All posts by Rolf

UserWay accessibility widget installed

I came across this excellent little widget for my website to help accessibility:

Please give it a try and let me know how it works: It’s a wheelchair user button on the right hand side of the screen – just tap/click it!

If you are interested in installing it onto your WordPress site you might want to download another widget that allows you to insert the code needed for UserWay: “Insert Headers and Footers“.

Any feedback welcome, I look forward to hearing from you!


LEGO Mindstorms EV3 on Wifi

When you want to try your program on your Lego Mindstorms robot, you need to download it onto the EV3 brick. This works fine with the USB cable or Bluetooth (I tried it with an iPad). However, if you want to use Wifi you will need a Wifi dongle, since this part of the electronics is not included in the EV3 brick. There is not much to find on the Lego website about this and apparently there is only one very big dongle that is officially compatible with Lego.

Here the link to a website that offers an alternative. I have not tried it yet, will try this week and will post an update when I know if it works…

Using your iPad as an accessible camera

We probably all have seen people using their iPad as a camera. With it’s huge screen (compared to a normal camera) it can make it easier to see what you would like to take a photo of.

There a different ways to take photos with an iPad (or other iOs devices). For example, you tap the red button on the screen, or you use the volume up or the volume down button (which acts as a shutter switch when the camera app is open). This last option is quite helpful if you want to press the shutter without touching the iPad to avoid blurred images when you iPad is on a tripod and you have long exposure times: Just use a headset with volume control as a cabled shutter switch. You can even buy cable shutter switches on eBay, etc.

I just discovered a new way: Using Assistive Touch, one of the many accessibility options that come with iOS. Now usually Assistive Touch opens a window in the centre of the screen with the accessibility options (see older post on screen shots with one hand). This wouldn’t help much in making it easier to use this option as an accessible shutter.

But when you change the Assistive Touch options to only one action (increase volume), the assistive touch button that you can place anywhere on the screen, does this action without popping up a window in the middle of the screen. And voila, you have a shutter button you can place on the screen wherever you like.



Step by step instructions:

Open the Settings app and go to General/Accessibility/AssistiveTouch


Tap “Customise Top Level Menu…)


Tap the (-) button until only one icon remains.


Tap the icon to change its action and choose Volume down (or up).


Go back to the AssistiveTouch settings and switch it on. Voila, your shutter is ready to go. The button will just the volume as set and only work as a shutter when you have opened the Camera app. Place it anywhere on the screen where you can reach it best.


Single handed access to the iPad

Gestures PinchMany of users with a disability have only one hand available to interact with their iPad, be it because of a stroke or another disability. Also it can be quite difficult to perform some of the gestures needed for the iPad using the working hand, e.g. the pinch gesture for zooming in and out of images and maps.

Here some tips how to interact with some apps using only one hand and easy gestures:

Zooming in and out (making the display bigger/smaller)

In maps you would normally use the pinching gesture to zoom in and out of the map. Here some tips for one handed, easy alternatives:

Screen shot iOS maps

Using iOS maps you can zoom in (make things bigger) with a one-finger double tap. Zooming out (make things smaller) works with a single two-finger tap. Same works with Google Maps and Google Earth.

Looking at photos you only tap with one finger: one-finger double tab zooms both in and out.

Taking a screen shot

Please take a look at my post on the Skitch app. This allows you to take screen shots of images, maps and websites using an in-app screen button: Taking and sharing iPad screenshots with one finger…