In this course, we focus specifically on the ChromeVox screen reader add-on for the Chrome web browser because of its simplicity, support for standards, and its availability across platforms and being free, open source software. We will also introduce you to a number of other screen readers and provide a summary of the main keyboard commands you might use during screen reader testing.
For new or inexperienced users, learning to operate a screen reader can be difficult, particularly if you are not using one on a regular basis. Memorizing the basic commands provided in the upcoming pages is often enough for screen reader testing purposes, though there is much more functionality in screen readers that is not discussed here. You are encouraged to explore the full range of features screen readers have to offer as time allows.
ChromeVox is ideal for developers and auditors, though it does have its limitations, and it is a good idea to do final screen reader testing with one of the more broadly used screen readers like JAWS, Window Eyes, NVDA, or VoiceOver, and across multiple browsers and devices. What may seem accessible with one combination of browser and screen reader, may not necessarily have the same accessibility across other combinations.