Get help with accessibility features on Amazon Fire tablets.

Guide to VoiceView Screen Reader for Fire Tablet

The VoiceView screen reader lets you use gestures to navigate your Fire tablet (FireOS 5 and higher) and interact with content with speech output.

This document contains information about how to turn on VoiceView, basic usage, settings, and gestures.

Enable VoiceView

To enable VoiceView during first-time setup:

  1. Press the power button located next to the USB power port.
  2. Wait for the device to load the language selection screen.
  3. Triple press the power button, and wait for VoiceView to start.

You can also enable VoiceView any time:

  1. Press and hold the power button until you hear an alert sound.
  2. Hold two fingers slightly apart on the screen for five seconds to enable VoiceView.

VoiceView Basics

  • Explore the screen: drag one finger on the screen.
  • Go to the next item: swipe right with one finger.
  • Go to the previous item: swipe left with one finger.
  • Go to the next heading: swipe up or down on the screen.
  • Scroll a window: drag three fingers on the screen.
  • Activate an item: place focus on it then double-tap anywhere on the screen. If the item doesn’t activate, try to slow down or speed up your tap speed.
  • Read all from selected item: swipe down with 2 fingers.
  • Turn on VoiceView from any screen: triple press the power button or hold the power button until you hear an alert, and then place two fingers slightly apart on the screen and hold for five seconds.

VoiceView Settings

You can customize your VoiceView experience by modifying user settings. To access settings when VoiceView is on, swipe down from the top of the screen with three fingers, focus on “VoiceView. Tap for settings” in the notifications list, then double-tap to activate. Alternatively, you can navigate through the settings menus:

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen with three fingers, focus on Settings, then double tap to activate.
  2. Focus on Accessibility, double tap to activate, focus on VoiceView then double tap to activate.

The following settings are available:

  • VoiceView Shortcut: Allow triple-press of the power button to turn on VoiceView. You can turn off VoiceView with this action.
  • Speech
    • Reading Speed: Adjust the speed of the VoiceView voice.
    • Verbosity: The amount of information provided while navigating.
    • Speech Volume: Set the volume level for VoiceView speech, select Match device volume to use the same volume as other media.
    • Sounds Volume: Set the volume level for feedback tones, or select Match device volume to use the same volume as other media.
    • Key Echo: Determine what is echoed back to you while entering text. By default, characters are echoed as they are typed to confirm entry. This can be changed to none, characters, words, or both characters and words.
    • Punctuation Level: Control what punctuation marks are read aloud.
    • Identify Capital Letters: Raise pitch or say “cap” to identify capital letters
    • Speech On or Off gesture: Allow turning speech on or off by double tapping with three fingers. Disabled by default.
  • VoiceView Tutorial: Choose between various lessons and Learn Mode to become more familiar with VoiceView usage.

Gestures

Cycle up in Granularity (character, word, etc.) by swiping up then down with one finger using a single motion. This allows you to step through items at the selected granularity. For example, character granularity can be used to spell a word.

Cycle down in Granularity (character, word, etc.) by swiping down then up with one finger using a single motion. This allows you to step through items at the selected granularity. For example, character granularity can be used to spell a word.

Go to next item by granularity by swiping down with one finger.

Go to previous item by granularity by swiping up with one finger.

Quickly navigate items by granularity with the jog wheel gesture. To use the jog wheel gesture, double-tap and hold with one finger anywhere on the screen and immediately draw circles clockwise or counter clockwise to move forward or backward at the granularity level.

Go to the Home screen by swiping up then left with one finger in a single motion. You can also use the Home button near the bottom middle of the screen in the soft key bar.

Move between category pages on the Home screen by swiping left or right with three fingers (for example, Books, Videos, or Music).

Go Back by swiping down then left with one finger in a single motion. You can also use the Back button near the bottom left of the screen in the soft key bar.

Open Quick Actions and Notifications by swiping down from the top of the device with three fingers. Alternatively, swipe right then down with one finger in a single motion.

Show recent apps by swiping left then up with one finger in a single motion. You can also use the App Switcher button near the bottom right of the screen in the soft key bar.

Type on the keyboard by moving one finger slowly over the keys to hear them read to you. When you hear the letter you want to type, lift your finger from the keyboard to enter the letter. If you hear a high-pitched tone, your finger has moved outside the keyboard.

Select a word from the suggested word list by typing a letter of a word, and then slide your finger from the bottom of screen until you hear a high-pitched tone. Without lifting your finger, draw circles clockwise to hear a list of suggested words. Draw circles counter-clockwise to cycle backwards through the words. Lift your finger to select the word.

Go to the next page or previous page by swiping left or right with three fingers.

Adjust an incremented control (such as a slider) by placing focus on the control you want to adjust, then use one of the following methods:

  1. Swipe up or down with one finger.
  2. Use the jog wheel gesture.
  3. Swipe right then left, or left then right, with one finger in a single motion.
  4. Double-tap and hold, and then slide a finger to adjust the control.

To use the jog wheel gesture, double-tap and hold with one finger anywhere on the screen and immediately draw circles clockwise or counter clockwise to move forward or backward at the granularity level.

Long press an item by placing focus on the item, then double-tap and hold with one finger. This performs the action of holding a finger on an item as if VoiceView were disabled. For example, for an app icon on the Home screen, it would display a menu with an Uninstall option at the top of the screen.

Unlock the screen by using one of the following methods:

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen with two or three fingers.
  2. Place focus on the unlock button, then double tap to activate.

Pause or resume speech by single-tapping with 2 fingers.

Read all from selected item by swiping down with 2 fingers.

Read all from first item by swiping up with 2 fingers.

Navigate while continuously reading with a 1-finger swipe up or down to jump to the beginning of the previous or next item of your selected granularity. Swipe multiple times to jump multiple items. Use a 2-finger swipe left or right to jump by element.

Select & Copy Text with a 3-finger double tap and hold to start text selection on current item. Use linear or granular navigation to move to the other end of your selection. Use a 3-finger double tap and hold again to the end of the selection. Use a 4-finger double tap and hold to paste. Double tap and hold by briefly touching the screen, lift your fingers, then immediately touch the screen again and hold your fingers for about 1 second.

Note: Due to similarity, 3-finger double tap to turn speech on or off is disabled by default. You can enable it in the Speech settings.

Start or stop media by double-tapping with 2 fingers.

Start or stop dictation text input (on supported devices) by double-tapping with 2 fingers while editing text.

Make an Alexa request by double-tapping and holding 2 fingers.

Speak location, usage hints, and screen description by single-tapping with 3 fingers.

Turn screen curtain on or off by triple-tapping with 3 fingers.

Go to the first item on screen by tapping on upper half of screen with 4 fingers.

Go to the last item on screen by tapping on lower half of screen with 4 fingers.

Turn speech on or off by double-tapping with 3 fingers when gesture is enabled in VoiceView Speech settings.

Enter or exit Learn mode for gesture practice by double-tapping with 4 fingers.


Guide to Screen Magnifier

Use Screen Magnifier to magnify your screen to read items more easily on your Fire tablet. The Screen Magnifier is ideal for users with low vision (FireOS 5 and higher).

To turn on Screen Magnifier:

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen and then tap Settings.
  2. Tap Accessibility. Tap the switch next to Screen Magnifier, and then tap OK.
To do this …Do this …
Turn on Screen Magnifier during device setupPress the Power button until “Do you want to shut down your Fire?” appears on the screen, and then triple-tap the screen with a finger and hold your finger on the screen for five seconds.
Magnify the screenTriple-tap the screen with a finger.
PanDrag two fingers across the screen. Hold your fingers slightly apart while panning.
Change zoom levelPinch inward and outward with two fingers when the screen is magnified.
Temporarily magnify the screenTriple-tap the screen with a finger and hold. To pan, drag your finger across the screen. When you’re finished, lift your finger.

Listen to Content with Text-to-Speech

Listen to Kindle content on Fire tablet with Text-to-Speech (FireOS 5 and higher).

Note: Most Kindle content and personal documents are eligible for Text-to-Speech. If Text-to-Speech capability is available for your book, you’ll see Text-to-Speech: Enabled on the product detail page before you purchase your book.

  1. While reading, tap the center of the screen, and then tap the menu icon Aa in the upper right corner.
  2. Tap More, and then tap the switch next to Text-to-Speech to turn it on.
  3. In your Kindle book, tap the screen to show the progress bar, and then tap the Play button next to the progress bar to hear the text read aloud. To increase or decrease the reading speed of the Text-to-Speech voice, tap the Narration Speed icon.

You can listen to the Text-to-Speech voice through the external speakers on your device or through your earphones plugged into the headphone jack.

Tip: If you’re reading a book in another language, you can download a Text-to-Speech voice for that language without leaving the book. Tap the download prompt at the bottom of the progress bar to install the Text-to-Speech voice.


Guide to Reading Books with VoiceView on Fire Tablet

Use gestures and Text-to-Speech to read and interact with your book on Fire tablet (FireOS 5 and higher).

You can switch between two modes of reading: continuous and non-continuous. Continuous reading will read all pages in the book, while non-continuous reading will read a page, character, or word on the page.

  • Start reading
    • From your book, swipe down from the top of the page with two fingers when the reading toolbar is closed to start reading from the top of the page. Use an L gesture to start reading from the current focus point.
    • When you open a book, Text-to-Speech begins reading the book and automatically turns the pages.
  • Switch from continuous to non-continuous reading
    • Tap the screen to switch from reading continuously to reading one page at a time.
    • When using VoiceView, granularity can be adjusted to read one word, line, heading, or character at a time
    • Note: Depending on the content being read, some reading level options may not be available.
  • Enable heading navigation
    • Perform a swipe up and down gesture until “Heading Navigation” is chose as your level of granularity.
  • Show reading toolbar
    • While reading, tap the screen, and then double-tap the screen to show the reading toolbar.
  • Change continuous reading speed
    • The continuous reading speed control is located in the bottom right corner of the screen when the reading toolbar is open.
    • Tap the control, and then double-tap the screen to change the reading speed.
  • Change reading voice
    • With the reading toolbar open, swipe down from the top of the screen with two fingers to open Quick Actions, and then select Settings.
    • From Settings, select Keyboard & Language, and then select Text-to-Speech.
  • Read one page, paragraph, character, heading, or word at a time
    • Swipe up and then right in a continuous motion with a finger to activate the Local Context Menu.
    • With the Local Context Menu open, select your preferred reading level: character, word, line, paragraph, page, heading, or default.
    • Depending on the content being read, some reading level options may not be available.
    • Note: The VoiceView’s Text-to-Speech voice reads in your device language. However, not all languages are supported.
  • Read additional content
    • Double tap to select highlights, footnotes, alternate text, and Word Wise content when they are announced.
    • Swipe left or right to read text before or after selected content.
  • Turn page
    • Swipe left with two fingers to go to the next page. Swipe right with two fingers to go to the previous page.
  • Open the Go To menu
    • Swipe from the left edge of the screen with two fingers, and then double-tap a chapter or section.
  • Select text
    • Explore the screen with a finger to find the word you want to select.
    • Double-tap the word, and then hold to listen to the definition of the word being read to you.
    • You can also swipe to the left or right to choose a highlight color, add a note, share your notes and highlights, and more.
  • Adjust text selection
    • Selection markers are available in the menu after selecting text.
    • Select the markers to increase or decrease the text selection size.

Turn On Subtitles for Fire Tablet

Use Subtitling for supported content on your Fire tablet (4th Generation and newer).

While browsing Prime Video movies and TV shows, videos that include subtitles appear with the subtitles symbol (“CC”) on their overview pages. Most videos that support subtitles include English text. Other languages may also be available.

To turn on Subtitles for Prime Video, Silk and Photos:

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen and then tap Accessibility. Tap the switch next to Subtitling to turn it on.
  2. Tap Subtitling Preferences to customize your settings for:
    • Text – Adjust text size, color, opacity, font, and edge style.
    • Text Background – Select the color and opacity for the text’s background.
    • Window Background – Select the color and opacity for the Subtitling window.
  3. If you want to use the values you selected for Subtitling on Prime Video Subtitles, tap On next to Use Amazon web settings for Prime Video Subtitles.

Tap Reset to Defaults to reset your customized settings to the default values.


Set Up Switch Access for Fire Tablet

Switch Access allows you to use compatible Bluetooth devices as switches to navigate and interact with your Fire tablet (FireOS 6 and higher).

A “switch” is a general term for input devices such as a button, eye blink sensor, or sip puff straw.

Supported Switches and Controllers

Third-party devices tested to work with Switch Access on Fire tablet:

  • Ablenet Blue 2
  • Enabling devices – Wireless Switch Interface & Wireless One Switch
  • Tecla-e
  • Bluetooth keyboard

Common compatible switches:

  • Button
  • Sip puff
  • Blink switch

Compatible Bluetooth switch controllers and switches are available from a variety of websites online, including Amazon.

Set Up Switch Access

Depending on your motor ability, you may need assistance from another person to set up Switch Access.

To set up Switch Access:

  1. Turn on your Fire tablet.
  2. Place your Bluetooth switch controller in pairing mode. Refer to the device manufacturer’s instruction if needed.
  3. On your Fire tablet, navigate to Settings > Connected Devices > Pair new device.
  4. On your Fire tablet, navigate to Settings > Accessibility > Switch Access and then set the toggle to On.
  5. Follow the step-by-step process. Choose the number of switches to use, how to scan and the speed, and assign your switches to the desired action.

A test is run on your setup to confirm that Switch Access is working.


Guide to Using Switch Access for Fire Tablet

Tips for using Switch Access to perform actions on your device such as scroll, tap, page turn, and volume control.

To do thisUse this
Navigate backwards, jump to home, or show the App Switcher.Use the options in the Switch Access “Menu” located at the top middle of the screen when scanning.
Access media controls and change volume.Use the contextual Switch Access options in the top left of the screen or in the Switch Access “Menu” during media playback.
Unlock your device.Use the Unlock button at the top left of the screen.
Perform a secondary action on an item.Choose Disable auto-select from the Switch Access “Menu.”
Access items that are low in the scan order.Use Point Scan mode, which is available in the Switch Access “Menu.”Note: Point Scan mode uses horizontal and vertical cross-hair lines to choose a point on the screen to select.
Scroll through your Fire tablet.Activate your switch when the scrollable area is highlighted and indicated with arrows at the edges.
Access notifications & quick device settings.Use the options in the Switch Access “Menu.”
Turn pages in Kindle e-books.Use the contextual Switch Access options, which appear in the top left of the screen when scanning is activated.

Switch Access users may also benefit from the following Fire tablet features:

  • Dictate text by selecting the microphone button in the bottom right of the keyboard.
  • Ask Alexa to quickly access apps and features. Just say, “Open the Silk Browser” or “Play Jack Ryan in Prime Video.”
  • Add bookmarks in the Silk browser to access your favorite website.
  • Set your device screen to the landscape position for watching full screen videos.

Troubleshoot Switch Access on Fire Tablet

Try these steps if Switch Access stopped working.

Before you begin troubleshooting, ensure that your compatible Bluetooth switch controller is paired and set up with your Fire tablet.

  • Check that your Bluetooth device has enough battery, is turned on, and connected to your Fire tablet.
  • Turn off the Switch Access feature, then turn it back on.
  • Restart your Fire tablet. Hold the power button and select Restart.
  • Unpair your Bluetooth device from your Fire tablet settings and complete setup again.

Amazon Fire Tablet User Guide: