What is VoiceOver and how does it work on the iPad?
If you are blind or are visually impaired you will need to use VoiceOver to enable you to use an iPad.
VoiceOver is a screen reading technology developed by Apple which will allow you to use the iPad even if you can’t see the screen.
VoiceOver allows you to control the iPad using simple physical gestures that let you physically interact with items on the screen.
With VoiceOver you simply touch the screen to hear a description of the item under your finger on the screen. You can then interact with that item and control the iPad, either by doing a double tap, drag or flick.
When you touch an item in the upper right of the screen, you will hear what is in the upper right of the screen.
When an item on the screen is selected, a black rectangle called the VoiceOver cursor appears around it. The VoiceOver cursor is displayed for the benefit of sighted users with whom you may be sharing your iPad. When you prefer privacy, VoiceOver includes a screen curtain that turns off the display so no one can read it without your knowledge.
In this example on this website tapping a section of the webpage.
VoiceOver will read out that section of the website.
You’ll hear descriptions of every item on the screen, including status information such as battery level, Wi-Fi and 3G network signal levels, the 3G network provider, and time of day. It even lets you know when the display changes to landscape or portrait orientation, and when the screen is locked or unlocked.
Tapping the top right of the screen, you will hear how much battery life is left.
In addition to touching and dragging around the screen, you can also flick left and right to move the VoiceOver cursor precisely to the next or previous item on the screen—no matter how big or small it is. By flicking, you have precise control of what you hear even when it might otherwise be difficult to place your finger on it.
The speaking rate is adjustable so you can set it to a speed that best suits your listening ability. VoiceOver uses distinctive sound effects to alert you when an application opens, when the screen is updated, when a message dialog appears, and more. And, when Voiceover is talking, the volume of background sounds and music are automatically lowered.
You can activate your iPad and enable VoiceOver without sighted assistance using Setup Assistant. Sighted users can also enable VoiceOver for you directly on iPad using the Accessibility menu in the Settings application.
To turn on VoiceOver, from the Home screen click Settings.
Select General and scroll down to Accessibility.
Within the Accessibility options, select VoiceOver.
You can then turn VoiceOver ON.
The way to use VoiceOver is outlined on the screen. VoiceOver can read these out.
To select an item, touch it.
To activate the selected item you need to Double-tap.
To scroll flick with three fingers up or down.
Under the instructions is a button that takes you to a VoiceOver Practice exercise.
VoiceOver includes built-in voices that speak 36 languages including Arabic, Chinese (Cantonese), Chinese (China), Chinese (Taiwan), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English (Australia), English (Britain), English (Irish), English (South African), English (United States), Finnish, Flemish (Belgian Dutch), French (Canadian), French (France), German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish (Mexico), Spanish (Spain), Swedish, Thai, Turkish.