How the Visually Impaired Community Can Use Flipboard

Inside Flipboard / May 21, 2015

Did you know that Flipboard is accessible to people who are visually impaired? We believe all people should have access to everything from current events to great stories around trends or topics they want to keep up on, which is why early on our developers ensured that Flipboard could be read out loud and navigated using additional gestures.

On this Global Accessibility Awareness Day, it’s the perfect time to review how Flipboard can be used without visual input:

On iOS, go to your Settings > General > Accessibility and make sure VoiceOver is turned on. (You can also go to Accessibility Shortcut to turn the VoiceOver on and off with three clicks of your device’s home button, or ask Siri to do it for you.) Once VoiceOver is on, open Flipboard and the voice will begin reading your Flipboard to you. You can navigate your Flipboard with left and right gestures. You can also swipe up with three fingers to flip to the next page or use the escape gesture (a two-fingered “Z”) to quit out of your current action on Flipboard.

On Android, turn on TalkBack in Settings > Accessibility. Once it’s enabled, spoken feedback begins immediately.

On Web, enable the assistive technology of your choice on the desktop and browse in the browser.

On Apple Watch, VoiceOver can be switched on in three different ways. One is Apple Watch Companion App on iPhone > General > Accessibility. The other is on the Watch itself through Settings > General > Accessibility, or ask Siri to do it for you. Once VoiceOver is on, Flipboard on the Watch works the same as Flipboard on iPhone: swipe left and right to switch between items on screen and two-finger swipe to scroll.

For further reading about assistive technologies, check out the Flipboard magazine called Sensory Digest: Science & Technology by curator Steven Hill. Hill is an ex-teacher who now works for the UK charity Sense, where he specializes in the care and education of people with sensory impairment and related special needs (deaf-blind).

~The Flipboard Team

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