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CNIB Foundation offers free educational manual

The ABC’s of iOS: a VoiceOver Manual for Toddlers and Beyond! 

TORONTO – June 22, 2020
As students and families adjust to remote learning during COVID-19, the CNIB Foundation has released a free version of its iOS training manual for children with sight loss. The ABC's of iOS: A VoiceOver Manual for Toddlers and Beyond! ensures educators and family members have the tools to teach a child who is blind or partially sighted how to use iOS with VoiceOver.

"Technology can level the playing field for people who are blind or partially sighted – but only when it's accessible, available and affordable," says Suzanne Decary-van den Broek, Executive Director, CNIB Foundation Ontario South (GTA). "Developed in collaboration with Diane Brauner, Educational Accessibility Consultant, the CNIB Foundation created this resource to ensure children with sight loss have the necessary knowledge and training to develop the skills to capitalize on its potential."

The manual was developed alongside children with sight loss, educators, specialists, and family members across the Greater Toronto Area and the United States.

"The iPad is an incredible educational tool, but, more often than not, children with sight loss are not introduced to modern technology until much later than their sighted peers," said Diane Brauner, Educational Accessibility Consultant. "By introducing technology to children at an earlier age – and providing them with the skills and training to operate it – we're empowering children to thrive developmentally and academically."

The free manual provides parents and educators with the age-appropriate information they need to teach a child how to interact with an iPad using VoiceOver. To put the latest knowledge at children's fingertips, it incorporates accessible apps with educational content. The manual addresses VoiceOver skills for children, ages 3-8, who are, or may become, braille readers, dual media, or auditory readers.

"The ABC's of iOS manual provides me with a systematic method to teach my child how to use VoiceOver on an iPad. Janna has learned how to use iOS apps such as iBraille Challenge and Reading Adventure Time with a refreshable braille display connected to her iPad via Bluetooth," says Mabel Chow. "Thanks to the iOS manual and these accessible apps, Janna's reading comprehension and braille reading skills have improved significantly."

Educators and family members will learn how to:
  • encourage children with sight loss to explore and interact appropriately with an iPad. 
  • introduce and teach age-appropriate VoiceOver gestures, Bluetooth keyboard commands and refreshable braille display commands.
  • incorporate teaching strategies which address the unique needs of children with sight loss. 
  • nurture children with sight loss to become confident and independent with iPad skills.
  • provide information about accessible apps and activities for educational purposes.

For more information or to download The ABC’s of iOS: a VoiceOver Manual for Toddlers and Beyond!, visit

For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Karin McArthur
Lead, Marketing & Communications
CNIB Foundation
T: 437-922-7353