iA Cast iA UnboxCast

#iAUnboxCast 43 – Apple 16 inch MacBook Pro

Show Description


On this episode, Michael, Aleeha, Chris and Jason unbox the 2019, 16 inch [MacBook Pro](


Providing Feedback


We love hearing from you, so feel free to send an email to You can follow us on Facebook, and Twitter. You can also find us on Reddit, and all around the web. Also, don’t forget to check out our YouTube page, and for all things iACast, check out our iACast page. If you’d like to help support us, you can do so via our PayPal and Patreon pages. If you wish to interact with us during our podcasts live then please do join us on our Slack channel.

iA Cast iA Cast Weekly

#iACast 131 – What’s New In iOS 13

Show description

On this episode, Aleeha, Jason, Meaghan and Michael talk about and demonstrate some of the new Voiceover improvements and bugs in IOS 13.


App development services


New iPhones are out.
The release for IOS 13.1 has been pushed up to Sept. 24.
Apple Care is now subscription based.
Apple Care is now available for AirPods and Beats headphones.


Meaghan: IOS 13
Jason: Focus 40 Blue Braille Display
Aleeha: Telegram Messenger
Michael: iPhone 11 Pro Max

Providing Feedback

We love hearing from you, so feel free to send an email to You can follow us on Facebook, and Twitter. You can also find us on Reddit, and all around the web. Also, don’t forget to check out our YouTube page, and for all things iACast, check out our iACast page. If you’d like to help support us, you can do so via our PayPal and Patreon pages. If you wish to interact with us during our podcasts live then please do join us on our Slack channel.


What’s New in VoiceOver for macOS High Sierra

On September 25, 2017, Apple released macOS High Sierra to the public. Here are some new enhancements to VoiceOver.

Enhanced Multilingual Support

If VoiceOver detects that a language has been associated with text that it’s reading, it Will automatically switch to another voice and will read the text in that language. You can set the voice VoiceOver uses for different languages in VoiceOver Utility. For example, if you were to add the Spanish language and set a voice for it, VoiceOver will then use that Spanish voice to read text that has been tagged as Spanish for screen readers.

Image Descriptions

VoiceOver can describe images, just like it does in iOS. To do this, press VO (Control plus option or caps lock, depending on how you have the VoiceOver modifier set) + Shift + L when focus is placed on an image.

Improved Grade 2 Braille Experience

VoiceOver provides a more seamless Braille experience when you are working with text and using Grade 2 Braille. For example, your Braille display now shows “the context of what you’re typing,” and when you edit text, it is no longer translated back into Grade 1 Braille.

Improved Web and Email Navigation

VoiceOver  navigation is more consistent and reliable when navigating webpages in Safari. VoiceOver has better support for navigating tables in richly formatted email messages in mail.

Improved PDF Accessibility

VoiceOver has better support for reading tables, lists, and forms in tagged PDF documents.

Let us know if you’ve discovered anything else new.

Report VO Change

What’s New in VoiceOver in iOS 11

On Tuesday, September 19th, Apple released iOS 11, bringing with it some new VoiceOver features and improvements.


You can now drag and drop apps using VoiceOver To do this, do the following:

  1. While on the home screen, double tap and hold to enter edit mode.
  2. Find an app you wish to move.
  3. Set the VoiceOver rotor to”actions” if it’s not done automatically and flick up or down to “drag app name.”
  4. Navigate to where you wish to drop the app and choose an option. You can drop an app before the app that the VoiceOver cursor is focused on, after it, or create a folder containing the focused app and the one you’re dragging. If you wish to drag more than one app, you can choose the final option. This is to “Add To Drag Session.” You can use this method do drag files from one app to another minus the double tap and hold.


VoiceOver includes several new verbosity settings you can now change. They are located by tapping Settings>General>Accessibility>VoiceOver>Verbosity.

These options include:

  • Speak hints. This setting is on by default. Double tapping this setting will turn them off.
  • Punctuation. After double tapping this option, you can choose to set it to all, some, or none.
  • Speak detect text. This determines whether automatically detected text in the focused item is spoken. For example: If you are on an app with an unlabeled button, VoiceOver will announce something like “Button. Possible text: View menu.”
  • Capital letters: This option will change what VoiceOver does when encountering a capital letter. You can choose from speak cap, play sound, change pitch, and do nothing.
  • Deleting text: You can choose from speak, play sound, change pitch, and do nothing.
  • Embedded links: You can choose from speak, Play sound, change pitch, or do nothing.
  • There is a table output heading with options related to the reading of tables.
  • You can toggle reading of table headers and row and column numbers.
  • As in iOS 10, you can turn the emoji suffix on or off, depending on whether or not you want VoiceOver to speak the word “Emoji” when one is encountered.


You no longer need to three-finger tap on a message to hear the preview.

When reading a message, you have VoiceOver actions to reply, archive, flag, mark as read/unread, and to activate.

If you use threaded messaging, you have a rotor option, “Expand/Collapse Thread”. When expanded, you can manage all of the messages inside a thread on an individual basis.

Smart Actions Rotor

VoiceOver in iOS 11 now has a new feature that allows for the user to continue to use the last used actions rotor item. This is useful for deleting large amounts of messages. This feature also appears in the App Switcher

What have we missed?

Know something that is not on this list? Please let us know by emailing us at or tweet us at @iaccessibility1


Maybe it’s not Apple with the problem: Maybe it’s us

A few days ago, I discovered an article written by someone in the blind community criticizing a new feature that has been implemented in iOS 11.


In iOS 11, Apple has implemented a new feature dealing with the way VoiceOver manages the Actions Rotor in the Mail App. If you are familiar with the way the App switcher worked in iOS 10, you’ll recognize this behavior. Now, if you delete one message or perform any other action on it, that action will stay selected until you manually change it. This is a big change in behavior from before, when the action would return to the default setting after performing an action on a message.

What we’re seeing now

The blind community has become very divided and upset over this feature. Claims have been made that this is inconsistent with typical rotor behavior, that it is half-baked, that it’s a step backward in accessibility, and that it sets a dangerous standard for Apple to model.

The reality is this: this new feature is a change. It is a deviation from the typical behavior that we have seen in the rotor for years. Unfortunately, it seems that members of the blind community find it difficult to deal with these changes and retrain their brains. This is a big part of being successful in the world: we must have the capability to adapt and problem solve. Things will not always remain the same. We cannot expect Apple to hold back on a potentially game-changing feature just so that its user base does not have to deal with a new environment. The feature is a huge productivity boost for those of us who delete a bunch of emails at once, receiving hundreds of messages a day from mailing lists. It’s faster than selecting the edit button then selecting the messages to delete. The feature is buggy, yes, but it will continue to improve, that is, if we don’t stop it in its tracks from our constant complaints.

Yes, people struggle with the rotor. Yes, older people may have difficulty, but if we are going to train someone in using technology, it’s less about training them in how to do something than it is training them how to solve problems that come up. No one can plan for every single situation that arises. No one can teach for every single possible quirk, crash, or inconsistency in an operating system. Apple’s operating system has never been aimed at the older age group specifically, so comments that I have seen about this feature being detrimental to older blind folks is ridiculous. We, as blind people, have a hard enough time getting mainstream developers to listen to us and make their products accessible without complaining that advances they’re trying to make in our productivity are bad things. Let’s learn to adapt and remember that sighted people have to deal with these changes, too. With each new OS release comes new features, new ways of doing things, and, in some cases, new bugs, for all people, not just the disabled. It’s not just us who have to learn. If we insist that things remain the same, how can we expect companies to develop new and innovative technology for us? How can we expect anything to get any better without a little brain retraining every now and again?

iA Cast

#iACast Special: New Features in iOS 11

In this episode, Matt, Jason, Shawn, and Aleeha talk about the bugs new features of iOS 11 in this iACast special podcast.

Features include

  • New Siri Voices
  • Verbosity settings in VoiceOver
  • Changes to Control Center
  • Braille Support

iPhone X Accessibility: What We Know So Far

The iPhone X is Apple’s Brand new iPhone, with a full sized screen, no bezel, at 5.8 inches. Perhaps one of the biggest points is that Apple has removed the beloved Home Button, so How can this phone be accessible? Here is what we know so far. This article will be updated as information becomes available.

  • Triple click Home, which is a customizable accessibility shortcut to activate functions such as VoiceOver and Zoom, has been changed to triple pressing of the side button on the right side of the Phone.
  • To open Notification Center, find the left status bar and then flick down with three fingers.
  • To open control Center, find the right status bar, and then flick down with three fingers.
  • FaceID supports VoiceOver: You can turn off the need for the eyes to be focused in accessibility settings.

Again, we will continue to update this article as new information becomes available. Let us know on Twitter or in the comments if you know of something, and we will update the article accordingly.

iA Cast iA UnboxCast

#iACast UnboxCast 9: 4th Generation Apple TV

On this episode of the UnboxCast, Aleeha and Michael unbox the ever popular Apple TV 4th generation from Apple. Aleeha goes through initial setup of the device, as well as its settings. We also demonstrate downloading and setting up an app from the App Store.


Freeing everyone’s ability to learn VoiceOver for iOS

Today we decided that VO Starter should provide training to all iOS users who want to learn VoiceOver, so we decided to make VO Starter a free app. One reason we did this is because everyone should know how to use their device, and the other app that helps with this training is now 2 years old and could use an update. iAccessibility hopes to provide the best training opportunities for students with the use of VO Starter and future VoiceOver training apps, so from this point on, VO Starter shall be a free app. If you are a trainer of the blind then this will be a great asset to your students and to all who need some extra training on iOS devices.

VO Starter on the App Store – iTunes – Apple

iA Cast iA Cast Weekly

#iACast 33 – DemoCast 1: Software Updates on macOS Sierra

Welcome to the very first iA DemoCast! In this episode, Matt Dierckens will walk you through updating software on macOS Sierra, using Apple’s built-in screen reader, VoiceOver. We hope you find this demonstration useful; if you have topics you would like to see covered on the DemoCast, please let us know! As always, thank you for listening!


Commentary: Are VoiceOver Actions a Help or a Hindrance?

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are my own, and do not necessarily reflect those of iAccessibility.

As I’m sure most VoiceOver users know, there is an “Actions” item in the VoiceOver rotor in iOS. This is a very handy item as it allows for tasks to be accomplished faster without the need to tap through app menus, or perform a passthrough (double tap and hold on an item). An easy example of this would be deleting messages in the Messages app. Simply find a message, set the rotor to “Actions” if it’s not automatically set for you, flick up or down to “Delete,” and double tap. Your message is then deleted. It really does help speed things up.

So what am I complaining about? From time to time, I’ve been in the really neat position of being able to help a sighted person with there iPhone. It’s not neat because I get bragging rights or anything, just that with VoiceOver, I can use the same device and mostly, use it in the same way a sighted person can, all be it with some changed gestures, obviously. But getting back to the topic at hand, let’s say a sighted person asked me how to delete messages from there iPhone. I wouldn’t tell them to turn on VoiceOver, learn the basic gestures so they can navigate the screen, then use actions to delete there message, I’d tell them how to do it without VoiceOver enabled, and that’s where I’ve run into a bit of a problem. You see, as I was writing this article, I realized I had forgotten exactly how one would go about deleting messages from an iPhone without VoiceOver enabled. Because of VoiceOver actions, I no longer had to remember things like that. I could just flick up or down, choose what I wanted and double tap on it. While that’s really great, it doesn’t help me remember how to use an app normally, and that’s a problem.

To make matters worse, you have apps that detect that VoiceOver is enabled, and only allow you to use VoiceOver actions to perform certain tasks. Twitterrific is one such app. I wish we could either unselect “Actions” in the rotor, or add an item to quickly turn actions on or off like you can with Hints, Sounds, and Audio ducking. VoiceOver would behave as it did before they were introduced. I would also want to be able to perform a swipe without having to do a passthrough. I feel that this could be accomplished by allowing the three finger gestures to perform swipes when appropriate. This already happens in the app switcher. A sighted person swipes up on the app they wish to close, and of course a VoiceOver user can do a three finger swipe up which will perform the same action. Again, you can use VoiceOver actions to close apps and switch to them, but I find using the three finger swipe to close an app and double tapping on an app to switch to it is much faster for me.

So what do you think? Do you agree? Am I crazy? Follow us around the web and tell us what you think. We love hearing from you.


#Top10 Posts of 2016!

iAccessibility saw tremendous growth in 2016, when compared to previous years. For this, we would like to thank you all for reading our articles, sharing our posts, listening to our podcasts, and following us on social media. To celebrate, we would like to share with you the posts that received the most traffic in 2016! That’s right, here are your favorite articles.

Note: This list is in reverse order, with the most popular post appearing last on the list.

  1. Product Review: Apple AirPods, written by Jessica Smith
  2. Zooming in on the Touch Bar, written by Jessica Smith
  3. This iPhone 7 Plus Feels so Accessible, written by Jessica Smith
  4. VoiceOver at the Bar, written by Michael Doise and Jessica Smith
  5. Organizing Apps in iOS 10 With VoiceOver, written by Rich Cavallaro
  6. A Guide to iMessage in iOS 10, written by Jessica Smith
  7. The Magic Tap isn’t so Magical, written by Michael Doise
  8. New VoiceOver Features in iOS 10, written by Jessica Smith
  9. These Mail Changes in iOS 10 will Make You Happy, written by Ashley Coleman
  10. The iOS 10 Feature No One is Talking About, written by Jessica Smith

There you have it – the most popular posts, as chosen by you, our readers! What do you think? Is this list accurate, or do you have a favorite that did not appear on this list? Let us know! And once again, thank you all for your support! We look forward to bringing you more content throughout 2017 and beyond!