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Important notice about the «ADG» project

Important notice: Due to large demand, the «Accessibility Developer Guide» project (currently a proof of concept with low priority) will become a top priority priority in 2017. We will make this guide become what it deserves to be for so long already: a comprehensive resource for all folks interested in accessibility. For this we need your support!

Relevant screenreaders

We assume that the following screenreaders are the most widespread. When creating accessible websites, make sure they work well with your end product.

Desktop

Most screenreader users are working on Windows (though Mac OS X is catching up quickly).

NVDA (Non-Visual Desktop Access) (Windows)

NVDA is open source and the most reliable accessibility testing tool. Use it daily when developing, and you will soon begin to love it as a firm but fair teacher.

If you didn't know, the main part of this whole website is about NVDA, so go and check it out!

JAWS (Windows)

JAWS (Job Access With Speech) is still the most widespread screenreader, but it's market share is shrinking constantly.

JAWS is an extremely expensive piece of software (in fact, a complete new Macbook with VoiceOver installed is cheaper, but health insurances rather seem to want to pay for yearly updates over and over again). For developers and testers, the 40 minute time limit demo version should be enough.

Other kids in town

If possible, also test with:

  • VoiceOver (Mac OS X), which is deeply integrated into the operating system and thus offers a whole new user experience
  • Windows-Eyes (Windows), another commonly used screenreader (especially in the US)

Mobile

The mobile world offers very easy to use screenreaders: especially VoiceOver can be used by anyone in only a few minutes.

While standard HTML and JavaScript is all well supported by mobile screenreaders, they vary a lot in supported ARIA elements and attributes.