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Second Sense - Beyond Vision Loss

If You’ve Ever Wondered About VoiceOver

VoiceOver is the screen-reader that is built into all Apple devices. It can be complicated to learn by yourself, but with a good teacher and practice, it is a great tool. Using VoiceOver eases the frustration of using a smart phone for people with vision loss. And, it puts a whole toolbox of apps in your hand.

To use VoiceOver, you must learn a variety of gestures. These include taps, flicks (or swipes), finger drags, finger pinches, and finger rotations. You have to practice the gestures to get them right.

Let’s just look at one of these gestures to give you a taste.


This can be done with one, two, three or four fingers. Here are some of actions that are controlled by finger taps.

Single Tap

  • 1 Finger single tap: : select an item without activating
  • 2 fingers single tap: if VoiceOver is speaking, pauses and resumes speaking
  • 3 Fingers single tap: speak page numbers, rows being displayed or image description
  • 4 Fingers single tap Near Top: move to first element on the screen
  • 4 Fingers single tap Near Bottom: move to last element on the screen

Double Tap

  • 1 Finger double tap: activate the selected item
  • 2 Fingers double tap: stop and start the current activity (answers or hangs up a call, pauses or resumes a video or music playback, etc.)
  • 3 Fingers double tap: mutes or unmutes VoiceOver
  • 4 Fingers double tap: starts and stops VoiceOver help

Triple Tap

  • 1 Finger triple tap: double taps the selected item
  • 2 Fingers triple tap: activate Item Chooser
  • 3 Fingers triple tap: turn Screen Curtain on and off


If you have an iPhone and want to try out VoiceOVer, you can easily turn it on and off.  Just go to Settings>General>Accessibility>VoiceOver.