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Monday, October 1, 2012

iPad Assistive Touch De-Mystified (finally)!

I never really knew what I was missing by not exactly understanding the Assistive Touch accessibility feature on the iPad (released in iOS 5, way way back in July 2011).'s site on accessibility includes the following, not-too-explicit description of AssistiveTouch:

"Built-in AssistiveTouch lets you enter Multi-Touch gestures using one finger or a stylus (sold separately). It also supports the use of adaptive input devices, like headsets and switches, so you can experience the full capability of iPad."

Somehow, I failed to look at this exceptional, 2011 video on Assistive Touch care of YouTube and (IGM; HERE) perhaps because I was 'too busy' or simply didn't have the immediate need to give access to hardware controls (such as Home button, volume up/down...) and Multi-Touch controls (pinch-in, pinch-out, 4-finger swipe between apps, etc.) for a particular client, so didn't make the time.

Until today! The Speech and Language Center at Villa Esperanza Services had the excellent opportunity to meet and confer with Tristan and Regan from the Business Team at the Apple Store in Pasadena in their ice-cold conference room at the rear of the store (delightful on a 106-degree, Pasadena Monday...). They fielded all variety of Apple-related questions and helped us to solve a few burning problems.

A new view on Assistive Touch, in brief:
- Are you able to reach the volume rocker switch? (No? Assistive Touch.)
- Have you hidden (or broken) you or your client's Home button? (Yes? Assistive Touch.)
- Can you pinch in? Pinch out? Swipe across the screen with 2, 3, 4, or 5 fingers? Or are you without the dexterity, or the digits, to do so?? (The answer: Assistive Touch.)

If you can still tap/poke the screen with a finger; knuckle; hand-held-, head- or mouth-stylus - then Assisitve Touch can help. Go into Settings, General, and scroll down to Accessibility. Select and scroll down to the Physical & Motor section and choose Assistive Touch; toggle it on; and then ask a trusted assistant to 'Create New Gesture...' where they will enact and record the Multi-Touch gesture(s) you want to be able to access with a simple series of taps to the screen via a finger, knuckle or stylus. Then, magically (as is so common with iOS devices), the Assistive Touch, on-screen, movable menu 'button' will appear on every screen you visit within your iPad, and will allow you access to the pre-determined hardware and Multi-Touch controls that you may otherwise be challenged to utilize.
HERE is a great, NEW video of Assistive Touch features for iOS 6 shared by OT's with Apps (view the blog, HERE). I haven't even begun to explore the updates...

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