Screenreading Software

Screen readers are used to convert web content into "synthesized speech" in order to provide an alternative form of visual information.

This type of software comes in many forms – some products are incredibly advanced and complex, with an astonishing price tag to match, while other, more “developer-friendly” tools can be obtained for free for the purpose of evaluating websites for accessibility.

The following table lists several free and popular tools, as well as compatible operating systems and recommended browsers:

 

Name of Software Operating System Chrome Firefox Internet Explorer Safari
JAWS Windows Compatible Compatible Compatible
ZoomText Windows Compatible Compatible Compatible
VoiceOver Mac Compatible Compatible Compatible
NVDA Windows Compatible Compatible Compatible
ChromeVOX Chrome (OS) Compatible
Window-Eyes Windows Compatible Compatible

 

Based on a survey conducted by WebAIM in 2015, there is evidence to suggest that JAWS (developed by Freedom Scientific) continues to have the largest user base, followed by ZoomText and Window-Eyes.