering this setting has made me, last night alone I read over five blog articles which wouldn’t have happened without this setting. Something as simple as this can make a big difference to someone with a chronic illness.

Obviously Apple have done the best they can to enable this feature to work however, I have found that some words are miss pronounced as (I believe but cannot officially tell you) it is based on the way the word sounds and looks. To resume correct pronunciation (and to ensure we are not driven crazy by odd and frankly annoying pronunciation) Apple have included a pronunciation setting where you are able to ‘teach’ i.e. write the word that they are mis-pronouncing and find a way to re-spell it for it to be pronounced correctly.

Now I acknowledge that I haven’t covered all of the options that are available to us through the accessibility settings but I can say that they include changes in text, changes to button shapes, simplifying on and off buttons, touch accommodations and hearing accommodations. I should also add that most of these settings are not just limited to the iPhone but are available on an iPad or iMac/MacBook.

I would be happy to look at further settings in the future although I would not be the right person to test settings regarding to hearing impairment as I do not have a problem with my hearing. However, I would encourage anyone with a chronic illness, impairment or disability to explore the accessibility settings to see if there is anything that may make life that little bit easier, because quite frankly if there is something that can do that why not take full advantage? Particularly if life can be any less than easy most of the time.

I would also like to clarify that I am not in anyway implying that these settings are only for those with difficulties, personally I feel that these settings should be utilised by anyone that they could possibly benefit.

To those that made it through this blog post, thanks for reading! I hope you return to my site when new content is posted and that you will join me in what ever life has next in-store.

Thanks again!




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