Talking Tech update: It’s not all about JAWS

14 July 2021

JAWS is still the most popular screen-reader amongst tech users who are blind or have low vision.

But what about the other options?

This week’s Talking Tech radio show hosts Stephen Jolly and David Woodbridge discuss screen reader availability and benefits.

“At the end of the day, it’s the task that you’re doing on the computer that’s important, not necessarily the screen reader,” David said.

“Anyone of these screen readers can do the job.”

Alongside JAWS there is the free, Australian made NVDA, which is a high quality screen reader created by developers who have lived experience.

There is also Narrator which is the out-of-the-box screen reader on Microsoft devices and Voiceover on Apple products. Supernova is another screen reader software that encompasses a magnifier, screen-reader and braille for Windows.

“Don’t just assume that it’s JAWS only,” David said.

NVDA is available for free download online, JAWS and SuperNova are available at cost from the Vision Australia store,

Also reviewed in the show are four products:

  1. The Micro Speak Plus Digital Voice Recorder (simple to use voice recorder)
  2. Versa Slate (modern version of the hand frame without using any paper)
  3. Amazon Echo Auto (allows you to use Alexa in the car)
  4. Victor Reader Stratus (desktop Daisy hardware Player)

And a takeaway tech tip:

The ABC Listen App now has audio books

The popular fully accessible Listen App from the ABC now also includes audio books. While it doesn’t have a speed up feature, it’s library is expansive.

You can find audio books via the browse tab, then choose the audio books category.


Try it for yourself:

Keen to hear how blind users navigate a screen?
If you’re using a PC, try a screen reader now:

Press Control+Windows+Enter to toggle around Narrator.
 

Hear more tech tips from a blind and low vision perspective every week on Talking Tech,  Tuesday 4:30PM AEST or catch up with the podcast via Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts and Omny.