Tip of the Week: 3 Pieces of Software that Read the Screen to the User

Tip of the Week: 3 Pieces of Software that Read the Screen to the User

If we’re all going to be honest, the ability to read is an underappreciated skill. However, many people need assistance with reading, often due to some visual impairment or learning disability. Preparing yourself for the day when someone in your office may need the assistance is a simple step in the right direction.

For your consideration, we’ve compiled some of the most common screen reading software titles.

Job Access with Speech (JAWS)
JAWS has a history of being the most common screen reading application worldwide. In 2015, JAWS was the program of choice for 30.2% of frequent users, while infrequent users made up about 43.7%. Whether the user is browsing the web, reading content like articles and ebooks, reaching out to a team member through telecommunication, or is engaged in another activity, JAWS can simplify their process - even if that user is still using Windows Vista!

Windows Narrator
A standby on every version of Windows since Windows 2000, Windows Narrator was originally meant to work as an accessibility tool for the blind and visually impaired. Narrator can read basic dialogue boxes and the information displayed in windows to a limited degree. This is because Narrator was never really meant to be a be-all, end-all solution. Instead, it is recommended by Microsoft that Windows Narrator is used to help download a more advanced solution.

NonVisual Desktop Access (NVDA)
NVDA can be pretty accurately summed up as the free version of JAWS, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have features worth talking about. Not only can NVDA read back text as it appears on the screen, it can also provide the output for a braille machine to print a hard copy. NVDA can be installed to a computer or can be made portable through the use of a thumb drive. This solution is also compatible with text in email and social media, as well as word processing and productivity software, and can be used with Windows 10.

Are there any other screen reading titles that you’ve heard of? Share them in the comments below!

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