Screen Readers and How They Work with E-Learning

Overview

A screen reader is a software application that attempts to identify and interpret what is being displayed on the screen (or, more accurately, sent to standard output, whether a video monitor is present or not). This interpretation is then re-presented to the user with text-to-speech, sound icons, or a Braille output device. Screen readers are a form of Assistive Technology (AT) potentially useful to people who are blind, visually impaired, illiterate or learning disabled, often in combination with other AT, such as screen magnifiers.

Most people who are blind will rely on screen reading software such as JAWS or Windows-Eyes to read the pages of an e-Learning course to them.

This section presents a list of ways that screen readers read and pronounce content. It is not a complete list, by any means, but it will help e-Learning course developers understand screen readers a little better. Most e-Learning course developers will not need or be interested in more information than what is presented here, but those who are interested should consider either buying full versions of the various screen readers or else downloading trial versions,which you will find resources for at the end of this segement.

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Screen Readers Resources and Tool Tips

The design techniques shown above are just a few examples to help you create accessible e-Learning course content for people using a screen reader for additional resources on designing for accessibility there are additional resource links posted below.

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This File Was Last Modified: Friday April 05 2013