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Best free screen reader?

I’m new to web accessibility and don’t know much about screen readers. (I’m on a mac) and know that I can highlight text, right click, and hit speak. I assume though that screen readers interpret the page much differently. What screen reader (preferably free) do you recommend I test my site with?

Answer

You’re on the right track with hitting ‘speak’, and that screen readers indeed are a bit different in the way they read the page. With that in mind, let’s run through some popular screen readers.

  • JAWS. This is by far the most popular screen reader, despite it not being free. It is also important to note that this is only compatible with Windows.
  • ChromeVox. If you use chrome and want a quick and easy way to test out your site, this chrome extension is great. All you need to do is install it and you’re on your way.
  • VoiceOver for Mac. Built into macOS is something called voiceover. You can enable this by going to System Preferences > Accessibility, and then VoiceOver.

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