Material Detail

Screen reader simulation

Screen reader simulation

This site simulates screen reader access to a fictional university Web site. A set of keyboard shortcuts is presented to help you navigate through the site; this is similar to the experience of the person using screen reader software. It is recommended that you read the explanation first.


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Jon Knolle
Jon Knolle (Administrator)
13 years ago
This is a great example to help people understand how screen readers work. It is next to impossible to DESCRIBE the experience of browsing a Web page with a screen reader ... which makes simulations like this very useful in the classroom. Using actual screen reading software can certainly be a better experience but may not always be possible. Providing even a "taste" of what it's like using a screen reader certainly helps individuals to understand the user's experience a little better.

Technical Remarks:

As indicated, the simulation requires Shockwave Player. Being a Director developer myself it's hard to criticize this ... but it does occasionally make access more complicated since it is not as common as Flash player. Installing Shockwave Player on Apple OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) may be confusing for some. There are instructions at the URL (they were very hard to locate on Adobe's site).
Used in course? Yes
Lynn Aaron
Lynn Aaron (Faculty)
18 years ago
This simulation provides an eye-opening opportunity to experience the WWW from
the point of view of a sightless person. As when using a screenreader, the
content of the page is read aloud with no visual clues. I've used this
simulation as a demonstration in several Web development courses. Students have
responded with amazement. They gained understanding of the need to include
accessibility features in their Web pages. They also gained respect for the
ability of people without sight to use the WWW.

It's worth reading the explanation before trying the simulation. It is also
possible to see the mock Web site, but it's better to do this after the

Technical Remarks:

It's necessary to have Shockwave installed. It may take some time for the file
to load, depending on the speed of your connection.

Audio is essential since the Web page content is read aloud. You'll need
speakers or headphones.
Used in course? Yes