Suggestions needed on formatting of learning materials

Other Apple Chat

I work with students with. VI, in schools.
One of my students uses an iPad, with Bluetooth Braille display.
A laptop with Dolphin access suite. He is about to go into secondary in a mainstream school.
I am working on learning materials for Languages.
Are there any methods of formatting a document so that if I had a list of phrases in both languages, I could get the screen reader to read them in English and in French as they appear.
I would welcome any help.



Submitted by Tree on Thursday, June 12, 2014

Sorry I hope I am not totally off what your asking about. Is the issue that voice over is reading french incorrectly? If that is the issue one thing you could try is to add a french voice to the language router, that way your students could easily change their language on the fly. Another thing you might be interested in is that I believe web pages, and perhaps apps can be programmed so that different languages are used by default for different languages. I believe this has something to do with the language tag in the html file. It seems like voice over might read other languages with appropriate voices by default so all of this might not be velvet. Sorry hope this helps in some way.

Submitted by Twinkle on Friday, June 13, 2014

I don't think I explained it very well, I want a document ie, pages, that will read some bits in French in VoiceOver, some in English VoiceOver, I wondered if the Rotar would do this but not entirely sure how this works. Any advice on how to set this up would be great.

Submitted by Tree on Friday, June 13, 2014

I don't know anything about reading multiple languages, so there might be an easier method, but if your students can use the Rotar that should work. To get it set up all you have to do, on the iPad, is to go into settings, general, accessibility, voice over, language Rotar, then select the voices you want to be able to use. After you have your languages in the language Rotar you can change from one to another very easily. Either place two fingers on the screen, a little bit apart from each other, and twist them both at the same time. Pretend that your turning a nob.As you do this you will hear different options like, headings, language, words. You are basically toggling what will happen when you swipe down. so as you are twisting your fingers when you hear language stop twisting. Now you can swipe down or up and go through your different languages. You can also do this with the keyboard. Just hit either the left or the right arrow key along with the up key at the same time. This is the same as the twist thing you were doing with your fingers. Once you hear language you can then just hit up or down arrow to go through your language options. Sorry I know that sounds confusing, but its really quite simple once you understand the concept. Although it might become tedious if your students had to go back and forth a lot in a short period of time. I think there is a way to make web pages automatically be read by different voices. I don't know anything about that but you might want to look into it.Sorry that what I have been writing is so jumbled and poorly written, I'm a busy guy right now and I have been having to find time with classes and work to write.

Submitted by Twinkle on Friday, June 13, 2014

That is very helpful. I have now ordered Mac airbook too as replacing my laptop so I hope that will open more possibilities to me when creating accessible documents.

Submitted by Khalfan Bin Dhaher on Friday, June 13, 2014

Hello there.
First, I'm very delighted to see here at AppleVis a post from a teacher or those who'd like to help visually impaired students.
Sure, auto switching between languages should work fine for you with or without using VoiceOver rotor.
If you got any questions please feel free to reply to this post.

Submitted by Twinkle on Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Rotor worked really well I'm really pleased with how accessible it made the languages, many thanks to those that helped.
I found, when it was in French mode, the quality of the language was really good, it even read the English really well, like a French person speaking English, so it may not always be necessary to swap over to English. However in English mode it reads the French phonetically so switching then is essential. I just hope I get the same results with the Spanish and the German.
My next issue will be Science and maths! I wonder how voice over would cope with mathematical equations and science symbols!
This is a very helpful site, it makes me realise how many features of the iPad are possibly not utilised by people who are not....and I mean this fondly....Apple Geeks.

Submitted by Tree on Monday, June 16, 2014

haha your comment about apple geeks is nothing but a compliment. I think most people don't use Apple products to their fullest potential. I think the best solution for blind people and mathematics is a braille display and nimith braille. However, of course some people don't have braille displays or don't know nimith braille. Although I know nothing about it you might want to check out this app.…
I don't have an iPad so I really can't tell you anything about this app, but I hope it can help.

Thank you for that, I will pass the link onto some colleagues, they work with the little ones, we cover 0 - 25 years of age. I am currently with age 11 up.
I do not have a clue about nemeth braille but i am in the process of refreshing my braille,, UEB, it changed since i last studied it.
My student knows about it, he is a very clever young man and knows about the nemeth code. He doesn't know yet, but we have purchased him anew braille display, he currently has the Apex, but we are changing it as it is becoming a bit long in the tooth.

Submitted by Alex Marositz on Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I am working with a student who is a voiceover user on the Mac, not IOS. He is taking a Japanese class. His books have both Japanese and English. How can VO be configured to read with the Japanese synthesizer when it encounters Japanese text and English when reading the English. The correct language is tagged in Microsoft word and Windows screen-readers switch appropriately when they come across the Japanese. My thought is to export the document to HTML and open in safari on the Mac but that didn't actually work. I've downloaded the Japanese synthesizers on the Mac. Any suggestions?


Submitted by Tree on Thursday, July 31, 2014

There might be a way to make voice over use the proper voices automatically, I am not sure. I know that at least on iOS voice over does this on web pages. I can not think of a time I have seen it happen on my mac though. One thing you might want to look into is html language tags. I know that that is what allows screen readers to know which language to use on voice over. If nothing els your student can always just change the voice on the fly. Simply hold down the v o keys plus command and then hit either the left or right arrow keys until you hear the name of the voice you are currently using, then while still holding down v o and command hit the down arrow keys until you hear the voice you want. This is easier to do then it sounds.Another option would be to use the activities feature in the voice over utility to set it up where voice over automatically uses the Japanese voice for a specific app. Maybe you could choose a text editor that the student does not normally use and that way he could just use that app for Japanese documents.