iOS 6 Accessibility Feature: Guided Access

Apple's iPad sports some excellent accessibility features in iOS6. In this article Adam Goldberg explains how to use Guided Access inside and outside the classroom.  

Apple products have long represented their commitment to the accessibility needs of all users. Guided Access, an indispensable iOS 6 feature, adds to that tradition. Now teachers, parents and performers alike can confidently use the iPad knowing that they themselves, or other users, cannot go into unwanted apps, or accidentally activate unwanted sections within an app. 

Finding and Enabling Guided Access

In General Settings, scroll down all the way and tap 'Accessibility'. You will then find 'Guided Access' under the 'Learning' section.

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When turning on Guided Access, you will be prompted to set the Passcode necessary for exiting the feature. 

Set a memorable Passcode.

Set a memorable Passcode.

Using Guided Access Within an App

Now that you've turned the feature on, you can go into any app on your device running iOS 6, and enter Guided Access mode by triple-clicking the home button.

The Guided Access window will appear. 

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Here you can disable Touch over the entire screen, or Motion, by turning those options off. Notice that all Hardware Buttons are off. (There is a separate option for the Sleep Button, discussed below).

Disabling Selected Areas of the Interface

This is where the fun really begins, and where the true power of Guided Access is revealed. Simply by drawing around the area you wish to disable you can gray out, and thereby disable, any portion of the app's interface.

So, if I want a student to play only an 'A3' in the Animoog app, for example, without having access to any other notes, I can simply draw rectangles around the other notes. I'd also like for that student to have access to the X/Y Pad, but nothing else. So, by drawing just a few rectangles, and then starting Guided Access (the blue button in the upper right-hand corner of the window), I can then give the iPad to the student knowing that he/she will stay in the app, and be able to interact successfully without playing incorrect notes or using undesired areas of the app. 

If, when initially setting up Guided Access in Settings, you choose to turn the 'Enable Screen Sleep' feature on, you will be able to sleep the iPad while in the app, and then immediately access it, with all the Guided Access features still active, upon waking it from sleep. This is both a battery and time saver. Cleverly, the Guided Access parameters you set for each app are saved in those apps even if you close the app. So, if you open an app, and then enter Guided Access, the rectangles you drew, and any parameters previously set, will still be there.

Don't worry about drawing perfectly. Those neat shapes can be resized or moved.

Don't worry about drawing perfectly. Those neat shapes can be resized or moved.

Animoog running with Guided Access.

Animoog running with Guided Access.

Triple-click the Home Button to end Guided Access (Don't forget your Passcode!)

Triple-click the Home Button to end Guided Access (Don't forget your Passcode!)

So, give Guided Access a shot. I'm sure you'll find it very useful.

A graduate of Manhattan School of Music with a B.A. in Classical Piano, Adam Goldberg has toured the U.S. with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and has gigged throughout the tri-state area, working with such artists as Michel Camilo, Lew Soloff, and Steve Turre. Mr. Goldberg currently enjoys the privilege of teaching Special Needs stude... Read More


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