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Testing Considerations

Screen Reader and Browser Combinations

It is important to use a screen reader when checking to make sure your application is accessible.

There are assistive technologies (known as screen readers) available for all common desktop platforms and mobile devices.

  • VoiceOver, integrated in Apple products
  • Narrator, integrated in Windows products
  • Orca, available for integration in Ubuntu, otherwise available as a download
  • JAWS, proprietary software by Freedom Scientific, available for Windows
  • NVDA, open source software, available for Windows
  • TalkBack, integrated in Android products

While developing and testing for conformance, keep in mind that there are well-known screen reader and browser combinations that were developed in a way that work well together; using combinations different than these may produce false-positive results. It should be noted that these may change over time, so periodic review of this list is recommended.

  • Firefox & NVDA (Windows)
  • IE & JAWS (Windows)
  • Edge & Narrator (Windows)
  • Safari & VoiceOver (MacOS)

The absolute best method for learning how a screen reader works is using one yourself! It might feel a little awkward at first, but understanding how to use a screen reader (and other assistive technology) will help you become a more skilled developer.