Assistive Technology From Apple

Don't miss a thing with this feature from Apple products


VoiceOver is an Apple accessibility tool that comes standard on every Apple device. The most basic feature of this tool is the text-to-speech option, which can be turned on and off as desired. This tool is so much more than just text-to-speech, it actually gives details and explanations of what is happening on the screen. The screen can be manipulated and controlled by gestures, the keyboard and a braille display. The voice that is used for the VoiceOver speaks naturally. Instead of sounding robotic, the voice uses expression, inflection and reads the sentence fully, not one word at a time. One of the best features of the VoiceOver is that it comes standard with everything that Mac has. When it's time for updates of the operating system, or apps, the VoiceOver feature is embedded within so it is automatically updated as well.

VoiceOver Activation

  1. From the Desktop, select System Preferences
  2. From this window, select Accessibility
  3. In the toolbar on the left, select VoiceOver
  4. Check the box that says "Enable VoiceOver"
  5. A new menu will appear where specific features can be edited
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Introduction to Apple VoiceOver

Implications for the Classroom

  • VoiceOver, in conjunction with the Braille display, students are able to read digital books and classroom handouts
  • Students have instant access to digital assignments sent by the teacher, and then with the use of VoiceOver can complete the assignment independently, without the help of an aide reading the assignment aloud
  • VoiceOver allows students to prepare for online testing that has these same features
  • This tool is not only for students with visual impairments, struggling readers and students learning English could also benefit from the text-to-speech aspect of this feature

OSX. Designed With Your Abilities in Mind. (n.d.). Apple Accessibility. Retrieved from

Getting Started: iPads For Special Needs Book. (2012, November 30). Introduction to Apple VoiceOver. [video file] Retrieved from