Using the iPad as Assistive Technology

The iPad is a multifaceted tool that can be used to collaborate, communicate and create. Students can use them to blog, design infographics, produce songs, and create movie trailers. However, since iOS6 many accessibility features are available for all types of learners. With the advent of iOS8  and iOS9, even more features are available. See the Apple Special Education for further details. Let's take a look at some of these awesome features!

iPad Tips and Tricks

The basics

  • The iPad can hold up to 25 apps per screen
  • The iPad mini can hold 20 apps per screen
  • You can group apps into folders - Each folder can hold 20 apps
  • The dock can hold 6 app or folders s at a time
  • To charge your devices faster, use airplane mode
  • Safari reader allows users to avoid distractions, and streamline reading.
The Keyboard
  • Auto Correction Features
  • Shortcuts - Hidden Keys
  • Emoji Keyboard
  • Splitting the Keyboard


  • Swipe up/down to scroll
  • Swipe down in middle screen for spotlight search, great feature for looking for an app
  • Swipe from top edge for notifications
  • Swipe from bottom edge for the control panel to access audio controls, calculator, airplay, bluetooth, wifi, and more
  • A four finger swipe up or a double click to the home button shows apps still open
  • Four fingers scrolling left or right allows you to scroll through your open apps
  • To close apps that are open, swipe up; you can close two at a time
  • Snap (closed) all 5 fingers to return to the home screen

For further support iOS7 and iOS8 features click below.

Accessibility Features

Speak Selection/Siri/Dictation

  • Siri can be used for dictation in a variety of apps. Once enabled students tap on microphone beside keyboard and start dictating words.
  • Speak selection allows the user to select text that can be read
  • Screen reader allows the user to swipe down with two fingers and the screen will be read (new feature in iOS8 and iOS9).

Guided Access

  • Allows users to lock iPad in one app. This is helpful for students with sensory challenges or Autism where they only need to work in one application.