Foundation Digital Skills

Each person will have different skills and confidence levels. You’ll need to figure out what their starting point is, and understand what support they’ll need from you.

You can use the Foundation Digital Skills to find out where your learner is just now.

Focusing on these skills, and allowing enough time to work through them at your learner’s pace, can help them start to build the confidence to move from device to device.

It’s vital that learners are able to:

• turn the device on/off

• use the keyboard and touchpad (Chromebook) or touchscreen (iPad)

• use the controls to make it easier to use e.g. volume buttons, accessibility settings

• interact with the home-screen and apps

• connect to the internet

• create a safe and secure password

• know not to share their passwords with anyone else

Other tasks

After you’ve helped your learner feel confident using their device, you can move onto a task with a specific outcome.

This should be something that the learner wants to achieve from now being online. For example, using video calling.

Accessibility settings

iPads and Chromebooks have accessibility settings for learners who have:

  • hearing, sight or mobility impairments
  • trouble remembering, learning new things and concentrating

These settings can help make it easier to use the controls, make text bigger, change colours and use your voice to control the device.

In both devices, the accessibility settings can be switched on and changed as part of the device set-up.

You’ll get an idea of which ones will help your learner get the most from their device when you have your introductory call.

iPad accessibility features

This guide covers all the accessibility features available on the iPad, including those you can switch on and change during device set-up.

There are videos and step-by-step guides that show how to use iPad accessibility features:

making your iPad read text to you (Speak Screen)

magnifying your iPad screen (Zoom) and here’s the step-by step guide

using VoiceOver on your iPad (for learners who are blind or with limited vision) and a step-by-step guide

change the ways colours are seen on your iPad

using AssistiveTouch on your iPad for people who have difficulty using the touchscreen, and a step-by-step guide

adjusting touch settings on your iPad for individuals with limited dexterity or hand strength

using Apple’s voice assistant, Siri

Chromebook accessibility features

Chromebook Help lists all the Chromebook accessibility features. You can find them under ‘Explore Accessibility’.

These videos show how to use the following features:

screen magnification

mobility-assistive features and functionality these help if your learner finds it difficult to use the touch pad or type on the physical keyboard

using your voice to enter text


There are also free resources and guidance on accessibility on the AbilityNet website.