We had a visit today from Mary* who has a visual impairment and who was missing being able to easily read the TV Guide. She came to the Hub here at Wilberforce Trust for some advice on how could she still maintain her independence to be able to do that.

“I’m so glad I’ve come in today, I’ve learnt things I didn’t even know to ask!” – Mary*


She already has an iPad and uses a mobile phone (not a smartphone)… What did we advise?


One of the first ways that this can be achieved without too much altering of her situation (and how she does things already) – is to turn on the magnifier setting in Settings > General > Accessibility. Once this is turned on, you triple click the home button to launch it immediately. This was a feature introduced with iOS 10 so you do need to have a relatively recent device.

image from iMore, accessibility

Accessibility settings image from iMore website.

(there is a detail view of the features and enabling this from iMore)

Once magnifier is opened you can then zoom in as much as you like and also alter the colour. This could be a red/black, yellow/blue, greyscale etc types of combinations.

So – you then need to hold your iPad over the paper you want to read.

This can be difficult to manage if you are doing it on an iPad as it can be difficult to hold steady. When it is zoomed in it has a lot of ‘shake’ on the image.


We have a Belkin stand that you can try with your iPad that is perfect for the job. It is easy to use, folds flat and is very sturdy. This is great for tabletops and you can then pop a recipe book, mail, photos, Tv Guides and anything else you’d like enlarged.

This Belkin stand is pricey at just under £80, so there are lighter alternatives too, I found this one that does the job for under £12. We have both in the Hub so come visit us to try them.

image of belkin stand

Belkin sturdy stand shown.

image of portable stand

This is an alternative. A more lightweight version but is still a good option. Could easily be used with a smartphone as a magnifier too.


Once you have turned the magnifier in your settings, just triple click the home button to turn it on.


Another solution?

image of tv guide appAlternatively, if eyesight fails more or that is difficult to manage for any reason, then getting a TV Guide app could be another solution. Searching for TV Guide shows a few apps that do the same purpose. You will need to ‘get’ the app and likely enter your iCloud password even though it is free.

Once downloaded, you can use VoiceOver to read the contents of the app to you so you won’t have to rely on sight.



I hope you have found this useful – maybe you are having a similar issue or were looking for an alternative way to do things? Let us know if you need advice and solutions!

*name and identity details have been changed

Leave a Reply