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How to Check Your EIT with a Screen Reader

You should build websites and documents that can be read by a screen reader. This website has pages that cover how to build documents and websites for accessibility, but it’s also important to know how to check your website to make sure a screen reader has correctly interpreted your EIT.

You will need a screen reader application or enable assistive technology in your operating system to see how a screen reader will read your document or website.

MacOS

The MacOS has built-in assistive technology that reads aloud items on the screen or on documents and web pages. VoiceOver has been a part of the MacOS for years and is the best way for checking EIT for screen reader compatibility on the MacOS.

Apple provides an extensive guide to using VoiceOver on the MacOS.

WebAIM also provides an excellent getting started guide to using VoiceOver, which includes practice exercises for using VoiceOver on images, tables, and forms.

Windows

There are two widely used screen readers available on Windows: JAWS and NDVA. JAWS is a powerful, commercial product that is used by millions of blind people worldwide. NDVA is a free, open-source alternative to JAWS. While NDVA may lack the full functionality of JAWS, it is a free and useful alternative.

Once again, WebAIM provides an excellent getting started guide for JAWS and a getting started guide for NDVA , both of which include practice exercises for using either screen reader on images, tables, and forms.

Kurzweil 3000 Firefly at JHU

Johns Hopkins also offers licenses for Kurzweil 3000 Firefly, a commercial product that provides read-aloud assistance for documents of all types as well as web pages. It can render text to speech in multiple languages and offers an array of study aids and tools in addition to the text-to-speech features.

Contact JHU purchasing if you seek to use this service.