Contributed by: Jennifer Freeman, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist
What is the O6?
O6 for the Visually Impaired Accessibility Video: Click Here
Let’s get technical! How much technology do you incorporate into you lessons? Have you heard of the O6? Do your clients/students struggle with learning to use gestures on a IOS device due to low spatial intelligence or poor kinesthetic abilities?
Did you know that you can use more than one bluetooth device at once? The O6, O6 app and bluetooth keyboard can be used to lessen the amount of gestures required to navigate an IOS device.
How many of your students/clients bus plan using an iPhone or iPad? How long does it take to have students learn gestures and input the information to plan a bus route using a two finger double tap? What about e-mails or texts? Does technology or the thought of learning gestures seem overwhelming to some people with vision loss as well as the instructor’s teaching it?
If oriented properly, people with vision loss can learn technology and Braille devices much easier. The O6 removes the slow process of having to understand all the gestures required to navigate the IOS. It grants immediate access to navigating the IOS. Paired with the bluetooth keyboard, less gestures are used.
Appropriate for ages:
If the person is learning about technology and has the concept of left, right and center, you can begin teaching the O6! It is that easy. My students have learned how to navigate the O6 in one lesson!
- The product itself is only around $110 with shipping Click Here
- Quick Start Guide Click Here
- Where to find the app? Click Here
- Orientation Trick: I highly recommend that you have people learn one bluetooth keyboard and have them use it on all devices that are bluetooth enabled. That way they only have to be oriented to one, yes just one keyboard so that mastery can take place!
Wireless bluetooth keyboard I use and is “Apple” product friendly is the Finiti Bluetooth keyboard: Click Here
How to teach lesson:
- There needs to be some clear understanding of what is happening on the screen when the person is moving the O6 throughout the IOS device. I highly recommend you create a map of the screen either by Brailling the apps or using tactile markers to demonstrate this skill. See the simple picture maker map I made of an app screen below.
You can even take it one step further and have the person move as though they are navigating through the apps. I do this by having my student/client stand in open space and start at the top left app of their app screen. My student will move through the app screen as they move the bezel dial on the O6. I’ll hold the Braille or picture maker map and/or IOS with Voiceover and additionally have them read and listen to where they are as they move. Tying in movement to technology can really help people with visual impairments learn! One of my students showed almost an 80% improvement after one session of adding movement with a map so that she could better understand how to use gestures or where she was on a IOS screen.
BONUS TIP: It is important that we instructors learn the Apple terminology and features to orient our student or client to an IOS device. It helps if we know what we are saying when asking our students/clients to navigate to icons on the IOS device particularly when they are moving rapidly along the screen using the O6.. For that reason, I contacted Apple to ask the names of the symbols and icons. They provided me with an extensive list I’d like to share with you. Click the links below:
- System Icons
- Status icons and symbols on your iPhone
- Use and customize Control Center on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
- Explaining the Symbols at the Top of the iPad Screen
- iPhone 101: Status bar symbols and what they mean
- This video is an example of how I had my student orient herself to the O6 by Brailling the apps she hears. That’s right, we don’t need to know Braille well!
- This video will demonstrate step by step directions on how to teach a client/student to locate a Talking Typer app using the O6 so that he/she can begin orienting themselves to the keyboard. You might have missed it but yes, there is a talking typer app that is $4.99 in the app store! Download Talking Typer Link
- The next video series is demonstrating how to plan a bus route using the O6 and keyboard.
5. This video briefly demonstrates how a person can access e-mail with the O6 and keyboard requiring few to no gestures.
Please click the link below to download suggested tips on how to introduce the O6:
Recommended Orientation to the O6 suggested by an O&M Instructor