Basic navigation

Enable the plugin by clicking the browser extension button or pressing  Ctrl+Shift+K. Use the PREV and NEXT buttons to move through the content on the page, and the SELECT button to interact with the currently selected area of the page (e.g. to click a link).

Image of the screenreader

The text in the middle of the window, in quotes, is the text that would be read out by the screen reader at any time. If you click on the crossed-out microphone icon on the left, the text will be read aloud to you, just like in a real screen reader.

To edit form fields, select them. You can now type in or modify the form field as usual. To leave a form field, press the ESC button.

You can use keyboard shortcuts to do this more quickly: and to go PREV and NEXT, Space to SELECT, and Esc to ESC.

More advanced navigation

Keyboard shortcuts mirror many of the most common operations of a screen reader. For example, you can navigate to the next heading by pressing the H key, and go back to the previous heading by pressing Shift + H.

To see a full list of these shortcuts, click the Keyboard shortcuts link.

Simulating blindness

By default the screen reader allows you to see the webpage as normal. If you wish to simulate not being able to see the page, you can enable the “curtain”, which conceals the screen from you. You’ll find this option inside the settings menu (click the cogwheel icon in the top right corner).

Settings menu for screen reader simulator

How screen readers are used

It is usually highly impractical to navigate a page one item at a time. Most screen reader users will rely heavily on navigating by Heading, Link, and to a lesser extent, HTML5 landmarks. We highly recommend learning these features to experience a page properly.