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VoiceOver on Apple iDevices

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This section applies to both BraillePen 12 and BraillePen Slim. iDevices can connect to BraillePen Slim since the release of iPhone OS 4.3.


To pair your BraillePen Slim or BraillePen 12 with your iDevice:

You will only need to perform this exercise once; once paired, unless you reset your iDevice, it will know about your BraillePen indefinitely.

On the iDevice, in Settings, General, page down to accessibility, then go to VoiceOver and then down to Braille. Switch on the BraillePen 12 using space + dots 1,3.

Once you hear the triple-beep on the BraillePen 12, it will appear in the list of Braille devices to choose from; its name will begin with BP 12 in the list of discovered devices. Single-tap the device name to select it; double-tap the device name to initiate the pairing.

You will be taken to a passcode entry screen; enter the passcode 1234. Use a single tap to select each digit and then a double-tap to enter it. Then single-tap Pair to select it and double-tap to activate. It is important to enter the passcode and complete the process within the short time allowed.

You will hear a single beep to tell you that BraillePen 12 is now connected to the iDevice.


iDevices Affected

iPod touch (3rd generation), iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS (8GB), iPod touch (4th generation), iPad 2.

When using a BraillePen12 with VoiceOver using iOS 4.1 or later, or a BraillePen Slim using iOS 4.3 or later, you can use the following key commands, or chords, to navigate.



VoiceOver action BraillePen 12 Joystick and Pan keys
Move to previous itemJoystick Left
Move to next item Joystick Right
Move to previous item using rotor setting Joystick Up
Move to next item using rotor setting Joystick Down
Select item under your finger Joystick Enter
Pan Braille to the left Pan left
Pan Braille to the rightPan right
VoiceOver actionBraillePen Keystroke
Move to previous itemspace + dot 1
Move to next itemspace + dot 4
Move to previous item using rotor settingspace + dot 3
Move to next item using rotor settingspace + dot 6
Select previous rotor settingspace + dots 2, 3
Select next rotor settingspace + dots 5, 6
Move to the first elementspace + dots 1, 2, 3
Move to the last elementspace + dots 4, 5, 6
Read page starting at selected itemspace + dots 1, 2, 3, 5
Read page starting at the topspace + dots 2, 4, 5, 6
Activate the Home buttonspace + dots 1, 2, 5
Go to the Status barspace + dots 2, 3, 4
Activate the Volume Up button space + dots 3, 4, 5
Activate the Volume Down button space + dots 1, 2, 6
Activate the Back button if present space + dots 1, 2
Activate the Eject key space + dots 3, 4
Activate the Delete key space + dots 1, 4, 5
Activate the Backspace key shift + space
Activate the Return key (new line) space + dots 1, 5 or

ctrl + space
Activate the Return key (choose)space + dots 3, 6
Activate the Tab key space + dots 2, 3, 4, 5
Toggle Screen Curtain on and off space + dots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Pause or Continue speech space + dots 1, 2, 3, 4
Toggle speech on and off space + dots 1, 3, 4
Scroll left one page space + dots 2, 4, 6
Scroll right one page space + dots 1, 3, 5
Select textspace + dots 2, 5, 6
Copy selection space + dots 1, 4
Cut selectionspace + dots 1, 3, 4, 6
Pastespace + dots 1, 2, 3, 6
Deselect text space + dots 2, 3, 5
Select allspace + dots 2, 3, 5, 6
Pan Braille to the left space + dot 2
Pan Braille to the right space + dot 5
Display announcement history space + dots 1, 3, 4, 5
Toggle Braille output between 6-dot, 8-dot and contracted space + dots 1, 2, 4, 5
Toggle Braille input between 6-dot, 8-dot and contractedspace + dots 2, 3, 6


Getting to know the iPhone

To go to the speech, VoiceOver, practice area: Settings, General, page down to Accessibility, VoiceOver, and practice. Press the Home Button when you have finished practising.

Function Key or Gesture
Switch on or off Hold down power button for 5 seconds
Unlock iPhone Right swipe bottom of screen
Explore icons One finger right or left swipe or one finger touch and
move about screen
Turn speech off or on Three presses home button
Stop or start podcast/video Two finger tap anywhere
Privacy screen curtain on or off Three finger triple tap
Turn app switcher on or off (just four icons per
screen, less confusing)
Double tap home button
Volume control Two rectangular buttons top left side
Read strength of phone signal Very top left of screen
Read time Middle of very top of screen
Battery strength Right of very top of screen
Rotary choices (words or characters, links or headings
and so on)
Two fingers, like turning a knob
Reset iPhone Hold the home button and press the power button (you
don't lose date)


Handy hints

Editing your text in a note or text message

  • Set your Rotor to Characters using space + dots 2,3 or space + dots 5,6.
  • Then use the „move using rotor settings” keystroke: space + dot 3 to move left, and space + dot 6 to move right.
  • The standard movement keystrokes – space + dot 1 and space + dot 4 – will still move you from element to element within the Notes app or the Messaging app.


Selecting text to copy/cut/paste

Using the rotor settings (space 2, 3 or space 5, 6) select the steps by which you want to select text (characters, words, or lines) and then use following keystrokes:

  • Select text: space + dots 2, 5, 6
  • Deselect text: space + dots 2, 3, 5


Placing the cursor in the right position before you select a desired fragment is a bit tricky.

When you move from left to right by word, you will hear the word you want to begin your selection from. Before you press space + dots 2, 5, 6, you will need to push Joystick Up to place the cursor at the beginning of your selection. Now you can begin highlighting your word(s).

Note: When you move from right to left, you can begin selecting once you hear the word you want to start your selection from. Upon selecting text, press space + dots 1 4 for copying, or space + dots 1 3 4 6 for pasting. When you copy your selection, VoiceOver reads it out and says Selected. Now you can move your insertion point to the location where you want to paste your selection. Press space + dots 1 2 3 6 for paste.

Should for some reason the keystrokes for copying/cutting/pasting did not work for you, you can change the Rotor Settings to Edit, then by pressing Joystick Up go to Copy or Cut, and push Joystick Enter.

Your next step is to paste the selection to a new location. Using the Rotor Settings, switch to Words, move the cursor to your required location, change the Rotor Settings back to Edit and using the Joystick down or up select Paste. Eventually, push Joystick Enter and your selection will be pasted. Having finished this operation, go back to the navigation steps (Words/Character/Lines) to continue to edit your document.


Using BraillePen with Webpages in Safari on iOS devices

1.Entering a URL:

When you run Safari, the focus sits on the last item when you left off. You need then go to top with space dots 1 2 3, and then arrow towards the address bar with space 4 or space 5. The latter is faster because it does not advance the information on the Braille display (in case of BP 12). Once you land on the address bar, push Joystick Enter or space 3 6 twice to activate the text field. If there is no previous Website, you can start typing your URL, otherwise you need to delete the current address. The most effective way is to select all and then overwrite it with new text.

To select text, press space dots 2 3 5 6 and push Joystick Enter or space 3 6. Alternatively you can change your Rotor Settings to Edit, push Joystick Up or press space 3 until you hear select all and then either push Joystick Enter or press space dots 3 6.

Your text gets selected and you can type a new URL. For dots (or periods) use dots 4 6 when in the uncontracted Braille mode, or dots 256 when in the contracted Braille mode. When your URL is complete press Selection Enter (Joystick Enter or space dots 1 5). Now you can begin browsing your newly open page. Use different navigation combinations of space with dots 1, 4, 3, or 6.


2. Navigating Webpages:

Use rotor settings to change between available options: Heading, Link, Form Controls, Characters, Words, Lines, or Containers. Whatever your selection VO will announce how many of them are available on the particular Webpage.

Use space 3 or space 6 to navigate by your selected steps. Even if the focus is on the task bar, once you press one of the above combinations it will be automatically moved to the first item, e.g. the first heading.

Once you hear an item of your interest you can press space 2 or space 5 to navigate through elements that belong to your item, e.g. You have found a heading, now you want to check information under this heading. Or you are at top of a list, and now you want to browse the list.

When you land on a link that interests you, select it by pressing space dots 3 6.

To go back a Webpage, press space dots 1 2 3, to the Back button on your browser and press Enter.

Whenever the Reader is available VO will announce it (to see an example of how the Reader works go to www.aph.org/training/index.html). You can navigate to it by using space dot 4 and activate it by pressing Joystick Enter or space dots 3 6. A page with text in a simplified format pops up and VO begins to read the content automatically. You can stop it using space dots 1 2 3 4, and resume reading with space dots 1 2 3 5. As VO is reading text, it informs you if text is a heading or a link. All the links are active so you can follow them by pushing Joystick Enter.

Again depending on your Rotor Settings selection you can navigate the page using space dots 3 or 6 and then space dots 2 and 4 to read the content of the page.