Examples of Web Assistive Technology
- Alternative Keyboard
- Alternative Mouse
- Head Wand
- Mouth Stick
- Refreshable Braille Display
- Screen Magnifier
- Screen Reader
- Voice Recognition software
Examples of Screen Magnifiers/Screen Readers
Zoom Text by AI Squared – screen magnifying software that makes computers accessible/friendly to low-vision users.
JAWS by Freedom Scientific – popular screen reading software. Uses internal speech synthesizer and computer’s sound card to read info from computer screen aloud.
NonVisual Desktop Access (NVDA) – free and open source screen reader for the Microsoft Windows operating system.
Apple Voice Over – Available on Mac OS X
Window Eyes – a Windows screen reader for Microsoft Office applications as well as the web.
WebAnywhere – an online screenreader
How screen readers read a web page
- Screen readers announce the page title (the <title> attribute in the HTML markup).
- Screen readers try to pronounce acronyms and nonsensical words if they have sufficient vowels/consonants to be pronounceable; otherwise, they spell out the letters.
- When reading words letter by letter, JAWS distinguishes between upper case and lower case letters by shouting/emphasizing the upper case letters.
- Screen readers will read the alt text of images, if alt text is present. JAWS precedes the alt text with the word “graphic.” If the image is a link, JAWS precedes the alt text with “graphic link.”
- Screen readers ignore images without alt text.
- If the image without alt text is a link, screen readers will generally read the link destination.
- Screen readers can announce headings. JAWS, for example, precedes <h1> headings with “heading level 1.”
- Some screen readers announce the number of links on a page as soon as the page finishes loading in the browser.
- JAWS says “same page link” if the link destination is on the same page as the link itself.
- Screen readers in table navigation mode (users have to activate this mode) inform the user how many rows and columns are in a table.
- Users can navigate in any direction from cell to cell in table navigation mode. If the table is marked up correctly, the screen reader will read the column and/or row heading as the user enters each new cell.
- Screen readers inform users when they have entered into a form. Users have the option to enter form navigation mode.
How Users use Assistive Technology
WebAIM Survey of Users of Screen Readers
WebAIM Survey of Low Vision Users