AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability
Creating inclusive environments in education & employment for people with disabilities.

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iPad & iPhone - Speech to Text (Dictation) 

Cost: Free with an iPad and iPhone as it is an inbuilt tool | Platforms: Apple iPads and iPhones 

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you have many tools you can explore in the settings. In the iPad/iPhone you have the option of creating written content with your voice. To get started try opening the free app called ‘Notes’ on your iPhone/iPad. 

Most useful for: Taking quick notes, reminders or for generating the first version of your hand written essay, report or assignment. 

How do I use the Speech to Text tool? 

  • Open the ‘Notes’ app. To enter text, tap the microphone button  on your keyboard, then start speaking. As you speak, the text appears on the screen. To finish, stop speaking, then tap the keyboard button . 

  • Microphone - This is the microphone icon that is on your keyboard.

  • If dictation isn’t sure what word it heard, you'll see a blue line under the transcribed word so you can check it for accuracy. To make corrections, tap the underlined word, then select the correct spelling. To replace a word, double-tap it, tap the microphone button , then say it again, and tap the keyboard button .  

  • To replace a section, select what you want to replace, then tap the microphone button  and speak again. To add more text, tap where you want to add new text, tap the microphone button , then speak again. 

  • To change the language that dictation uses, long press the microphone button , then select the language you want to use. 

on the iphone and ipad the dictation icon will appear on your keyboard

Its key features involve common punctuation and formatting commands that you can use: 

  • Creating Quote/end quote: begin and end a quote 

  • New paragraph: start a new paragraph 

  • New line: begin a new line 

  • Cap: capitalize the next word 

  • Caps on/caps off: capitalize the first character of each word 

  • Smiley: insert :-) 

  • Frowny: insert :-( 

  • Winky: insert ;-) 

Our Top Tip:

Speech to Text tools may take a little time to get comfortable with as you will hear yourself speaking to your device. Take time to practice speaking confidently as this will improve the accuracy of the speech to Text tool. 

Demo of Speech to Text for an iPad/iPhone in Action 

Video source: ICATER Ulowa YouTube channel 

Go to the Apple Website> 

For More Advice:  

  • If you are a student in Higher Education, speak to your Assistive Technology Officer or Disability Officer /Learning Support Officer.  

  • If you are a Student in the FET/ETB then it may be possible to speak to an Educational Needs Coordinator, Learning Support Coordinator, Student Access Officer, Student Support Coordinator or a Disability Support Officer for more information about assistive technology.  

  • If you are an Employee and are interested in this technology then speak to your Disability Liaison Officer (public service) or your Line Manager to start the conversation. 

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