Asking a person with dyslexia to look up a word in the dictionary is much like asking a person who is blind to drive a car. At least that was the case until the Merriam-Webster Dictionary app became available for purchase on iTunes. My tech-savvy teenage daughter has dyslexia and loves this particular app. The free version of this app is a gem, but at $3.99 each the premium versions are well worth the cost.
We were able to enhance the Merriam-Webster Dictionary app functionality on my daughter’s Apple device by setting the “Triple-Click” accessibility feature to “Ask.” Here’s how to do this on your own Apple device:
Tap on the "Settings" Cog Icon, under the "Settings" menu items along the left.
Under Settings, click on "General," and scroll to the bottom of the screen.
Under "General" settings, select the "Accessibility" menu.
Under "Physical and Motor" options, tap on the "Triple-Click-Toggle" to set your options.
Once you’re set up as described above, you can perform a number of helpful tasks. For example:
To do a voice search for a certain desired word:
Open the Merriam-Webster dictionary app.
Tap the microphone icon (located at the top right of the display) and speak (say) the desired word. Voila! The word and its definition will appear.
To hear the word pronounced properly, press the little speaker symbol next to the word returned. This allows you to verify that the word returned is, in fact, the one you wanted.
To activate the Triple-Click-Menu, press the "Home" button three times.
Tap "Turn Voice-Over On" once to activate it.
Now you can either:
Have a single word read by tapping on the word, or
Read a passage by tapping once on the word where you want "Voice-Over" to start reading, then use a two-finger down swipe to have "Voice-Over" read from that point forward. Use a two finger tap to stop the reading.
There may be times when you want to look up the definition of a word found within a definition. To do this:
Tap the word once to select it and then tap it twice to display the definition of that word.
To return to the previous word, press the "Back" icon (located on the menu bar at the upper left of the display) and then tap it twice to select it. (Note: If "Voice-Over" is not activated, simply tap a word anywhere on the page to open the definition for that word; tapping the "Back" icon once will return you to the previous menu.)
To turn "Voice-Over" off:
Click the "Home" button three times to bring up "Triple-Click-Menu."
Press "Turn Voice-Over Off" once to select the menu.
On the menu, press "Turn Voice-Over Off" twice to exit "Voice-Over."
Finally, press the “Home” button to place the Merriam-Webster app on the Multi-Tasking Menu for future use.
I hope you find these tips helpful. If you’ve discovered additional ways to maximize your use of this kind of app, feel free to post a comment below.