Photo of waitress standing behind the counter at a coffee shop.

Using VoiceOver with Book Creator: A Blind Student’s Experience

Creating accessible O&M experience books using the Book Creator app.

As a part of one of my secondary student’s summer school assignment, one of she created the first half of an iBook about her community mobility based field trip to the local coffees shop using the app Book Creator, which is a digital book creating app that is accessible with Zoom and Voice Over.  My student used primarily Voice Over to create the book below.  You can find the videos of her using the Book Creator app to create her book below.  I will share the details of my student’s insights under the linked videos below:

Learning to Navigate Book Creator App Using Voice Over and Adding a photo:

In the video below, my student was able to use her index finger to activate Voice Over to navigate through the design feature options to insert the photos and text. My student felt that this was easily attainable if you had a solid understanding of the Voice Over gestures.  As her Teacher of the Visually Impaired I noticed that Voice Over responded quickly with no delays. As we were re-sizing the photos, we did notice that Voice Over did not work with the resizing. My student did end up asking me to help her resize since there was almost no accessibility option available to her to complete this task.

Typing Text Using Voice Over:

Editor’s Note: The video clip below demonstrates a middle school student typing using the on-screen iPad keyboard running VoiceOver.  The visually impaired student combines VoiceOver with her functional vision as she types text for her Book Creator Coffee Shop book.  This student has the iPad’s typing mode set to Standard Typing. Leaning close to the iPad’s screen, she visually looks in the general area of the desired character and before directly tapping the desired character.  She taps the character with her the appropriate index finger, listens for VoiceOver to announce the character and then double taps with her left index finger.

As my student was adding text, she reflected that she was able to easily add text to her book by hovering over each letter to activate the Voice Over feature, which is typical of Voice Over gestures.  She and I both agreed that the student needs to be confident in their ability to navigate the iPad in order to complete the tasks in Book Creator with Voice Over. 

You can view the draft form of my student’s book in the video below.

Editor’s Note: The video clip is the video version of the three pages in the student’s Book Creator book. The first page has a photo of the waitress behind the pastry counter and the text, “A mobility trip to the coffee shop.”   The second page has a photo of the pastry counter with cinnamon rolls, turn-overs and muffinsthe text, “I like the cinnamon roll, but it needed a little more icing.”  The third page has a photo of a shelf in the refrigerator with various juice bottles with the text, “I like the cranberry juice.”

In Part II of this blog, we will share my student and I’s insight on completing the book and navigating through it using Voice Over.

Editor’s Note:  To view Julie’s other posts about Book Creator, go to:

Adapting iBooks for Children with Multiple Disabilities: Book Creator App

Book Creator App to iBooks

By Julie Johnson

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