New and Improved Accessibility Features on Your Fire Tablet

By Nancy C. Muir

If you have challenges with manual dexterity (for example, carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis), vision, or hearing, you may find that Accessibility features can help you in using your Fire tablet.

With Settings open, tap Accessibility. Here’s a quick rundown of available accessibility features:

  • Screen Reader: Screen Reader audibly describes the actions you’re taking on your Fire tablet. If you turn this setting on, the Reading Speed and Explore by Touch settings become available. Turning Screen Reader on also turns on Explore by Touch.

    The way you interact with your Fire changes dramatically when you turn these features on, so walk through the tutorial that’s offered before you start to work with them. The most important thing to know is that when they are turned on, you have to tap and then double-tap items onscreen to perform an action.

  • Screen Magnifier: Toggles on and off a feature that enlarges your entire screen. Once turned on, triple-tapping magnifies the screen, and you can then control the screen magnification by pinching your fingers inward or outward. Also, with Screen Magnifier on and the page enlarged, swiping two fingers across the screen allows you to move around the page to see portions of it that may now be off screen.

  • Font Size: Toggles on and off larger fonts onscreen.

  • Closed Captioning: Turns on closed captioning for videos; note that only some videos are enabled for closed captioning.

  • Closed Captioning Preferences: Allows you to choose settings such as caption text size, color, and font, as well as the text background color.

  • Convert Stereo to Mono: If you have poor hearing in one ear, stereo sound can make you miss some of the audio coming at you. You can use this setting to turn on Mono audio.

  • Accessibility User’s Guide: For a quick tutorial on how to use various accessibility features, tap this and scroll through the user’s guide that’s displayed.