Voice Over Boot Camp Part 2: Direct Touch Typing

Screenshot 2015-05-23 at 7.21.17 AM

A few updates to your Voice Over Boot Camp

1. As my students have become more and more independent listening to her Voice Over as they have become more proficient at using the Voice Dream Reader app the last month of the school, the buy in process of the iPad as an assistive device seems to be settling in.  In the last week, we have been focusing on using the rotor to switch settings in Voice Over. My students were able to easily pick up this skill, however we all agreed that the Apple Team needs to make Voice Over’s swipes and gestures easier to maneuver over all, as we all sort of struggled to learn how to swipe down in a page using three fingers.  We figured out it was because were applying too much pressure on to the screen.  The best rule of thumb when using gestures in voice over is to keep all your touches light.

2. Like many of my students with visual impairments, students with orientation and mobility needs who walk with canes find it difficult to focus on what is happening around them and navigate their environment while also being weighted down by the lap top.  Keeping this in mind, many of my students have bought into the idea of using the iPad Notebook App accompanied with Voice Over to write their narratives, reports and essays for class.  Then, depending on their knowledge of transferring files, we will transfer it to a Microsoft Word document through Drop Box, Evernote or One Note.

3.  This week we trialed several ways to type using Voice Over.  Most of my students preferred to set their typing preferences to Direct Touch Typing in the Voice Over settings options in the Setting App.  This mode of typing enabled them to transfer the traditional style of typing that they learn on a traditional computer keyboard to their touch screen keyboard on the iPad.  Additionally, many of my student preferred to not use the external hardware keyboard once they learned about the direct touch typing mode on the dynamic, onscreen keyboard of the iPad.  Personally, if a student is new to typing, I would recommend that they continue with an external iPad keyboard but since these students are in their primary grades and have been using computers and technology for quite some time, I am letting them explore this preference on their own but they have been successful typing using the Direct Touch Typing mode in settings.

4. To access the different typing modes follow this flow into the settings apps Settings>Accessilbity>Voice Over>Typing>Direct Touch Typing

Screenshot 2015-05-23 at 7.25.02 AM

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