Thursday, April 28, 2022

The Second Edition of Personal Power

 The Second Edition of Personal Power

Hello everyone. It's been a long and strange couple of years. A whole lot of people out there seem to have found the first edition, with all of its many imperfections, to be of some help. Given the very positive feedback and so many earnest hopes expressed that I would update this guide, I have indeed done so.

For any newcomers, welcome. My objective was to create an ebook to teach totally blind owners of iPhones how to make the most out of their devices. I go right from the beginning with a section on setting up your device even if you're totally blind and have never felt an iPhone before. From there, I explain the VoiceOver screen reader built into every iPhone. I also explain the iOS operating system and much else besides. One major objective was to point beginners to more accessible apps so that their starting experience would be less full of frustrations. Hopefully, I've managed to offer something which will be informative and enjoyable.

As before, the guide is completely free to all. I encourage you to share it with whoever you wish. Provided the guide remains unaltered and freely given, I have no issue with this. If anyone is willing to make the guide available in other formats, such as DAISY, Braille, etc, you have my sincere thanks for making that effort. I would request you share that effort with me so I can make the files available to everyone along with the other versions of the guide.

I have placed copies of the second edition of the guide in four different formats. For most readers, I recommend the EPUB version. It has an interactive table of contents and should be the best in most cases. Many people requested a version in Microsoft Word, so I've put the DOCX version in the directory. I've also created a PDF version thanks to that option being available in Pages. It works well in the Voice Dream Reader app, but I think EPUB is still better. The final version is a plain text Markdown format version of the guide. In it, there is sadly no table of contents. However, you can search for headings denoted by one or more number signs or hashes. This could be helpful for people who find that the EPUB version fails to work for them. I also hope that people will find ways to use this, or the other files, in the creation of versions with active tables of contents, or other advantageous format aids.

For ease of use, I have place these files in a shared Google Drive folder. I hope this method of distribution will prove less troublesome for people than prior attempts. Here are direct links to the various files:

EPUb version: This has an active table of contents and is recommended for most people.

Microsoft Word format: People find this useful for making other formats.

PDF format: This seems to work reasonably well and has an active table of contents.

Markdown plain text: This version has no table of contents but has numbersigns or hashmarks indicating headings.

Braille .brl UEB format. This should preserve formatting and is likely the best for Braille readers at present. 

Braille .brf format: This doesn't preserve formatting but might be preferred for people who don't like UEB.

Single web page .mh format: This will open as a single page with headings.

A TouchScreen Unseen: This was a lecture I presented at the 2020 Connecting The Dots conference.

The link to the folder is:


  1. Hi, thanks for sharing this. I just wanted to comment about the screen curtain. You say it only obscures the contents, and doesn't darken or turn off the screen, but my sighted mother says it's completely dark when I have it on, and my Coloreno light probe and color detector detects no light at all coming from my phone's screen even when I press the detector's sensor against the screen of my SE2020. It may be that certain devices treat screen curtain differently, but for my device it really saves the battery and keeps it dark. If I forget to turn it back on after having Mom look at my phone, the battery goes down fast.

  2. That's interesting. More often, I heard that it didn't result in much battery saving. That's great if this has indeed changed. I'll keep an ear out.


  3. Hi Michael,
    Thank you so much for all the hard work that went into the book. I'm so grateful to have found out about it.
    Regarding the setting that turns the screen off, I also turn my brightness down to 0. From what I remember, Apple documentation says doing that saves battery. Since I use both settings, I don't know if the screen curtain setting saves battery or not. I know from experience, though, that turning brightness to 0 does.