Megan (jehoshabeath) wrote,

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Today I learned the basics of using a screen reader. Apple has a long PDF file that goes over the basics and introduces the various commands. I read through that and then went through the tutorial on my mac. I got stuck when trying to navigate the table cells, but otherwise it seemed to go pretty well. Ok, ok, I was cheating and looking at the screen half the time, but it's a start!

Why would I want to learn how to use a screen reader? I thought of a couple reasons.

1. My mac includes the VoiceOver software for free, so why not learn how to use it?

2. If I want to make really accessible webpages, I should understand how the users will interact with them. That includes sighted and blind users. Up until today, I had no idea how the Blind accessed and read web pages, but now I have a much better idea. It's really quite interesting. I can definitely use what I learned to improve my web pages.

3. Everyday I sit in front of a monitor for 8 hours at work and then another couple hours at home working the part-time job and catching up on email. That can't be good for my eyes. It would be interesting to try and do my casual internet surfing and email without the monitor to give my eyes a rest for a while. It will take me a while till I can figure out what I am doing, though! At least there is a toggle option to hide and show the monitor display.

The only thing that really gets to me is the fact that my function keys act differently while VoiceOver is running. I hit F11 and expect the volume to decrease, but instead my windows shift around. Ah, confusing. To remedy this, all I need to do is remember to hold Fn down while hitting the function keys. So that isn't too bad.
Tags: technology

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