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Apple accessibility for inclusive learning

Exceptional learning that caters to all needs.

Apple accessibility for inclusive learning

Exceptional learning that caters to all needs.

Addressing the SEND challenge

It’s vital that teachers are able to provide SEND students with the means to access the curriculum, both in their school and remotely. In the past, expensive, single-function devices have been the only option for young people with disabilities. Not only does this cost a lot, it’s difficult for schools to address the individual needs of every student without singling them out in lessons. Apple are here to change that, building accessibility features directly into their Mac desktops and notebooks, smartphones and tablets so students can make their voice heard using the same device as their peers.

In a nutshell…

Give SEND students equal, personalised access to the curriculum.

Reduce specialist hardware costs by replacing single-use devices with iPad, Macs and apps.

Provide pupils and families with resources to support learning and development.

Support the remote delivery of personalised learning plans.

Why support SEND students with Apple?

Great tools for all abilities

Every student has a right to a quality education. In our experience, Apple devices – from iPhone to Mac – have accessibility features that let everyone communicate and learn. From screen readers to colour filters to customisable touch controls that can be tailored to each student's mobility needs, Apple devices come with accessibility features built in, so students can work on the same device as their peers in every lesson, no matter what the task.

Student working from home on a MacBook


iPad is a powerful assistive device, helping people with disabilities experience and engage with lessons like never before. Blind students can use Voice Over to hear exactly what’s on the screen – including describing images – while using gestures or a Braille display to navigate menus. Deaf students can connect hearing aids to iPhone and iPad, while Assistive Touch and Voice Control support those with restricted mobility. What’s more, all the features are customisable to the unique needs of individual students.

Accessibility tools on iPad

Activate Magnifier to use your iPad's camera as a magnifying glass.

Students can ask Siri to read back key text to them.

Set up and customise touch controls so that students don't have to swipe, pinch or scroll.

Set visual alerts so Deaf students don't miss key message

Use iPad to boost the performance of hearing aids.


Like iPad, Mac comes with assistive technology built in. Blind or low vision students can use the screen reader or magnification to read the screen easier, while Deaf students can take advantage of FaceTime or iMessage just like on iPad. And for those who can’t use a mouse and keyboard, Switch Control and voice commands mean they can find other ways to experience learning on Mac.

Accessibility tools on Mac

Ask Siri to read back text and spell out words.

Magnify and colour filter text for dyslexic students.

Customise gestures and voice commands to suit everyone's communication abilities.

Customise the sound levels in each headphone to support individual students' hearing.

Non-verbal students can use Scribble to convert their notes into typed text for Siri to read.

Support for Braille input and reading.

“The children find it a really natural way to work. We’ve worked to make sure they feel empowered, like they can be iPad champions and lead the initiative as well as their teachers.”

Graham Quinn, CEO, New Bridge Multi-Academy Trust

Screenshots to show accessibility tools

How we help

iPad and Mac are crucial assistive devices, with accessibility technology built in to help students with a range of differing SEND needs access the curriculum and become independent learners. This is why we believe Apple devices are the best choice for institutions. It’s much more affordable than specialist equipment, and as an Apple Authorised Education Specialist we can help you roll them out for even less. We can also help you find the best software for assisting SEND students and implement those solutions into the curriculum. Once you have your devices and apps, we can provide school-wide training and one-on-one mentoring for teachers as they learn to embed this new technology into their lessons, from screen magnifiers to PECS systems and beyond.

“After two years of struggling to encourage one pupil to use specialist equipment, she was given the opportunity to have an iPad in school. She now uses this daily to access the interactive whiteboard and her near work. Her confidence has returned and, unlike when she was using the specialist equipment, she is now able to sit with her friends in the classroom, rather than away from them.” 

Birmingham Sensory Support

How we helped New Bridge MAT

New Bridge Multi Academy Trust is formed of five schools and caters for young people with a statement of SEND or an EHCP. They wanted a 1:1 iPad deployment to support students and training for teachers.

We helped them develop a vision for the programme using our Leading Innovation Programme, which gave them a deep understanding of the role iPad could play in their teaching. The training programme we set up ensures teachers continue to use iPad effectively, and the sustainable leasing model means staff and students always have access to the latest technology.

Student working on an iPad at New Bridge Trust

Learn more about Apple’s assistive technologies

If you want to know more about how Mac and iPad can support disabled students, get in touch with our team for a chat by filling out the form.

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