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Rutland Information Service

Getting the most out of technology

Laptop and phone

Technology is becoming increasingly popular to help people be as independent as possible.

Listed below is a variety of apps and gadgets that can help with using devices and staying safe.

iPhone (iOS) features

There is now a wide range of iOS functions and apps available to help when using a device - so much so that the Accessibility menu has moved from being under General Settings and now has its own category.

General Features:

Text-to-speech is a feature which uses Speak Screen to read emails, iMessages, web pages and books. To enable this, go to Settings > Accessibility > Vision > Spoken Content.

Hearing aid compatibility is another feature that allows hearing aids to connect to devices like Bluetooth headphones. You can glance at the battery status or change the left and right volume, together or separately. You can also quickly apply your audiologist's environmental presets as you go outdoors or enter noisy locations, like restaraunts, without having to rely on additional remotes. To enable this, go to Settings > Accessibility  > Hearing > Hearing Devices.

Colour filters is a helpful feature that has presets for to help with colour blindness or dyslexia. It can make light text against darker backgrounds in Mail, Safari Reader, Calendar and more, making text easier to read in low lighting conditions. To enable this, go to Settings > Accessibility > Display and Text Size. 

Zoom and Magnifier are features that allow the user to zoom in on the screen and have an on-screen magnifying glass. It lets people with limited vision make use of the apps, maps and everything else on the device. To enable these, go to Settings > Accessibility.

Assistive Touch has a range of features allowing you to adapt elements of the touchscreen to suit your physical needs. You can alter the actions of certain gestures, such as pinching or tapping, enable an on-screen keyboard, connect Bluetooth and USB assistive pointer devices and more. To enable these, go to Settings > Accessibility > Physical and Motor > Touch > Assistive Touch.

Voice Control allows you to use voice commands to control your device. Not only does it tell you what is happening on your device, but it makes it easy to open and interact with virtually any app. To enable this, go to Settings > Accessibility > Physical and Motor > Voice Control.

Emergency SOS is a feature that will immediately call the emergency services if you rapidly click the side button 5 times. You can also add emergency contacts. To enable this, go to Settings > Emergency SOS. 

Health is a pre-loaded iOS app that helps keep important health information in one place. It creates a medical profile that can be used by the emergency services, and you can enter details about your height, weight, exercise, allergies, medication, blood type and more. 

Facetime can also help by enabling people with hearing or speech difficulties to communicate non-verbally using sign language and facial expressions.

More information on accessibility and devices can be found on Apple's website

Other apps

Other helpful apps you can download include:

Pill reminder apps such as Medisafe, which can allow you to set alerts for all types of medications, custom code your pills and even adjusts when travelling throguh time zones. 

Emergency Chat is an app that can be used in any situation where you need to communicate but can’t speak. It's ideal for people who have autism and struggle to talk when they are anxious or under pressure.

BBC Click

BBC Click explores the latest developments around accessibility and inclusion in technology. 

Microsoft features to help with reading and writing

British Dyslexia Association Empowering Potential webinar aims to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more. With more than 1 billion people in the world with disabilities, there is no limit to what people can achieve when technology reflects the diversity of all those who use it.

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