moderated Possible Warning About JAWS 2021 and Speech

Tom Lange

Hi all,

Immediately after installing JAWS 2021 this morning, I noticed that
speech at the beginning of words was being cut off when moving around
in dialog boxes, list views, et cetera. As you can well imagine, the
situation was intolerable and crazy-making . If this happens to you
after installing Fusion or JAWS 2021, you need to do the following to
solve the problem.

Step 1, press Insert+6 on the number row to get into Settings Center.
Step 2, press ctrl+shift+D to switch to the default settings.
Step 3, in the search box, type the word cut. Wait a few seconds for
the search results list to populate. You should see only one result.
It’s an unchecked checkbox with a label that reads as follows.

Avoid speech cutoff when using Bluetooth headphones or some sound cards.

If you tab away from that checkbox to read the explanatory text, you
should see some text that says

“Many modern Bluetooth headphones and speakers shut down after a while
of not receiving sound to conserve battery. If this check box is
selected, JAWS
will keep them awake by constantly playing silence. You will not hear
anything, but your device will remain active, resulting in more
consistent speech.
Note that the battery of your headphones/speakers could drain faster
if you turn this on.
This check box is cleared by default.”

End of explanatory text.

Checking that checkbox will eliminate the speech cutoff. However, the
side effect is that some events will trigger a reduction in speech
volume, which can be troublesome if you’re only using a laptop’s
speakers. I compensated for this dip in volume by using powered, wired
external speakers.

Step 4, tab to the Apply button and press Enter or the space bar.
Step 5, tab to OK and press Enter to close Settings Center.

Note: The checkbox referenced in step 3 above is unchecked by default
in JAWS 2020 and Fusion 2020, and there is no speech cutoff. So this
is a bug which was apparently introduced in 2021 which needs to be
reported to Freedom Scientific.

I hope this helps you. Let me know if you have any questions.


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