VoiceOver Tutorial - Using the Arrow Keys to Navigate a Written Document

Hey VoiceOver users! Here is a special video I put together which will be part of a series that dives deep into VoiceOver. I've been doing a lot of lessons on VoiceOver basics with my clients so I created this this video on proof reading a Pages document, Word document, Email draft, or any text field you write into on your Mac.

If you're not a VoiceOver user don't worry all the keyboard commands we use in this tutorial work  without VoiceOver on. You just won't hear the verbal feedback.

Leveling The Playing Field with VoiceOver Presentation Materials

On October 16th I presented at the Closing the Gap conference with my good friend Rachel Magario. Our Presentation "Leveling the Playing Field for Success with VoiceOver for Mac and iOS" was an in-depth look at Apple's screen reader VoiceOver for Mac and iOS. Some of our attendees requested a copy of the slides that we used so I have decided to post them and the handout we created here. The handout is available as an HTML for easier navigation using a screen reader. Enjoy!

 

How to add alt text to images in iWork documents (Mac version)

How to add alt text to images in iWork documents (Mac version)

For my work I often collaborate with a good friend who happens to be blind. We both really like the iWork applications in general but as a user of VoiceOver, Apple's built-in screen reader, she finds the iWork apps to be one of the more accessible options for productivity apps.

Often times the documents that we create are very robust and include images, videos, and audio. When I add audio or video to the project she is able to interact with those elements easily. But if I add an image often times the screen reader will only give her the name of the image which can sometimes just be a series of letters and numbers. Luckily I work has a built-in tool to make these images more accessible.

Click READ MORE to find out how.

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How to write with Emoji on your iPhone and Mac

In episode 2 of the Access Ninja Podcast, Rachel and I discussed the how blind users experience Emoji. Emoji are little symbols you can write with that range from faces like 😄 to objects like 🎉. They are very popular in Japan and are becoming increasingly popular everywhere else. In fact some people may be taking the craze a little bit far.

If you haven't tried writing with emoji before then follow these steps for writing with emoji on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

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Reduce file size of an iWork document in one step (Mac Version)

I love using Pages to create media rich materials. I also own a nice camera that can take very high resolution photos. Combine these two things together and you often end up with gigantic files that are too big to email or, in my case, so big that your office printer spits out a memory error when you try to print.

When you add a photo to a project made with an iWork application(Pages, Keynote, or Numbers) the full resolution version of the image is saved in the document even when you mask or resize the image. This gives you a great amount of flexibility so if you need to enlarge the image later you still have the full resolution version to work with. But when you are finished working on the document you no longer need the full resolution version of the photo, only a version that fits the size that you are using.

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Get the most out of your Mac's built-in dictation mode

Get the most out of your Mac's built-in dictation mode

Beginning in Mac OS 10.8 Apple included a built in speech recognition tool called Dictation. Dictation allows you to speak into your computer's microphone and have your words converted to text. This nifty feature comes in handy when you don't feel like typing and in some cases you might find you can dictate faster than you can type. If you've never tried it before, you can find Dictation by going to your System Preferences and clicking on Dictation & Speech. When you dictate to your computer in addition to speaking your words clearly, you will also need to speak all your punctuation like Period, comma, and Open Quote.

I was recently chatting with a friend about this feature and they asked me if you could write something in all caps using only Dictation. I wasn't sure so I did some searching on Apple's support site and found a handy table listing all the voice commands available through Dictation. For example saying the phrase "caps on" will make the next words you speak in all caps,  say "caps off" to resume normal writing mode. You can even speak emoticons like "smiley face" to get a : ) symbol.

You can view the listing of available commands by going here and clicking on Detailed list of Dictation commandshttp://support.apple.com/kb/HT5449?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

 

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How to make an iPhone Ringtone using Loops in Garageband 10

How to make an iPhone Ringtone using Loops in Garageband 10

Hey readers! I recently created a video tutorial on how to make an iPhone ringtone with Garageband. I'm going to create a written tutorial soon but I thought I would share the video with you now. Feel free to check it out in this post or view it directly on our YouTube page.

Click READ MORE to view the video

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Accessibility features in iOS everyone should be using: Use one earbud to listen to music at work? Try Mono Audio so you don’t miss a thing.

Accessibility features in iOS everyone should be using: Use one earbud to listen to music at work? Try Mono Audio so you don’t miss a thing.

Sometimes I like to listen to music but I don’t necessarily want to drown out the world. So I like to keep only one earbuds in at a time so I can still hear what is going on around me with my other ear. This works pretty good but every once in a while one of my favorite songs won’t sound quite right because it takes advantage of stereo sound. For example one of my favorite songs opens with a drum beat coming from the left side and vocals from the right so when I only have one earbud in I’m always missing part of the song.

To solve this I always have my iPhone set to Mono Audio, which mixes the audio channels together equally so I don’t miss anything. This feature is especially nice for someone who has a hearing loss in one ear. Click READ MORE for step-by-step instructions.

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Accessibility features in iOS everyone should be using: Have your iPhone read out loud to you with Speak Selection

Accessibility features in iOS everyone should be using: Have your iPhone read out loud to you with Speak Selection

So you just found an interesting article online but have your hands full cooking dinner? Why not have your iPhone read that article to you? iOS users with Dyslexia have been enjoying the Speak Selection feature as way to have your device read text from apps like Safari and iBooks out loud. Click READ MORE for step-by-step instructions.

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