Getting Started With the Mac and VoiceOver

Get the free lesson “An Introduction to VoiceOver” the first lesson from Mac for the Blind Audio Tutorial series on the Mac lessons page.

One of the most frequent questions I receive and I have read on all of the blind user Mac mailing lists has to do with locating podcasts, documentation and resources for learning how to get started with the Mac and VoiceOver. In fact, of late, this has been a very common theme. So, what I am attempting to do on this page is collect resources that are specific to getting started with the Mac and VoiceOver. This will be a work in progress and I will attempt to break this down into sections to make referencing material easier. As always, suggestions and contributions are welcomed and encouraged.


Here are some manuals and other documentation that should help the beginner or the user interested in switching to the Mac learn about the Mac and VoiceOver.
Note that OS X 10.11 El Capitan is the current version of the Mac operating system, but I offer older documentation for reference and in case the user is utilizing an older system with an earlier version of the OS.. However, for this page, I am only going to present the latest documents. If you are using an older operating system, please take a look at
the Documentation page.

VoiceOver Getting started with El Capitan
VoiceOver Getting Started Guide with El Capitan

VoiceOver Getting Started with Yosemite
VoiceOver Getting Started Guide for Yosemite.txt

VoiceOver Getting Started with Mavericks.
VoiceOver Getting Started Guide for Mavericks.txt

Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts for El Capitan
Mac OS X Keyboard Shortcuts for El Capitan

Mac OS Keyboard Shortcuts for Mavericks
Keyboard shortcuts for OS X Mavericks

Mac OS Keyboard Shortcuts for Mountain Lion
Mac OS X Keyboard Shortcuts for Mountain Lion.rtf

Podcasts and Demonstrations

Please note that I have several demonstrations and podcasts that cover a variety of topics on the Demonstrations page of the site.

Yet another a podcast link courtesy of Scott Davert of Applevis. This one is on unboxing and setting up a Mac Book Air with VoiceOver assistance.
Unboxing and initial setup of the Mac Book Air

David Woodbridge of Vision Australia and Applevis has created a series of “Mac Basics” podcasts to help the new user get started. I am going to link a few here, but please note that you should search the Applevis site and do a search in the podcast category for, Mac basics. Starting VoiceOver How to make the function keys work with VoiceOver How to run the VoiceOver Quick Start Tutorial How to use Quick Nav on the Mac How to make your Mac easier to use with VoiceOver How to add, sort and remove items from the Dock How to quickly shut down your Mac using VoiceOver How to turn off the Trackpad Commander How to unmute speech if VoiceOver is running Using the Calculator Application with VoiceOver Accessing the Mac App Store with VoiceOver Exploring the Dashboard Widgets menu with VoiceOver

Here is an introduction to Mavericks done by David Woodbridge that can be found on the Applevis site.
An introduction to Mavericks

This is a link to another great podcast from Scott Davert of Applevis on connecting and using a Braille display on the Mac. Using Braille displays with the Mac

Other Resources

Here are some additional resources for getting started with the Mac and VoiceOver for beginners and those interested in switching to the Mac. Starting with this site,
I offer audio tutorials on the Mac for sale

Also, there is our How to for the Mac and OS X page. We also have a Tips and Tricks for the Mac and OS X page. Please also take a close look at our Links page where you will find links to several great email lists and a variety of Mac related resources. In addition, Mac for the Blind offers training and support services. If you need help getting started or would like to learn how to use your Mac and VoiceOver in a more comprehensive way, we offer several training packages and can easily customize a training program that meets your needs and, more importantly, your wallet. Please review our Training and Support page.

From the National Braille Press, Janet Ingber offers a great book to help people get up and running with their Mac and use VoiceOver effectively. I am proud to say that I had a small part in reviewing this book and making suggestions.

Learn to Use the Mac with VoiceOver

Tim Sniffen offers a free iBook on using the Mac, which is called, “Mastering the Mac with VoiceOver”.

Mastering the Mac with VoiceOver.

From Applevis, David Woodbridge presents some very useful tips and other information on using the Mac and VoiceOver.

Getting started with your Mac using VoiceOver

For those looking for some tutorials on using VoiceOver and Mountain Lion, Sarah Alawami has made some of her tutorials available for sale. In fact, you can purchase a zip file worth of them for only $6.00. Please go here for all of the details.

For low vision users looking for modified, large print keyboards or large print overlays/skins for keyboards, AISquared has some great options. You can find
all of the details here.

Leave a Reply