Monday, 18 January 2016

iOS Apps for the Visually Impaired: AccessNote

Hello everyone and welcome to my video.

I have created a 12 minute video about AccessNote which has been created by the American Foundation for the Blind and it is very accessible. 

It is free to download

It works seamlessly with VoiceOver, it connects to bluetooth qwerty keyboards and braille displays. 

Because of this, it has several keyboard shortcuts that you can use to control it. 

In this video, I focus on the basic features of the app and I don't use a bluetooth keyboard- that will be the focus of a separate video.

If you want to read a transcript of the whole video, please find it below.

Start of transcript

Hello everyone and welcome to my video.

In this video I am going to be doing a demonstration of an iOS app called Access Note.

I am running this app on iOS 9.2, on a third generation iPad.

Access note is an app that has been created by the American foundation for the Blind.

By doing this American foundation for the blind believe that this is a note taking app  that will allow  blind and visually impaired people to use the same iOS devices as their friends.

So let’s go into the App Store so that I can take you through the process of searching for it and downloading it.

In the top right hand corner of the App Store, in the search box type in AccessNote- spell it using a capital A for Access and a capital N for note. And type it as one word.

It should be the only app that appears. You will have a blue button labelled +Get but because I have already downloaded it my button says +Open.

Once you have downloaded it, it is now time to turn on VoiceOver, the screen reader.

You can do this via the Settings menu, then select General then Accessibility, VoiceOver then touch the button to turn it on.

With the screenreader turned on it is always a balancing act to try and not talk at the same time.

Some of its features include;

It has been designed specifically to work with the screen reader in IOS called VoiceOver.

Accessible via a Qwerty keyboard and also refreshable Braille display keyboards.

Powerful search functions

Cursor tracking that starts where you left off.

Lots of specific keyboard commands that mean that note taking gets done faster.

It can import notes in the .txt format and it can display notes in the .brf format.

Notes can also be imported via a Dropbox account and also via email attachments.


Description of the Home Screen

The main part of the screen is a list of all the notes that have been created.

In the top right hand corner of the screen is the “add” button, followed by the “sync” button to synchronise notes with the Dropbox account.

Next is the search field. You can search across all your notes or in one note.

At the bottom of the screen are three more buttons- “settings”, “favourites” and “help”.

In the settings menu you can change the font size, setting up Dropbox, adjust the tilt sensitivity, toggle Spellcheck and keystrokes and choose how your notes are ordered.

When you are in a note, the first button is the “Back” button. Next is an action button which brings up a separate menu.

“find in note” brings up the tool for searching for text in your note.

“Toggle Favourite”

E-mail as text

Email as attachment





Another button at the top of the note is for “Reading in Review” mode. Editing and therefore the keyboard are disabled in this read only mode.

And that is it. My brief overview of the iOS app Access Note. I will record other videos about Access Note in which I will look at how you can use some keyboard shortcuts and another feature called Quick Nav.

These options require a bluetooth keyboard to be linked to the iPad.

Thanks for watching. If you have any questions, or if you want to join in the discussion, please do so below.

I would love to hear from you and so if you are using another note taking app that works very well with VoiceOver, please share it.

End of video transcript

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