By: Carmen Willings
April 10, 2010
VoiceOver is a gesture-based screen reader that allows the user to navigate the iOS device even if you don’t see the screen. It gives audible descriptions of what’s on the screen including the battery level, who is calling, and which app your finger is on. You can adjust the speaking rate and the pitch to personal preference. When VoiceOver is activated and the screen is touched or you drag your finger over it, VoiceOver will speak the name of the icon or text. To interact with or navigate to another item, use VoiceOver gestures.
When you go to a new screen, VoiceOver will play a sound, then select and speak the name of the first item on the screen. VoiceOver will also tell you when the display changes to landscape or portrait orientation, when the screen becomes dimmed or locked, and what is active on the lock screen when you wake the iPhone.
Braille displays supported by iOS devices
You can use VoiceOver on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and a Bluetooth enabled braille display to read and navigate. Apple Support provides a list of supported braille displays on their Braille Displays Supported by iOS page. To ensure that your braille display uses the correct table, make sure that you have the latest version of iOS.
Common braille commands for VoiceOver
When using a braille display with VoiceOver on your iOS device, you will use commands to help you navigate. Apple Support has compiled a list of common braille commands used with VoiceOver. These include navigation, scrolling, rotor, interaction, reading, editing, control, and braille 8-dot.
The following is a brief overview:
Screen Curtain with VoiceOver
If you use VoiceOver on your device, you may want to add privacy so others are not able to view your screen. Screen Curtain allows you to turn off the display. When Screen Curtain is on, your device will stay active but the screen will be black. Visit Apple's Support page on Using Screen Curtain.
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Resources to Support You in Teaching Students with Visual Impairments
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Selecting the Right AT for Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired Recorded Presentation
Are you overwhelmed by the process of selecting assistive technology for your students? This presentation will encompass the process and steps of selecting the right assistive technology for students who are blind or visually impaired using the SETT framework. Key points covered in this presentation include identification of the current problem; consideration of current skills; understanding unique visual and learning needs; awareness of AT for VI; AT equipment considerations; the process of building a toolkit; instructional strategies; and next steps.
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