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Accessibility and Usability Forum

Download a screen reader
Helps you test web accessibility

 5:58 pm on Apr 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

When I want to test my site to see how well a screen reader can read it I download a demo. You can go to this site [freedomscientific.com] to download Jaws for windows. This is what most blind people use as a screen reader.

Here is a list [unt.edu] of commands to move around Internet Explorer.



 6:08 pm on Apr 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thanks! I think there are a couple of other resources as well. I remember seeing a Java-Powered one once, but I don't have time to research it.


 2:25 pm on Apr 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

Be careful when downloading and installing JAWS. I went through this I believe a year ago after a similar topic arose. JAWS has a tendency to overwrite system settings in regards to display. You may have to undo some things after the install.

After my previous JAWS experience, I really have a different perspective for the disabled. Man, what a nightmare that was, browsing various sites using JAWS. And then I decided to browse sites in the SEO arena. Yikes! SHUT UP!

Matt Probert

 6:14 pm on Apr 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

As an alternative, you can use Lynx. It's not a screen reader, but as a character-based browser it will show you what robots will encounter and what screen readers will encounter, including those silly images where you have forgotten the alt text (eg: picturename.jpg).



 1:38 am on Apr 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Using any screenreader technology even for a short while is a revelation - it is a great way of discovering how well a site is structured - and when browsing non-visually, page structure is absolutely vital for best understanding.

Lynx is a great test tool as well, as it strips down the page to the bare essentials. If your page works well in Lynx, then you have gone a long way to making it accessible via a screenreader.

A hint: use VMWare or a similar virtualization program to have multiple instances of you OS available with different configurations. In that way, you can test such software without affecting your main setup.


 2:51 pm on Apr 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have used the last 2 versions of JAWS with no prolems. They must have fixed that problem.

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