AssistiveTouch: A Magic Dot for Learners

Every iPad includes built-in #accessibility features that complement students' vision, hearing, physical motor, and speech. In this post you’ll learn how the feature of AssistiveTouch can support motor, literacy, focus, and communication for every learner. 

In my own teaching and learning, I have experienced how this feature can be a "magic dot" for the earliest learners and a functional tool to help older learners effectively access the tools they need and enhance their skills. 

Enhancing Classwide Learning

To promote learning for all, AssistiveTouch allows quick access to various tools. With a single tap on the grey dot, learners can access the top level menu on iPad. They can then customize the top level menu for low motor and cognitive access to tools, such as camera, screenshot, the control center, and more. As an educator, you can also use AssistiveTouch as a pointer — moving it around iPad as an indication of what learners should focus on during instruction. 

For more information on how to setup and use AssistiveTouch on iPad, watch this helpful Apple support video: How to use Assistive Touch on your iPhone or iPad

Applying this feature to help little hands

To have early learners use this feature during a lesson, say “Touch your magic dot one time.” Then teach learners to find the image that corresponds with the ask and touch that one time, for example, to screenshot during a lesson.


AssistiveTouch Top Level Menu with Screenshot action circled in yellow.
AssistiveTouch Top Level Menu

Customizing AssistiveTouch for Accessibility

To further support a wide range of learning needs, AssistiveTouch allows for customization based on the number of taps (single tap, double tap, triple tap). This feature is especially useful for learners who have difficulty pressing buttons or using standard gestures. As learners grow, they can choose what custom actions would be most effective for them. For example, a double tap could be set up to activate Background Sounds to focus, Speak Screen to read a passage aloud, or LiveSpeech for communication. 

Watch how AssistiveTouch can be customized for accessibility and used to access communication through LiveSpeech in this CBS clip: Nonspeaking Autistic woman embarks on journey to advocate for disability rights.

Let's Discuss

By integrating AssistiveTouch into everyday teaching and learning, you can create a more accessible and inclusive learning environment that empowers everyone to succeed. So let's discuss: How will you optimize using the "magic dot" of AssistiveTouch into teaching and learning practices?

2 replies

July 10, 2024

Having the camera in the "magic dot" is perfect for my science lab! Accessibility...great for all. Thank you for sharing.

July 14, 2024

I love that background sounds is an option in Assistive Touch! This is a must add to support regulation in learning!

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