Apple recently released iOS 8, the latest software update for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. This is a free software update for iDevice users that includes many new features for accessibility and assistive technologies for people with reading disabilities, dyslexia, low vision, blindness, and others with reading troubles.

One such feature is called Speak Screen which allows users to quickly and easily have content on the screen read for them. Unlike older versions, it does not require any highlighting; rather, users can ask Siri to “speak the screen” to start the feature. Another exciting accessibility update is for the acclaimed screen reader, VoiceOver. VoiceOver users can now enter text using a system-wide virtual Braille keyboard. Finally, all accessibility features that use speech will now be able to use the Alex text-to-speech voice already included on the Mac.

Apple's New iOS 8 Has Several Big Accessibility Improvements


The hope for these updates is that assistive app makers will be able to take advantage of these new features to help people with various learning needs. We'll continue to keep you advised of exciting new developer features in iOS as they emerge.

To learn more about the update, visit Assistive Technology Blog.