Mobile Accessibility Features & Apps.

What Is? - Logo.What is Mobile Accessibility and Apps?

Mobile devices such as Smart Phones and Tablets use an operating system, much like computers are managed by the Windows operating system, to perform its application functions and tasks.
The main operating systems available for Mobile Devices  are the Android platform, used by manufacturers such as Samsung and the iOS platform used by Apple products.
The Accessibility features included in the Operating Systems of the SmartDevices enable individuals  with vision, physical and motor, hearing, and learning impairments to use the functions available on their devices.
These features generally include Font Size and Colour, Magnification,Zoom and Screenreader Speech. In addition, the Speech Recognition feature allows the user to give verbal commands.,
The Operating Systems are in continuous development and the Smart Devices are constantly upgraded  to the latest versions. This applies to the latest models as well, within limits, to the older devices. Due to hardware and software changes in newer models, adjusting the settings may differ, so it is advisable to check on the latest operating systems user manuals. 

A Mobile App is a software application developed specifically for use on Smart Phones and Tablets. App developers are encouraged to make their apps fully compatible with the accessibility features of the operating systemin order to give impaired users the full benefit of their Smart Device.

The Hadley Institute offers free technology training workshops on Android and Apple iOS operating systems . Easy step-by-step visual and voice instructions on how to set up and use accessibility options such as magnification (Zoom), screen reader (Talkback, Voice-Over, Speakscreen), voice recognition, personal assistant (Siri) and plenty more.
Click here to visit the Hadley site and learn how to use your smart device to it’s full potential, giving you independence and enriching your life.

Go to > Android > iOS > Smart Device App Types

Android Operating System.

Android - Logo.

Samsung Galaxy S21 - Image.

Samsung Tablet - Image.










Android operating System

The Android 11 Mobile Operating System is the eleventh major release and 18th version  developed by the Open Handset Alliance led by Google. It was released on September 8, 2020 and is the latest
Android version to date, used by Samsung mobile devices .

Android accessibility overview
You can customize your Android device using accessibility settings and apps.
Use a screen reader

Change your display

Interaction controls

Voice Access

Switch Access

Action Blocks

Time to take action
(Accessibility timeout

Use a braille display

Audio and  on-screen text

Live Caption

Live Transcribe and  Sound Notifications

Sound Amplifier

Hearing aid support

Real-time text (RTT)

Explore Android accessibility apps and services

Android Links.
Android Authority – Best Android Apps for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
Blindness Support Services – Android Apps
Access World Magazine – Android Apps addressing Low Vision.


iOS Operating System.

iOS - Logo.Apple - Logo.Apple iPhone 12 - Image.

Apple iPad 11" - Image.

iOS is a Mobile Operating System created and developed by Apple Inc exclusively for it’s hardware. It is the operating system that presently powers many of the company's mobile devices, including the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
The latest version of iOS and iPadOS, on January 2021, is 14.4.

iOS Accessibility features for the Visually Impaired.
VoiceOver - is a gesture-based screen reader that lets you enjoy using iPhone even if you don’t see the screen.

VoiceOver Gestures.

VoiceOver and Text Input.

VoiceOver and the Rotor.

VoiceOver Braille Keyboard.

VoiceOver and Pronunciation Editor.

Updated Audio Descriptions.

Display Accommodations.



Speak Screen.

Control Center.


Siri - iOS Voice Command Assistant.

iOS Appsfor the Visually Impaired.
Below are links to websites featuring lists of useful iOS Apps for theVisually Impaired.
AppleVis - iOS Apps Developed Specifically for Blind or Low Vision Users.
App Advice - Apps For Blind And Visually Impaired
eWeek - 10 iPhone Apps Designed to Assist the Visually Impaired

Mobile Apps.

There are an estimated 290 million mobile apps available worldwide, with the bulk being on the Android’s ‘Google Play Store’ and the rest on the Apple’s iOS ‘App Store’.
Though a wide variety of these Apps would be used for business, education, finance, entertainment, travel as well as news and social media purposes, and would be accessible to visually impaired users, we only list Apps which were specifically developed to support that community in their day to day living challenges.
Clicking on a category will link to a web page listing available Apps which cater for such functions.
Book Readers. 

There are 3 types of Book Readers.

Communication Apps.
Mobile Communication Apps enable visually impaired, hearing and print disabled individuals to interact and communicate with people in business, education and social media platforms.

Dictation Apps.
Dictation and voice recognition enables text input and voice commands on mobile devices.

Document Readers.
Mobile Document Reader Apps  use Optical character recognition software   OCR)  to convert single or multiple page images, handwritten or printed text into machine-encoded text, whether from a scanned document, a photo of a document, a scene-photo, (for example the text on signs and billboards), and then read it to the user.

Educational apps  are  used in teaching and training visually impaired persons in skills that will empower them to compete in the workplace, enable independence in daily living and be accepted as respected members of their community.

Mobile Identifier Apps are single or multi function software applications for Mobile Devices to assist visually impaired users in recognising PEOPLE AND objects, text, colours, currency and scenery descriptions.

A Mobile Magnifier App is a software application that uses the mobile device’s camera and shows the magnified image on the screen.

Mobile Navigation Apps are software applications for Mobile Devices to guide a visually impaired person to a destination using GPS co-ordinates.


Although the Mobile Operating Systems include on-screen keyboards for typing text messages, notes and documents, special adaptive and Braille keyboard apps simplify this action for people with disabilities.
In addition remote Bluetooth QWERTY and Braille, as well as USB, keyboards can be used with Smart Devices.

Miscellaneous Apps.
This category includes Apps which, although not necessarily developed for visually impaired users, is of assistance to that community.

Back to the top.