Accessible Aging: Building independence and freedom with iPad and iPhone.


Book Cover with iPad and Accessibility symbol. Accessible Aging: Building independence and freedom with iPad and iPhone.
Book Cover

It can be challenging to share information about the accessibility features in iOS in a way that our aging family and friends can navigate. Web links can be overwhelming and not necessarily support the unique need. This resource was created straight from the heart. Independence and connections are so important as we support our friends and family members with accessibility needs. Working with our own family members to support their levels of independence, we found it challenging to capture the power of iOS accessibility features in a way that our family members could navigate. It is our hope that this resource will help share the power of iOS accessibility in a “one-stop” format to support dynamic accessibility needs. This resource also has a printable version linked in the book.

About This Resource

“Don’t let temporary, permanent, or circumstantial disability put a damper on your freedom to connect and communicate with others! iPad and iPhone are amazing personalized devices equipped with build accessibility features to support you in many tasks and can help you sustain a level of independence right for you! There are 4 general access categories that Apple uses to structure its accessibility features. Vision, Motor, Hearing, and General. We added a Communication category too. Within each general category, you will find the accessibility features that can transform your independence. Each feature is described in a 4 part fashion (What, How, Learn, and Try). On each feature page, you will learn about what it is, who can benefit, Apple Support page link with explicit instructions, suggestions on what to focus on, and quick steps to move forward and try the feature.”

Accessible Aging: Building independence and freedom with iPad and iPhone.

We hope this resource has an impact!

Melissa Piette and Tammy Trzebiatowski

All Replies

Posted on September 10, 2022

Melissa and Tammy, I really appreciate your book and its title! Good tips and helpful information for all on the accessible features on iPhone and iPad. And so good for us all to understand how we can help make devices enjoyable and enriching for everyone no matter the age!

Things I’ve found helpful especially for folks who have cognitive issues and may be confused on how to answer a call (beside using Siri voice) is to have the iPhone automatically answer calls. This is great when you are calling to check on someone, the iPhone or FaceTime will automatically pickup and you can speak to them. Set up like this:

  • Important first to turn on Silence Unknown CallersSettings > Phone, then scroll down, tap Silence Unknown Callers, and turn on the feature.
  • Next set up the Auto Answer: Go to “Settings > Accessibility > Touch > Call Audio Routing, then choose an audio destination. Tap Auto-Answer Calls, turn on Auto-Answer Calls, then set the duration of time [e.g two rings] before the call is answered

In addition, having a HomePod mini (ours is bright orange!) and the Home App, lights are turned on and off with Siri voice control - especially helpful when those light switches are hard to identify. Of course music can be to played this way among many other things.

Find My and Tags are helpful for finding those frequently misplaced items or devices.

And using Center Stage on FaceTime calls for visits from family to those who are home bound makes dinner time visits with remote family members very enjoyable.

Posted on September 10, 2022

Thanks Cheryl, I love these additions! So many possibilities. How can we all capture more “Stories of Access”? I feel like those are especially powerful and could help others especially those who may be more hesitant to try using something different or new.

Posted on September 13, 2022

Thank you Melissa and Tammy for this wonderful resource! One of the things I love about Accessibility is how it reaches far and wide to all ages. It reminds me of the day I showed my parents how to increase the font size of their messages. 😊

Posted on December 14, 2022

Thanks, Kyle! We can not agree more that accessibility is for everyone! Yes, even changing the font size as my eyes age is a game-changer while using my cell phone. ☺️ So happy you find this resource valuable. We currently have a student who spends time with our aging community members at our local YMCA teaching adults about the accessibility features on their iPhones. He has shared this resource with them and they have appreciated the content. Happy to make these connections for these individuals.

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