Re: what key stroke for clickable

Londa Peterson

 I've never tried reading large chunks of text that way. I typically use this method when JAWS won't read any other way. I'm also finding that smart navigation helps on many pages because it reads large bars of links all at once. I teach people to avoid that information blackout by reading a webpage in its entirety and notice how it's structured. For example, are there headings, tables or other elements that they could navigate by? Using the various lists is also a good idea especially if you know what you're looking for. If you don't, though, I find that using those lists just pulls things out of context for me. I want to see the whole page. Letting JAWS read it to me is the only way that I can avoid missing something. I know that I often don't have a true picture of the page, but I get one that works for me. I find that it's better to take my time on a new site rather than try to rush and miss something. Once I know what's there, then I can focus on efficiency. I use the touch screen if someone tries to tell me where something is. Then I can locate it and see what it is. Then I can use my JAWS techniques to get there the next time. I think at least some of that information blackout can be avoided by taking some extra time initially. By the way, I never use the mouse. I find it completely useless. I don't feel like it really gives me a picture of the screen at all. Maybe that's because I do have a small amount of spatial challenge though. I hope this perspective of a person who has been totally blind since birth helps.   


From: Brian Vogel [mailto:britechguy@...]
Sent: Monday, April 04, 2016 10:51 AM
Subject: Re: what key stroke for clickable


Londa Peterson offered, "Get a touch screen. The best way to know what a page really looks like on the screen is to be able to explore the screen with your finger. There are times when knowing what the screen actually looks like can be very helpful.

First, a big "Amen!" to that last observation, whether one has a touch screen or not.  Another regular in these parts has used the term "information blackout" to describe what occurs very often for blind screen-reader users.  Another private correspondent said to me, "You see a web page as a whole, a gestalt.  I, on the other hand, have to read line by line if I want to see the entire page, and I have to build the gestalt in my mind.  Sometimes that is easy, sometimes, it's nigh onto impossible!"  My personal observation after my time doing what I'm doing is that the "well-nigh impossible" situation applies far more often than having any easy and coherent way with a screen reader to get a sense of the gestalt of any given web page that is anything beyond extremely simple.  It takes for-freakin'-ever to come close to knowing "all about what's there" by going through enough material item by item.  You generally never get through it all, and there are plenty of instances where some little gem is at the end of the list of links, headers, etc., and reaching it never occurs.

I have never dealt with JAWS on a touch screen machine simply because none of my clients using JAWS has a touch screen machine.  If you glide over the touch screen with your finger is JAWS announcing what it sees beneath your finger?  Does it begin to read text if you land on a chunk of text, such as on a newspaper's webpage?

If these behaviors occur either with finger gliding on a touch screen or mouse/mousepad gliding in a non-touch screen environment this is something that I'd like to begin teaching my students to exploit as a "quick and dirty" way to get a sense of what's on the webpage.  I've never thought about trying this with JAWS at all, probably because most of my clients don't use a mouse and that takes the option, literally and metaphorically, off the table unless I were to introduce mouse use.

There is so much potential there as far as selective use of mouse/finger pointer and getting a much better idea of what may or may not be present than using (and I hasten to add, I teach and use them) the techniques that Joshua Hori mentioned.  I'd love to combine quick pointer scanning with the more conventional techniques once a user determines that there's something there that's worth exploring in more depth and more methodically.



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