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Mac voice over for blind

For example, I would use an external tool to tell me if there are any contrast issues, or I would use another app to simulate how the product looks like for the people with different types of color blindness etc. Oh boy was I wrong. This test comes nowhere near what a visually impaired user would experience with any product. In order to understand how a visually impaired person uses the internet and to learn what I can improve in my designs to make their experience better, I decided to do a little accessibility test on my own website and this time I wanted to do it properly and use Apple VoiceOver just like a real user would.

VoiceOver comes with a very nice tutorial to teach you the basics and afterwards you are off to the wild to explore on your own. By the way, if you want to try something similar on a Windows machine, check out NV Access. Once I was done with the basic tutorial, I went back to my website and started navigating the page with my newly acquired skillset. The first thing I noticed was the navigation links were read as if they were simple text.

I had a JavaScript code that would load the page if the user clicks on it, yet with the screen reader, there was basically no way to know that these things were clickable. This behaviour acted as a reason for me to reevaluate my navigation method and actually change it for a simpler and more understandable way that uses semantic HTML elements. I heard it many times before, where people were claiming making a webpage accessible improves the code quality.

So I can confirm that making accessible webpages actually improve the code quality as well. In any case, this was a very simple problem that I would have recognized by simply pressing tab a couple of times to see where the focus goes. On the left-most side of the navigation bar, I have my name written which acts as a pseudo-logo. As in most navigation bars, clicking this navigates the user to the homepage. However, as this is just another link in the navigation bar, when the screen reader is going through it, it announces my name as one of the links in the navigation, which is very confusing as the user would have no idea where that link would go.

So in order to fix it, I used the aria-hidden HTML property which is used to make things invisible for the screen reader. Another option would have been to put an aria-label and set it to home, which would make the screen reader read it as visited, link, home. The issue is related to the small form element I have in my home page.


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The problem is when the screen reader is reading through this content, this is what you hear: email address star. After that change the screen reader would read it as email address required. After implementing the above changes I mentioned for the navigation bar, I remembered that I had a small modification for the mobile version of the navigation bar.

When the screen gets smaller than px, I would hide the Home button from the navigation bar to make room for everything to fit one line. The problem is, now that I made the pseudo-logo hidden from the screen reader, screen reader users have no way to go back to the home page. And doing a quick google search showed that it is not super straightforward to toggle aria-hidden value with the screen size.

So in order to hide home navigation item in smaller screens, I was using display: none; within a media query. The thing with screen readers is that they ignore things hidden with display: none; so the screen reader would just skip that navigation link. So instead, I went with opacity: 0; width: 1px; which made sure the element is not visible and it is not really messing with the layout of my navigation bar. Gallery View isn't something you'll use all the time. It has its place, though. You can certainly make the argument that it's as many keystrokes to vo-arrow and interact as it is to press cmd-i or use the Quick Look feature.

Certainly, Quick Look wins if you're reviewing audio files, as it plays them automatically while Gallery view does not. Yet, Gallery View requires only basic VO commands, with no need to remember extra keystrokes or take your fingers away from where they are while you're using VoiceOver's navigation.

I also suspect that low-vision users might find Gallery to be a useful option, though none of us using the Mojave betas have enough sight to test my theory. Dark Mode has finally arrived on the Mac. While VoiceOver users may not care about what their screens look like, some low vision users will definitely enjoy this addition. Dark Mode does what it says on the box: it darkens things. It doesn't turn screen brightness down, but rather makes backgrounds dark instead of white and adjusts the color of text accordingly.

This can cut down on glare, making things easier to see for many users. I can only see the light on my screen, not what it's doing or any detail at all, but I've kept Dark Mode enabled the entire time I've tested Mojave. It's dim enough that the glaring light of my screen is reduced, yet I can keep the screen on for when others need to look at it. Mojave includes a lot of good features, but none that impact VoiceOver directly, to the best of our knowledge. I'll run through most of these below, but I again point you to Apple's website or other write-ups and articles for full information.

Now the bit we all hate: the problems. Mojave, like iOS 12, has relatively few new accessibility bugs to speak of. Plus, we found no serious bugs, as already mentioned. Here are the Mojave-specific bugs we were able to find.

mac tutorial 1 the voice over quick start

If you encounter any not on this list, and which haven't been present since before Mojave, please let us know in the comments. Mojave is a solid update. Its focus is stability and bug fixes, but it still manages to offer HomeKit control; Dark Mode; Gallery View; and a slew of other features and improvements. We can't think of any major bugs for VoiceOver users, and we encountered no show-stopping bugs elsewhere in this version of macOS. Our recommendation is to update when you're ready. You may want to give others some time to find the bugs or other problems we missed, but most users should be okay to pull the trigger now.

Let us know what you think of Mojave once you get it. If there are features, bugs, or other notes you feel should be included in this article, please leave a comment! Priview and Apple Books are still have issues with voiceover. Also the new Siri voices should have been added to voiceover. Sorry, but this is not the update I was looking forward to. Thanks for an awesome blog post as always. You are really doing an awesome job. I had a lot of issues myself, and I look forward to see how much things has improved.

Things I have noticed: 1. In Mail, you mention the "Send again" tag on the menu.

It seems like Apple have messed it up in the following way: Previously, there was a "send again" menu item when selecting a mail in your send post folder. So you both had a "send" feature and a "send again" feature. It seems like Apple wanted to get rid of the "send again" feature. Then they messed it up, removed the feature and then replaced the original "send" feature with the wrong tag.

When opening Safari, or when I open a new window, I get a "page not found. I look forward to see if there has been made any improvements to Braille, because there were some seriously frustrating issues in the previous OS. Now it's send again. Conflict with VoiceOver and can not be sorted. Moving Tabulator. I previously did this by calling up the application menu, selecting system dialogs, and selecting the security dialog. In Mojave, I appear to have to randomly move the cursor with the trackpad and tap until I get lucky and land in the dialog to enter my password.

Has anyone else noticed this? Not sure if there are other things I use everyday that were changed. I never upgraded to High Sierra because I was told that the option to restart directly into Mac OS while running Windows through Bootcamp no longer worked. I assume this is still the case in Mojave? I sent a mail to accessibility team and they replied to me saying they are researching bugs. But as you know this is a usual message. I hope they will really fix the bugs. This is because windows side can not detects APFS partition. Maybe microsoft should be bring some update.

Thank you very much for such a detailed post on the accessibility of the new features. It really helps. Did you have the opportunity to test the new App store during the beta process? I have found that the tabs are now identified as row headers, which is wrong in my opinion because users may try to interact with them just to find that they have no content. Also after performing a search I haven't figure out how to open a specific app page within the app results. The cards are there, but there is no way to interact with them.

Any suggestion? The only issue here is that some words hasn't been translated from English, but I'm sure this will be solved in future updates. I am finally getting APFS file system. This is very important and good for me because I use quite a slow Late Mac mini with base configuration. Not so fast as I Thought, but the difference is felt. I don't want to be mistaking, but it seems like Apple has finally solved the very frustrating and annoying bug: VoiceOver doesn't stuck anymore.

It may sound ridiculous, but I was even able to finish installation process without sighting help. In High Sierra, screen reader used to stuck after almost every update, and, of course, not only after this. I hope I will not need the "killall -9 VoiceOver" Terminal command in my clipboard anymore. It seems like they've also solved issues with Power Nap feature. Now my Mac can make Time Machine backups while sleeping again, and external drives and other USB devices no longer disconnect after my Mac goes to sleep.

That were my first observations. Hope I'll find more new features and, maybe even more important, new bug fixes. VoiceOver is integrated into Mac OS X and so must meet the same rigorous performance and stability requirements as the operating system itself. They are built together, tested together, and delivered together so VoiceOver can deliver the same extraordinary reliability for which Mac OS X is celebrated.

If VoiceOver unexpectedly stops for any reason, Mac OS X instantly restarts it, so you can continue using the computer. Why hasn't this been true for years? Mojave doesn't seem to fix any of the bugs that have been around for years. I'm sick of reporting the same issues over and over with no resolution. I'm sick of the Macintosh being neglected in favor of the iPhone and Apple Watch. I remember when the Mac used to excite me! VoiceOver has so much potential, but someone in the chain of command decided long ago that VoiceOver and macOS aren't that important.

These are the questions those I try to find answers. I reported accessibility team via mail at least three times and they always say that they are investigating these bugs. They improved voiceover on IOS but they didn't do anything about Mac. And I don't think they won't do anything in near future. I updated to Mojave earlier today, and like it thus far. I haven't yet explored everything, but I did see the apps from iOS in my Applications folder. I notice that the button to log in upon entering my user credentials when booting up or restarting, has been renamed from "Go" to "Log in.

I should also note that I don't think my system restarted once during the update process. If it did, I must not have heard it since I was doing apartment chores after my morning workout. I had my volume relatively low for part of it. But thanks for yet another great summary. Nice job Apple. In Facetime on the Mac, whilst in a call, there is a Sidebar, But it does nothing at the time of writing.

It probably will when the next update comes out. I tested the beta of Mojave and inform Apple of the problem. It is still present.

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Some of you, using non french version of macOS users have the same or it concern only french language version of macOS? I have noticed one more thing in Mail, which is an important fix for me: The names of the attached files are now being read again when attaching documents to a mail. Hi guys, I updated to Mojave and somehow voice changed to Daniel. I changed it to Alex for Voiceover and for system voice. Still some things are spoken by Daniel. How to change it so that Alex will speak everything? Hello all, Overall I am a bit disappointed with this new update.

I don't like the app store so far. This may be because I just need to get used to the new layout. It is still mostly unusable for Voiceover users. I still cannot figure out how to find the books in a collection. Once I enter into my bookshelf, it just says open or closed collection when I VO plus Space on one of the collections.

How I can choose one of the books is a mystery. This is getting very very sad. For what it's worth, I really like the revisions to the App Store. It's much easier to navigate and much easier to find and access each app's description. Books is another matter.

Learn to Use VoiceOver on your Mac | Accessibility Tips

Even less useful than before. To delete a voice memo, interact with the recordings scroll area and focus on the memo you want to delete. Press VO Command Space to reveal the actions menu and select delete. Your memo will be moved to the recently deleted folder, where it will remain for 30 days unless you delete it from there sooner. Has anyone else noticed problems with AppleScript in Mojave? Even after granting permission for scrod to control my computer, some AppleScripts do not run as they did in High Sierra.

For example, I have one simple script that activates Terminal then disables VoiceOver because I use a different screen reader in Terminal. It disables VoiceOver by emulating a command F5 keypress. The script properly switches to Terminal, but fails to emulate the command F5 keypress well, it doesn't disable VoiceOver, at least. Looks like I'll be debugging this old script to try to find the cause, but not sure how it broke in Mojave.

Any info would be appreciated. I was asked to allow "scrod", which I did. After allowing this, I noticed the following bugs. Not sure what "scrod"is, or if it is related to the following bugs. First, pressing spacebar to open quick view on a disk, such as Macintosh HD only sometimes allows me to see the size and free space on the disk. It will allow VO to read the contents once, after which VO jumps from "quick view image" to "close".

Not critical but strange. For example, under the General category, my Mac reports that 'speak greeting" is unchecked when it is, in fact, checked. Finally, there is a bug with my version of iTunes. I am an Apple Music subscriber, and my computer is set to download music that I add to my library. However, even though I can play the songs added, in many cases, I receive an error saying the song could not be downloaded; try later. However, this error happens less frequently if I download while the song is playing.

I was on the phone with Apple for an hour, and we tried several fixes but none worked. He said he will check on this further and get back to me.

Mac OS X: VoiceOver

What is really strange is that this problem did not occur when I set up anew test user account and opened iTunes. I did not have these problems until I updated to Mojavi, and I am not sure if it is related to "scrod". It appears that Speak Greeting in VO utility is no longer a checkbox. You either have text to read, or you don't.