Using Siri on a Mac

Siri is a built-in "intelligent assistant" that enables Apple device users to speak commands to operate their device and to interact with apps. Siri is often used to send messages, place calls, read calendar appointments, operate iTunes, set reminders, turn accessibility features on and off, control devices in Smart Homes, define and spell words, Internet searches, and so much more. For students who are visually impaired, Siri is often used for speed and efficiency.

Siri is very popular with iPhone users and is also used on iPads. Did you know that Siri is also available on the Mac?

Activate Siri on a Mac

  1. Select Apple icon in the top left corner of the screen.
  2. Select System Preferences.
  3. Select Siri (located in the fourth row).
  4. Check the Enable Siri check box.

You can choose your Language, Siri Voice, Voice Feedback, Mic Input and preferred Keyboard Shortcut. There is also a checkbox to show Siri in the menu bar located at the bottom of the Mac's screen. 

Teacher Note: The default Siri command is Option + Space. However, on iOS devices, the command is Cmd + Space. It is recommended to change the Keyboard Shortcut on the Mac to Cmd + Space for consistency.

The video below is a tutorial on how to set up and use Siri on a Mac.

Siri and Students with Disabilities

Students who are visually impaired or blind sometimes need a little extra time to navigate around their device compared to their peers. Students with low vision who are using Zoom may need to scan and interpret visual information or may need scroll around the page. Using Siri may also reduce eye strain. Students who are using screen readers may have to use additional commands to navigate to a desired document or article. Using Siri can eliminate multiple steps, increasing the student's efficiency. For students who have trouble keyboarding or who have physical disabilities, Siri can perform tasks smoothly. Siri is fully integrated with VoiceOver, Apple's screen reader for students who are visually impaired.

Siri Commands & Resources 

Read more about: Assistive Technology