Using the kindle Fire

Last updated 5/16

The kindle fire is a line of tablets from Amazon that come in 7, 8 or 10 inch screens.  All of these tablets feature built in accessibility out of the box for speech and magnification users.  With these tablets you have the ability to listen to music, listen to audio books, send and receive email as well have access to thousands of applications to enhance the functionality of your tablet from the Amazon apps store.

Storage Options

The 7 and 8 inch models come in 8 and 16 gig compacities.  The 10 inch can come up to a 32 gig capacity for internal storage.  All of the Fire tablets feature a micro SD card slot for removable storage up to 128 gigs of storage.


Orient your Fire tablet with the buttons facing away from you.

On the top left edge you have the headphone jack. 

You then will find the volume down and volume up buttons. 

The micro USB charging port is to the right of the volume up button.

On the far right edge, you will find the power button.  On the right side of the tablet, you will find a door.  Behind this door is the micro SD slot.

Should it not have a charge, connect the micro USB cable to the Fire and connect the other end to the wall adapter that was included in your package.


Enabling Accessibility

When you take your Fire out of the box, to enable accessibility, perform the following steps.

1. Tap the power button for a few seconds.

This is the button on the top right edge.

2. The first screen you will come on is a language screen.  At this point, take two fingers and hold them slightly spread out on the screen.  In a few seconds, you will hear a message about keep holding down two fingers to enable VoiceView Amazon's built-in screen reader.

Once VoiceView is enabled, you then will be taken through a tutorial that will show you the various gestures you use to use the tablet.

Those gestures are listed below.


Basic Navigation Gestures

Explore menus and items  -- Drag a finger over each item on the screen.

 Go to the next item -- Swipe right using a finger.

 Go to the previous item -- Swipe left using a finger.

 Text Navigation

Go to next item by granularity  -- Swipe down using a finger.

Go to previous item by granularity  -- Swipe up using a finger.

 Open an item  --  Select the item, and then double-tap anywhere on the screen.

Increase Granularity  -- Swipe up then down using a single motion

Decrease Granularity  -- Swipe down then up using a single motion.

 The above two gestures changes what happens when you swipe down with one finger.

Quickly navigate items by granularity -- Double-tap and hold anywhere on the screen then draw circles clockwise or counter clockwise. This is called “use the jog wheel gesture.”

Note: Granularity refers to the unit of movement. Moving by character or word are two examples of granularity options.

Note: If an item doesn't open, try slowing down or speeding up your tapping speed.

 Activating Home, Back and Recent Apps

Go to the Home screen -- Swipe up then left with a finger in a single motion.

Go to a category page  -- Swipe from the right edge of the screen with two fingers to navigate the content pages (for example, Books, Videos, or Music).

Go back to the previous screen  -- Swipe down then left with a finger in a single motion. Open Quick Actions and Notifications -- Swipe right then down with a finger in a single motion. Alternatively, swipe down from the top of the screen with two fingers.


Note: The home button can also be found at the bottom of the screen.

It is not a physical button, but a virtual one that you can do a 1-finger double tap on to activate.

 The back button can also be found at the bottom of the screen.


Open Navigation Panel in a content library or store  -- Swipe from the left edge of the screen with two fingers.

 Show recently opened apps or content  -- Swipe left then up with a finger in a single motion.

Navigating Screens

Go To The Next Or Previous Page -- Swipe left or right with two fingers

Scroll Up Or Down-- Scroll up or down with two fingers

Adjust   A Seek Control --  -- first find the seek control.  Then, perform a Swipe right then left or left then right, with a finger in a single motion.


Note: Some examples of a seek  control would be screen brightness or volume.

Type on the keyboard   -- Move a finger slowly over the keys to hear them being read to you. When you hear the letter, lift your finger from the keyboard to add the letter. If you hear a high-pitched tone, your finger has moved outside the keyboard.

Other Resources To Help You Get Started:

A Guide to the Screen Magnifier

Pair a Braille Display with Your Fire Tablet

Guide to Reading Books with Screen Reader and Explore by Touch

Bluetooth Keyboard Shortcuts