Personal Power: Getting The Most From iOS as a Totally Blind user

Last modified
Sunday, May 8, 2022
Club AppleVis Member

Hello, everyone. Two years and literally thousands of changes later, the second edition of Personal Power is now available. It's an ebook which I wrote and am giving away freely. Basically, the book takes people from setting up their iPhones to thriving in the iOS environment. It teaches how to use VoiceOver, the various parts of iOS, and a whole lot of apps.

In fact, one of my major goals with this book was to point newcomers to a large collection of accessible apps. Many people get discouraged when they purchase apps that don't turn out to be accessible. I hope that this book helps their initial experience be much better than my own was back when I got my iPhone 4.

The book is available in several formats and I hope people will help me make it available in even more. For now, I recommend the EPUB version. It has an interactive table of contents. That's helpful when you're dealing with a book over 310000 words long. I've also included the MS Word version, PDF, and a plain text version in Markdown format. This last one has number signs or hashes before each section and subsection. If the EPUB version doesn't work for you, this would at least let people skip over sections which didn't interest them.

I made the mistake of uploading the first edition directly onto the site. Given its size, this caused the Applevis staff a bit of unintended trouble. Far be it from me to cause the same kind of chaos twice. This time, I've put everything up on a shared Google Drive folder. I hope people don't find it difficult to obtain whichever version of the guide they want from there. Feel free to post and share this with whoever you feel might benefit from it. The more blind people who stay and thrive using iOS, the better off we'll all be. Some people have expressed frustration with retrieving the guide directly from the Google Drive folder. I've therefore updated the link to point to my blog posting which contains direct links to each of the files available. I'll try and keep that updated as more formats become available. The link to the guide is:


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Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Friday, April 29, 2022

Would not mind checking it if there is an audiobook version.

Submitted by Bruce Harrell on Friday, April 29, 2022

You might want to give us a clue how to use the page your link takes us to. I spent around 10 useless minutes there before giving up.

Submitted by Dawn 👩🏻‍🦯 on Friday, April 29, 2022

Hey all! First off, Michael, I loved and use your 1st Personal Power guide! I was very happy to hear about the 2nd edition! :-) This is the guide I wish I had when I first started using Voiceover on my Ipad in 2016!
Now, here is what I did and how to use the link. Please be aware that I used the Google Drive app. So, your experience on the web might be different. But, if I were you, I'd download the Google Drive app. So, double-tap on the link. It will open in the Google Drive app, and take you to personal power folder. After that, find the format you want, and swipe right to the shareeeactions menu button. double-tap on that, then find the open in button and doubre-tap on that. Once you do that, you'll get a screen that says preparing to export, wait for this process to finish. Once it's done, the share sheet will come up, and you can swipe to and double-tap on whatever option you want. If the app you want doesn't appear right away, doubre-tap on the more button and swipe and double-tap on the option you want. I had to do this for Voice Dream Reader. Hope this helps, and, can't wait to dig in and start reading! :-)

Submitted by Michael Feir on Saturday, April 30, 2022

Club AppleVis Member

Thanks for the kind words and the report of download frustration. I got a number of emails about the difficulty of geting at the files when you don't have the Google Drive app. Hopefully, this solution will be more workable for people.

Submitted by techluver on Tuesday, May 3, 2022

I was just actually thinking about the fact that an audio addition of this would be a wonderful thing to have. I wonder how easy it would be to get volunteers from something like a radio reading service to read this book out loud, since it would benefit so many blind people. And then maybe get AppleVIS to host it as a newcomers guide or something, so that it’s easy to find.

Submitted by Jim Homme on Tuesday, May 3, 2022

I can’t imagine how much work must have gone into this book, and you did two editions. Thank you so much for putting together and offering it freee.

Submitted by Matt D on Tuesday, May 3, 2022

My wife and I would be willing to volunteer to do this. I have a professional home recording studio, completely treated for recording, and professional microphones. My wife has done reading for college disability programs and other small audio books. Because of the size of the book, I'd estimate it will take us 3 to 4 weeks, but we are willing.

Submitted by techluver on Tuesday, May 3, 2022

That would be amazing! Please let me know if I can support in any way. Michael has already given us permission to do it so I think you should just get started!

Submitted by SSWFTW on Saturday, May 14, 2022

Hello Michael, thank you so much really really appreciate this
Could I ask a question about what format to use on the Victor reader stream to allow for navigation by heading
As you suggested I put the file in the DTB folder and got the document but and appears to have no headings
I also put the word version in my text folder but was unable to navigate by heading
Am I perhaps misunderstanding any help would be greatly appreciated

Submitted by Michael Feir on Sunday, May 15, 2022

Club AppleVis Member

The EPUB version should let you navigate by headings if it's copied into the dtb folder. That's what I've been told by people who have had it work. I don't have a reader to test it out myself. Other than making certain your reader has the latest software update, I don't know what else to suggest. The only other thought would be to try the Markdown version and search for one or more number sighns or hash marks. They indicate headings. Hopefully, you can get the EPUB file to work.