Mac OS X is designed from the ground up to work effectively for everybody, including people with special needs. People with limited hearing, sight, or ability to control a keyboard or mouse will find Mac OS X is an extremely effective operating system. Apple has always facilitated access to its system for people of all abilities.
These features are mostly located in Mac OS X inside the Universal Access system preference, but Mac OS X's sound input and speech capabilities (found in the Sound and Speech system preferences, respectively) are also extremely useful.
A key support application for the visually impaired, VoiceOver Utility enables Mac OS X to read aloud information displayed on the screen. In many ways, VoiceOver Utility is an extension of Universal Access. The application can be configured to provide the voice a user understands best when the app speaks the text on-screen. A nice touch is that VoiceOver Utility can be used to speak chat combinations such as smiling face :-) or lol (which stands for "laughing out loud"), and so on. You can customize VoiceOver Utility so it reads out an appropriate command for your personalized text chats.
In this chapter, we take an ...