Special Needs Features

April 2012-

Disabling the Home Button

I hear many requests for disabling the home button when working with students who quickly use tap Home Button to leave an educational app or are highly impulsive. This document describes how you can do that.....but a warning.......the Home Button is disabled not only for the student, but for you also!  The only way to leave an app is to complete a hard shut-down (hold the power button at the top of the device until you see the message "slide to power off"). Power the device back on, but the home button is disabled again as soon as you open the first app. The only way to reset the device to act normally is to uninstall the new profile.

Another alternative is to use Bubcaps a stick-on protective cover for the home button.


Built-in Special Needs Features (for 4G devices)

Personalize Features in Settings>Accessibilty
CAUTION! Turning VoiceOver and other accessibility settings on affects the way the iPad interacts with your touch. Please read the information in the Settings Accessibility Menu carefully.


VoiceOver: Touch the screen to hear a description of the item under your
finger with the world’s first gesture-based screen reader.

Zoom: Magnify the entire screen of any application up to five times normal
size and move left, right, up, and down to view any portion of
the screen up close.

White on Black: For higher contrast, you can change the display to white on black.

Large Text: Increases font up to 56 pt in Mail & Notes

Mono Audio: If your hearing is limited in one ear, turn on Mono Audio to route
audio into one earbud, so you can select which side to channel the audio


Speak Selection:  The Speak Selection option can be switched on or off. When switched on, you can select on-screen text by holding your finger on the text until you see a "magnifying glass". Release your finger and then tap a Speak button to hear the text spoken. You may also drag the "selection" window to include a sentence, paragraph or "Select All" to read the entire page.

Using this feature does not require you to use a different method to access the device or apps like when using VoiceOver.

Speak Auto-text: Automatically speaks auto-corrections and auto-capitalizations


AssistiveTouch- If your students have difficulty touching the device’s screen, try AssistiveTouch. Switch it on, and a target-like icon appears on screen. Tap it, and a gray overlay window appears from which you can select Gestures, Device, Home, and Favorites icons. Tap Gestures and you can choose to control your device with two to five fingers—helpful when you have little finger dexterity. Tap Device, and such common button commands as Mute, Rotate Screen, Lock Screen, Volume Up, Volume Down, and Shake appear on screen. Tap the command you want to invoke. Tap the virtual Home button to be taken to the home screen. Tap the Favorites icon to access gestures you’ve created.

You create these gestures by enabling AssistiveTouch and then tapping the Create New Gesture entry at the bottom of the screen. In the screen that appears, use up to five fingers to swipe or tap out a gesture. You can then activate one of these gestures from AssistiveTouch’s Favorites menu.


Triple-Click Home- This setting, aimed at people who will use the device’s accessibility features, allows you to configure what a triple-click of the Home button does. The options include Off, Toggle VoiceOver, Toggle White On Black, Toggle Zoom, Toggle AssistiveTouch, and Ask.