Read with an iPad / iPhone

We love iPads!

We love Apple products because they are fully accessible. They have built in accessibility tools which means  that someone with sight loss can use these tools, without the need to buy any additional  software.

All file types on RNIB Bookshare can be used on an Apple device with use of various free apps, iBooks and braille dispalys as needed.

iPad accessibility tools

You can find out more about Apple accessibility features. There are 2 main tools we will mention: 

1.  Voiceover. Hear a description of everything happening on your screen, from battery level to who’s calling to which app your finger is on. You can also adjust the speaking rate and pitch to suit you.  VoiceOver is integrated in iOS and iPadOS so it works with all the built-in iPad apps.

2. Zoom. Zoom is a built-in screen magnifier that works wherever you are on your iPad. And it works with all apps from the App Store. You can adjust the magnification between 100 and 1500 percent and access multiple filter options in either view. While you’re zoomed in, you can use all the familiar gestures to navigate your iPad. And Zoom works with VoiceOver, so you can better see — and hear — what’s happening on your screen.

Reading apps

There a few different accessible reading apps you can use. They will vary slightly so, for instance, if you don't like the voice in one, try another.

Other apps

Apple-Vis is a website for blind and partially sighted users of Apple products. It is a great source of information on exploring ways in which Apple products and related applications can offer opportunities blind and partially sighted users. You can find out about latest and best apps. They also have a host of user written support on 'how to' thats really useful.

Reading with iBooks

Newer iPad’s allow you to download a book from RNIB Bookshare, through Safari, and then save it directly into the iBooks app. Making it quick and easy for the learner to access whenever they need to.

Older iPads may require you to download the book using your PC and use iTunes to sync your bookshelf content with the iBooks app on your iPad - in order for the book to remain saved in iBooks after you've closed the app. If you don’t already have iTunes installed it can be downloaded for free from Apple UK.

Using a learner account:

  1. open Safari web browser
  2. your learner logs into RNIB Bookshare
  3. they search for the book they need 
  4. they download the book in PDF format
  5. the book will open in a new browser window
  6. select “open in iBooks”
  7. the book is now saved in iBooks for your learner to access as required.

Using a staff account:

  1. open Safari web browser
  2. log into RNIB Bookshare
  3. search for the book your learner needs
  4. download the book in PDF format
  5. the book will open in a new browser window
  6. select “open in iBooks”
  7. the book is now saved on your learners iBooks bookshelf for them to access as required

Syncing with iTunes using a PC:

  • open the web browser and log into RNIB Bookshare
  • search for the book your learner needs
  • download the book in PDF format
  • open your learner's iTunes account 
  • you’ll find it easier to display the sidebar menu from “View, Show Sidebar” 
  • select “Books”  from the left hand menu
  • navigate to where the PDF file is stored on the computer
  • the PDF file can simply be dragged into the “iBooks” library 
  • connect your learner’s iPad to the computer. It will appear on the left hand menu under “Devices”
  • select the name of your iPad 
  • select “Sync” to transfer the files
  • the PDF file will now be available from the iBooks bookshelf.

Related Help Centre articles and pages

How do I download PDF's?
How do I open EPUB books on my iPhone/iPad?

Want to contact us? Request help or Call us: 0300 303 8313 Hours: M-F 9 am to 5 pm

RNIB Bookshare, Royal National Institute of Blind People
Midgate House - Floor 1, Midgate, Peterborough, PE1 1TN