A Text-to-Speech Tool for Apple Users of All Ages

What is VoiceOver?

While typical text-to-speech tools will read a website or e-mail on a computer screen, VoiceOver is much more. Apple's VoiceOver allows users to know what is happening on their computer screen without having to see it. VoiceOver will assist users with navigating around the Mac screen using only the keyboard. "Alex", the voice of the iMac or Macbook, will read text in a humanlike way, even pausing for breaths, which allows listeners to easily understand what is being said. "He" will also direct the users around the screen by instructing them to press certain buttons. (VoiceOver for OS X, n.d.)

To get started with VoiceOver, a Mac user simply needs to press Command + F5. This will activate the VoiceOver features. You can easily enter a tutorial on this accessibility tool by pressing the space bar, of you can type "V" to begin using VoiceOver without any instructions.

VoiceOver is also available on the iPad and iPhone so users can seamlessly switch to different devices. While some features may be different on the iPad because there is a lack of a keyboard, it is still simple to translate the trackpad gestures to the iPad.

001 Getting Started with VoiceOver

VoiceOver in the Classroom

Students with a variety of abilities can benefit from VoiceOver. If a student has a visual impairment, they can accomplish any task on an iMac or other Apple product with the help of VoiceOver. If students wear headphones, they will not stand out from the class for being different. Students that have visual processing disabilities can also use VoiceOver when reading eBooks so they can follow along with the class. English Language Learners can also benefit from VoiceOver by reading along with the voice so they can learn how to pronounce difficult words in the English language.


Kyro. (2009, October 25). 27" unibody imac [image]. Retrieved June 1, 2015 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMac_(Intel-based)#/media/File:Imac_16-9.png

Sniffen, T. (2015, April 8). 001 getting started with voiceover [video]. Retrieved June 1, 2015 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWZp_-9AOdk

VoiceOver for OS X. (n.d.) Apple. Retrieved June 1, 2015 from http://www.apple.com/accessibility/osx/voiceover/