If you start your Mac in Recovery Mode and attempt to use Disk Utility, you will find that it is effectively unusable with VoiceOver as VoiceOver crashes continually (to the extent that it will appear that VoiceOver simply is not working).
- Start your Mac in Recovery Mode (the method will vary depending upon the Mac that you are using).
- If prompted, enter the password for the admin account that you use on the Mac.
- On the main Recovery Mode window, move VoiceOver focus to the UI element named “Disk Utility”.
- Use VO+Space to select Disk Utility ()note that VoiceOver will not indicate that it is selected, as it will not for the other three options on this screen).
- Locate the “Continue” button and VO+Space on it.
You will now be taken to Disk Utility.
If you now attempt to navigate its screen, you will typically receive no feedback from VoiceOver.
It appears that the disk section area of this screen is the main problem, as this always gives no feedback, whereas VoiceOver will be responsive on some other areas of the screen.
The caption box that's used to display the text of VoiceOver announcements will be present, but empty and flicker each time that you move VoiceOver focus through the disk section area (which appears to suggest that VoiceOver is crashing rather than simply not working).
If you use the trackpad to move the mouse pointer to the top left of the screen and then perform VO+Space, you may find that if your aim has been good that you can access and navigate the menu bar (you may need to toggle VoiceOver off and on again for this to work). However, we would not recommend actually using the menu unless you are 100% confident that the desired UI elements are selected on the main window of Disk Utility.
It appears that areas of some of the tools accessible via the Disk Utility menu are also problematic - for instance, when performing First Aid or erasing a disk, the table that contains information about the progress of these actions will also cause VoiceOver to crash when focus is placed on them.
Bug First Encountered
How often the bug occurs
Some of the information in this bug report is inaccurate (please perform due diligence before posting bug reports on this site). Specifically, parts of the Disk Utility window, like the toolbar, the disk information pane (to the right of the tabular list of disks), and modal windows that appear when triggering various actions (i.e. the modal window that allows for partitioning of disks) work properly with VoiceOver. Thus, it is only the disk selection table that causes VoiceOver to become unresponsive; navigating away from this element (for example, by navigating the toolbar) usually restores VoiceOver functionality.
I still have the bug on my MacBook Pro M1 running macOS 11.2.