Introduction to Screen Readers
The development of new technologies worldwide is making things possible that were unthinkable just decades ago. This includes, among other things, possibilities for a more accessible world for people with disabilities, thanks to the development of assistive technology tools designed to break barriers for inclusion.
One such tool is the screen reader, which allows blind and low-vision users to hear digital content through accessible voice messages with a variety of customizable features.
These tools range in cost and features, ranging from feature dense tools costing thousands of dollars to open source tools that are completely free! Most are also frequently updated to add new features and strengthen their usability for users.
Regardless of cost, screen readers fulfill an important mission of bringing digital information to people with blindness or vision loss.
They allow users to complete taks for work, book appointments, access banking platforms, listen to music or read their favorite book (just to name a few!).
Screen readers aren’t only available on computers, they are also available on most mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. This allows people with disabilities to use them any time and anywhere, doing things like using social media, responding to emails, or using instant messaging platforms!
Available on multiple platforms
Both Android and Apple have developed their own screen readers, which are now included as a standard accessibility tool in every device.
Android’s screen reader is called Talkback. It works with Googles voice synthesis, and allows users to explore the screen with their fingers, performing a large number of tasks using specific gestures and flickers.
Apple’s screen reader is called Voice Over, which IOS users constantly applaud and value for its fantastic functionality.
Both screen readers open a world of possibilities for tech users, regardless of their disabilities. Whether it’s making calls, reading the news, or staying connected with friends and family, screen readers have revolutionized the way that people with disabilities use technology, promoting a more equitable world through democratized access to information.
We aren’t sharing this information just for the sake of an interesting blog; at Lazarillo, we are truly moved by the idea of a more accessible world, and want to highlight the work being done by people and businesses everywhere to make this a possibility!
The only way that we can truly build a more inclusive society is by maximizing accessibility in all spaces – physical and digital. This allows for greater autonomy, growth, and independence for people with disabilities, translating to a higher quality of life.
Lazarillo. More Accessible Together.