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Using the VoiceOver screen reader on Mac OS X

From: Web Accessibility Principles

Video: Using the VoiceOver screen reader on Mac OS X

>> Voiceover is screen reading software built into Mac OS X. It doesn't work quite like Jaws and other screen readers available on Windows, and it doesn't have most of the features that Jaws offers for reading and navigating web pages. But keep in mind that it is in its first release, while Jaws is currently at version 8.02. We'll be using Jaws for testing web pages throughout the rest of the title, as it is the most popular screen reader. But Voiceover is gaining in popularity and support, so it's worthwhile to get a feeling for how it works.

Using the VoiceOver screen reader on Mac OS X

>> Voiceover is screen reading software built into Mac OS X. It doesn't work quite like Jaws and other screen readers available on Windows, and it doesn't have most of the features that Jaws offers for reading and navigating web pages. But keep in mind that it is in its first release, while Jaws is currently at version 8.02. We'll be using Jaws for testing web pages throughout the rest of the title, as it is the most popular screen reader. But Voiceover is gaining in popularity and support, so it's worthwhile to get a feeling for how it works.

Voiceover is most useful for navigating the Mac operating system, but it can read web pages when viewed in Safari. If you're following along with the exercise files, open the file index.html in Safari that's located in the Chapter Two folder of the exercise files. To start Voiceover, press Cmd and F5 on your keyboard. >> Voiceover on, Safari, Town of Wardscott window. Back, End button -- >> To stop Voiceover from speaking at any point hit the Ctrl button on your keyboard.

To begin navigating between items on the screen, to hear how Voiceover reads them, use the key combination Ctrl, option, and the right or left arrow. >> Forward button, reload button, Add Bookmark button. >> To navigate into the content area of the page continue to press Ctrl, option, and the right arrow until the content area of the page is selected with a black outline. >> File, slash, slash, slash, splinter. Blank, show Bookmark, Apple, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo button, news, 100 -- HTML content.

>> If you'd like Voiceover to read all of the content within a highlighted area, you can press control, option, and A. I'm going to press those keys now to see how Voiceover will read this page. >> HTML content, image, image, image, image, image, image, image, image, image, image , image, image, image, image, image, news, July 2, 2008. Time to celebrate library's 70th anniversary. May 26, 2008. Council approves construction of community theater.

May 24 -- >> I've hit the control key to stop Voiceover from reading the page. I can then move manually between items on the page using Ctrl, option, and the right or left arrows. >> Police search for hit and run suspect. >> To move to the previous object, hit Ctrl, option, and the left arrow. >> May 24, 2008. >> There are basically two separate ways that Voiceover can read web pages. It can either read every item on the page individually, or it can group related items together to read.

To change this preference open the Voiceover utility by pressing Ctrl, option, and F8. >> Opening Voiceover utility. Voiceover utility, Voiceover utility window, Verbosity selected Tab 1 of 5 -- >> We can live to the second tab labeled navigation by pressing Ctrl, option, and the right arrow. >> Navigation, Tab 2 of 5 >> To select that tab, press Ctrl, option, and the space bar. >> Navigation, selected Tab 1 of 5 -- >> To move down in this screen press Ctrl, option, an the down arrow.

>> Voiceover cursor moves newly loaded web page, check, check box. >> This first option specifies whether Voiceover should immediately begin reading a web page when it is first loaded. Move down to the next option again using Ctrl, option, and the down arrow. >> Two items in web pages on check, check box. >> To check this item, press Ctrl, option, space bar. >> Check two items in web pages. Check box. >> Now close the Voiceover utility using Cmd W.

>> Safari Town of Wardscott window, May 24, 2008. >> Now let's see how Voiceover will group the items on the page. Press Ctrl, option and the left arrow. >> Group: The Wardscott Heritage Festival, one of our town's greatest events of the year is almost here. >> I press the Ctrl key to stop Voiceover from reading. As you can see, Voiceover does not always read the content on web pages in the order that you would expect. And it may negligent to read entire pieces of the page, especially with the group web pages option turned on.

Don't worry too much about this when you're testing your pages. This is a problem on the software's end, not on the web page end. Still, if you're on a Mac, try using Voiceover in Safari for the experience and to see if you can fix any small issues that you hear. Voiceover does not have all of the short cuts to bring up lists of items on the page and jump between them. But you can bring up a list of links in the page and a list of items. To bring up the list of links hit Ctrl option U. >> Link Chooser menu, 11 items.

>> You can then navigate between the links using up and down arrows on the keyboard. >> View more news releases, schedule of free performances, buy discount tickets to rides -- >> Hit the Escape key to close the link chooser. >> Closing link chooser menu. >> To bring up the list of items, hit Ctrl option I on the keyboard. >> Building item, item chooser menu, 83 items. >> This is an alphabetical list of all of the controls and content on the page. Again, you can navigate between the items using the up and down arrows.

>> and / and submitted blank / from the past year / have been implemented. (Reading aloud as Zoe scrolls down) >> To close the item chooser, hit the escape key. >> Closing item chooser menu. >> So although Voiceover does not have all of the features that Jaws on Windows offers, it's a good option to use for screen reader testing if you're on a Mac.

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This video is part of

Image for Web Accessibility Principles
Web Accessibility Principles

68 video lessons · 25983 viewers

Zoe Gillenwater
Author

 
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  1. 2m 0s
    1. Welcome
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      57s
  2. 33m 15s
    1. What does accessibility mean?
      5m 51s
    2. How does accessibility help your users?
      3m 30s
    3. Experiencing a website via a screen reader
      5m 46s
    4. How does accessibility help you and your clients?
      3m 9s
    5. Overview of Section 508 standards
      5m 51s
    6. Overview of WCAG standards
      6m 4s
    7. Understanding consistency and semantic markup
      3m 4s
  3. 54m 31s
    1. Understanding screen readers and accessibility tools
      6m 12s
    2. Getting accessible browsers
      5m 41s
    3. Customizing Firefox for accessibility testing
      5m 53s
    4. Using custom accessibility toolbars
      5m 28s
    5. Using Fangs and the Color Contrast Analyzer
      5m 30s
    6. Accessibility tools to bookmark
      5m 53s
    7. Using automated accessibility checking tools
      4m 57s
    8. Setting up the JAWS screen reader on Windows
      6m 42s
    9. Using the VoiceOver screen reader on Mac OS X
      5m 52s
    10. Setting Dreamweaver accessibility preferences
      2m 23s
  4. 26m 12s
    1. Avoiding tables for layout
      3m 30s
    2. Using CSS for layout
      2m 40s
    3. Creating a fixed-width layout
      5m 51s
    4. Creating an elastic layout
      3m 51s
    5. Creating a liquid layout
      3m 4s
    6. Customizing a liquid layout
      7m 16s
  5. 1h 6m
    1. Specifying the language
      3m 43s
    2. Setting page titles
      2m 16s
    3. Setting headings and paragraphs
      9m 55s
    4. Styling headings
      9m 56s
    5. Hiding section headings from sighted users
      6m 41s
    6. Styling text for readability
      6m 41s
    7. Ensuring proper color contrast
      6m 36s
    8. Creating text emphasis
      4m 29s
    9. Indicating quotations
      4m 29s
    10. Creating basic lists
      4m 16s
    11. Styling lists
      7m 15s
  6. 1h 15m
    1. Using lists for navigation
      6m 45s
    2. Creating a horizontal navigation bar
      13m 25s
    3. Creating a vertical navigation bar
      11m 44s
    4. Adding skip navigation links
      12m 0s
    5. Hiding skip navigation links
      6m 17s
    6. Proper link text and title attributes
      6m 11s
    7. Opening new windows
      4m 28s
    8. Accessibility limitations of fly-out menus
      6m 30s
    9. Creating an accessible fly-out menu
      8m 38s
  7. 27m 55s
    1. Proper ALT text for navigation images
      4m 57s
    2. Proper ALT text for decorative images
      5m 19s
    3. Adding ALT text to an existing site
      6m 9s
    4. Adding ALT text to image maps
      5m 58s
    5. Describing complex graphics
      5m 32s
  8. 34m 1s
    1. Using tables for data
      3m 0s
    2. Creating header cells
      4m 5s
    3. Adding table captions and summaries
      9m 9s
    4. Styling tables
      5m 19s
    5. Applying header cells to complex tables
      6m 52s
    6. Adding id and headers attributes
      5m 36s
  9. 42m 7s
    1. Understanding form accessibility issues
      3m 7s
    2. Labeling form fields
      6m 9s
    3. Adding fieldsets and legends
      4m 42s
    4. Moving forms out of tables
      3m 44s
    5. Cleaning up a form's appearance
      4m 53s
    6. Aligning labels and fields using CSS
      9m 39s
    7. Indicating required fields
      6m 15s
    8. Dealing with CAPTCHA
      3m 38s
  10. 7m 29s
    1. The Text-Only technique
      3m 21s
    2. The Access Keys technique
      2m 35s
    3. The Tab Index technique
      1m 33s
  11. 18s
    1. Goodbye
      18s

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