Seeing with Apps: iOS Tools for Visual Impairment Assistance

Person holding smart phone
Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    At New England Low Vision and Blindness, we understand the challenges faced by individuals with visual impairments. Our mission is to bring hope and empower these individuals through life-changing resources and leading-edge assistive technology. One remarkable area of advancement in recent years has been the development of iOS tools that can assist those with visual impairments. These innovative apps, designed for iPhones and iPads, have the potential to make everyday life more manageable and accessible for visually impaired users.

    We pride ourselves on being the leading assistive technology provider and assistive technology trainer for people who are visually impaired. In this article, we will explore some of the best iOS apps that can significantly enhance the user experience for individuals with visual impairments. From large print keyboards and screen readers to apps that can identify objects and read printed text aloud, the world of assistive technology is vast and ever-growing.

    Join us as we delve into the incredible ways iOS apps can assist those with visual impairments, transforming daily challenges into opportunities for growth and independence. With our confident, knowledgeable support and these powerful digital tools at your disposal, there’s no limit to what you can achieve.

    Seeing with Apps: iOS Tools for Visual Impairment Assistance Resources Tech Tips Technology

    Exploring The Need for Assistive Technology

    As the leading assistive technology provider and trainer for individuals with visual impairments, we at New England Low Vision and Blindness understand the significant impact that accessible tools and resources can have on daily life. In this section, we will discuss the growing need for accessible technology, particularly iOS applications, to help those experiencing vision loss to lead more independent lives.

    With the increasing use of smartphones and mobile devices, we have witnessed a fundamental shift in how people access information and communicate with one another. For those with visual impairments, this transformation presents both challenges and opportunities. On one hand, the need for accessible digital content is more critical than ever. On the other hand, innovative developers have been creating powerful apps for iOS devices that can vastly improve the quality of life for individuals with vision loss.

    Seeing with Apps: iOS Tools for Visual Impairment Assistance Resources Tech Tips Technology

    It is essential to recognize that each person’s needs and abilities vary, which is why we focus on providing customized solutions tailored to individual circumstances. Among the available apps, some focus on magnification, enabling users to enlarge text and images, while others facilitate text-to-speech functionality, reading content out loud for those who cannot see it.

    Moreover, the power of these applications extends beyond simple access to information. They often foster greater independence and self-reliance, allowing users to navigate unfamiliar environments, identify items through barcode scanning, and even access real-time public transportation data. These benefits, in turn, can lead to increased social and professional opportunities.

    As we continue to develop and discover life-changing resources, we must never underestimate the importance of Assistive Technology. By addressing the unique challenges faced by those with visual impairments, we bring newfound hope and independence to their lives through innovative iOS tools and solutions.

    Understanding Visual Impairments

    Visual impairments can significantly affect an individual’s daily life and interactions. These impairments can range from mild vision loss to total blindness. At New England Low Vision and Blindness, we understand the challenges posed by visual impairments, and we are committed to providing the necessary resources and technology to help those affected.

    There are many types of visual impairments, including low vision, color blindness, and complete blindness. Low vision is a partial loss of vision that interferes with daily functioning and cannot be completely corrected with glasses, contacts, or surgery. On the other hand, color blindness involves the inability to distinguish between specific colors, which can hinder certain tasks and activities.

    Seeing with Apps: iOS Tools for Visual Impairment Assistance Resources Tech Tips Technology

    As the leading assistive technology provider and trainer for people who are visually impaired, we offer a variety of tools and devices designed to address the unique needs of individuals with different levels of visual impairment. Some of the assistive technologies available for iOS devices include:

    • Screen readers: These tools read aloud the text, buttons, and other content on the device’s screen, enabling users to navigate and interact with their devices using auditory feedback.
    • Magnifiers: Magnifiers can enlarge the content on the screen, allowing individuals with low vision to see text, images, and other elements more clearly.
    • Voice recognition: Voice recognition software allows users to control their devices using spoken commands, avoiding the need to rely on touch and vision to navigate menus and perform tasks.
    • High contrast and large text settings: By adjusting the device’s visual settings, users can customize the appearance of on-screen content to be more accessible and easier to read.

    At New England Low Vision and Blindness, we provide personalized training and support to our clients, ensuring they have the tools and knowledge to effectively use their assistive technology. We believe that with the right resources, individuals with visual impairments can lead fulfilling, independent lives. Our commitment to offering life-changing resources and support is unwavering, and we will continue to bring hope to the visually impaired community.

    iOS Tools Overview

    Seeing with Apps: iOS Tools for Visual Impairment Assistance Resources Tech Tips Technology

    In this section, we will discuss the most notable features provided in iOS devices: Accessibility Settings, VoiceOver, and Magnifier.

    Accessibility Settings

    The iOS Accessibility Settings contain a wide range of tools to assist users with visual impairments. To access these settings, go to Settings > Accessibility. Here are some key features found in the Accessibility Settings:

    • Display & Text Size: Customize the font size, bold text, color filters, and other display-related options.
    • Smart Invert: Invert the colors on the screen, except for images and other media. Ideal for users with light sensitivity or those who need higher contrast.
    • Speak Selection: Select any text on the screen and have it read aloud for users with difficulty reading.

    These are just a few of the numerous options available in the iOS Accessibility Settings. We recommend exploring these settings to find the combination of options that work best for your individual needs.


    VoiceOver is a powerful iOS feature that provides gesture-based screen-reading capabilities for people who are visually impaired. It provides extensive information about on-screen elements and content and even gives feedback on actions performed by users. Here are some key aspects of VoiceOver:

    • Explore by Touch: Simply touch the screen to hear descriptions of the elements under your finger. You can then double-tap to activate the selected element.
    • Rotor: Use the rotor gesture (a two-finger twisting motion) to access various settings and options, such as adjusting speech rate, reviewing links, and listing headings.
    • VoiceOver Recognition: This feature utilizes on-device intelligence to recognize and describe images, identify buttons and labels, and even read aloud text in images.

    VoiceOver can greatly enhance the usability of iOS devices for users with visual impairments, turning the device into a powerful assistive technology tool.


    Magnifier is a built-in app for iOS devices designed to help users with visual impairments see and read small print. The Magnifier uses the device’s camera to provide digital magnification and offers additional features such as:

    • Zoom: Easily zoom in and out to adjust the level of magnification.
    • Brightness and Contrast: Adjust the brightness and contrast of the magnified image for optimal readability.
    • Color Filters: Apply various color filters to enhance the contrast between the text and background, making it easier to read.

    By utilizing the camera and display of your iOS device, the Magnifier app can provide a portable and powerful magnification tool for those who may struggle with reading or viewing small details.

    Detailed Analysis of iOS Tools

    Seeing with Apps: iOS Tools for Visual Impairment Assistance Resources Tech Tips Technology

    As the leading assistive technology provider and assistive technology trainer for people with visual impairments, we at New England Low Vision and Blindness have explored various iOS tools that can greatly benefit individuals with vision difficulties. Below, we delve into the features and benefits of four top iOS tools: Smart Invert Colors, AssistiveTouch, Braille Display, and Hearing Features.

    Smart Invert Colors

    Smart Invert Colors is an excellent built-in iOS feature that helps people with low vision navigate their devices more easily. By inverting the colors on the screen, the contrast is increased, thus making text and images stand out more clearly. This functionality can be particularly helpful for those with certain vision conditions like retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration.


    AssistiveTouch is another helpful built-in iOS tool that allows users with limited dexterity or motor skills to navigate the device using customizable touch gestures. It provides an on-screen menu where users can access common functions and actions, such as launching Siri or adjusting the volume. AssistiveTouch can be beneficial not only for those with visual impairments but also for individuals who have difficulty with traditional touchscreens due to mobility issues.

    Braille Display

    For users who rely on braille to access digital content, iOS offers compatibility with various braille displays. By connecting a braille display to the device via Bluetooth, users can have real-time translation of on-screen text into braille, making it easier to read and navigate their devices. This integration enables users to use braille input and output methods with their favorite iOS apps, thereby significantly enhancing their experience. Discover some of the top must-have apps for people who are blind or with low vision.

    Hearing Features

    Apple has also considered the needs of users with both vision and hearing impairments by including hearing features in its iOS devices. One such feature is Live Listen, which works with compatible hearing aids to improve the clarity of speech and other sounds in noisy environments. Another useful functionality is visual alerts using the device’s LED flash or vibrations for notification, which can be especially helpful for those who may not hear audible alerts due to hearing loss.

    Our mission at New England Low Vision and Blindness is to bring hope to people with visual impairments through life-changing resources. By leveraging these top iOS tools, users with visual impairments can significantly improve their experience and accessibility with their devices.

    Effectiveness of iOS Tools

    At New England Low Vision and Blindness, we pride ourselves on being the leading assistive technology provider and trainer for the visually impaired. Our mission is to bring hope to individuals with visual impairments by providing life-changing resources. One such resource is the iOS tools designed to assist those who have vision challenges.

    We must acknowledge that technology has come a long way in making everyday tasks more accessible for people with visual impairments. Apple’s iOS devices now offer a variety of built-in features and third-party apps designed specifically to support their needs. These tools include VoiceOver, Zoom, and Speak Screen, among others.

    VoiceOver is a powerful screen-reader that allows users to interact with their iOS devices without having to see the screen. By providing audible descriptions of on-screen items, users can navigate through their iPhones or iPads with ease. In addition, VoiceOver supports a plethora of languages and even provides Braille support.

    Zoom is a built-in magnification tool that enlarges content on an iOS device’s screen, making it easier for people with low vision to view and interact with the interface. Users can utilize gestures to adjust zoom levels, follow focus, and even make use of filters to enhance contrast.

    Speak Screen is an accessibility feature that reads out the content displayed on an iOS device’s screen. This allows individuals with visual impairments to listen to their device, helping them consume information without any hindrances.

    There are also numerous third-party apps available in the iOS App Store that are designed to cater to the specific needs of visually impaired users. These apps support tasks like magnification, text-to-speech, navigation, and more.

    From our experience working closely with the visually impaired community, we can attest to the positive impact these iOS tools have on enabling our clients to lead fulfilling lives. By offering a variety of solutions, Apple’s iOS tools have made significant strides to enhance everyday experiences for the visually impaired.

    Future Directions and Potential Developments

    As the leading assistive technology provider and trainer for people with visual impairments, we at New England Low Vision and Blindness have observed some notable trends and potential developments in the technologies that offer support for those with visual impairments.

    Advancements in AI and Machine Learning: With the rapid progress in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities, we anticipate the development of more sophisticated algorithms and tools in iOS devices that can further enhance the user experience for individuals with visual impairments. AI-driven apps could provide improved object and scene recognition in real time, enabling people with visual impairments to navigate their environment more easily and independently.

    Augmented and Virtual Reality: The integration of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) systems with iOS apps has the potential to revolutionize accessibility for people with visual impairments. These technologies can be used to magnify real-world images, add layers of contextual information, or simulate visual experiences to help individuals better understand and interact with their surroundings.

    Wearable Technology (Also known as Low Vision Glasses): Wearable devices like smart glasses and smart watches are gaining popularity, and we expect significant growth in wearable assistive technology for people with visual impairments. These devices can be paired with iOS apps to provide additional support, such as vibrating alerts, audio feedback, and real-time information about the environment to enhance accessibility and user independence.

    Enhanced Integration with Home Automation and IoT: As smart home devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) become more prevalent, we foresee iOS apps playing a crucial role in connecting people with visual impairments to their environments by linking to these systems. This could enable users to easily control their home appliances, receive important notifications, and stay safe and secure, all through their smartphones or tablets.

    With these exciting advancements and potential developments on the horizon, we remain committed to exploring and adopting the latest technologies to provide the best support and resources for our visually impaired clients. We will continue to bring hope and life-changing solutions to those who need them the most through our extensive range of innovative assistive tools and training services.

    The Role of Education and Community

    We believe that empowering individuals with the right tools and knowledge can significantly improve their quality of life.

    One of the ways we support this is by providing comprehensive training in the use of various iOS tools and apps designed specifically for visually impaired individuals. By mastering these technologies, users can gain increased independence and confidence in their daily lives.

    In addition to one-on-one training, we also collaborate with educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, and support groups as part of our commitment to fostering a strong community for those with visual impairments. By partnering with these organizations, we can effectively share our expertise and resources.

    Furthermore, we stay informed about the latest advancements in assistive technology, ensuring that our clients have access to the most effective tools available. With the continuous improvement of iOS apps and devices, we believe that the possibilities for enabling greater independence and mobility for visually impaired individuals is constantly growing.

    Together, we can make a lasting impact on the lives of those with visual impairments through the combined efforts of education and community support.

    Impact on Quality of Life

    At New England Low Vision and Blindness, we understand that visual impairments can significantly affect an individual’s quality of life. To help improve daily living and promote independence, we offer a range of iOS tools that can assist those living with these challenges.

    One of our most popular tools is VoiceOver, a screen reader integrated into iOS devices that allows users to navigate their smartphone without seeing the screen. This feature provides audio descriptions of the elements on their device, enabling users with visual impairments to stay connected with friends and family and access essential applications.

    In addition to VoiceOver, we offer other iOS tools that can improve the day-to-day lives of those with visual impairments such as:

    • Magnifier: This built-in app turns the iPhone’s camera into a digital magnifying glass, allowing users to zoom in on text, objects, and images for improved clarity.
    • Speak Screen: This feature reads out the content displayed on the screen, making it easier for users to consume information without having to rely on their vision alone.

    Not only can these iOS tools help users maintain their independence and participate in daily activities, but they can also provide a sense of control over their lives. We’ve seen firsthand how the integration of technology can significantly impact a person’s well-being and our goal is to provide solutions that bring hope and enrich the lives of individuals with visual impairments.

    How Can We Help

    At New England Low Vision and Blindness, we strive to provide life-changing resources and assistive technology solutions for individuals with low vision. By considering the factors outlined above, we hope you will be better equipped to find the perfect app to make technology accessible and empower those who are visually impaired.

    Be sure to visit our Top Must-Have Apps for People Who are Blind or with Low Vision

    Top Must-Have Apps for People Who are Blind or with Low Vision

    Request Information

    Post Page Form
    Address (Required if requesting a brochure)