audio screenreader

Speaking Special Characters – A Test

In the post Test case: Speaking Special Characters from Access Matters, the author explains that proper markup for special characters is very important for screen reader users.

There are two excellent pages provides for testing special characters, for the character types UTF-8 and ISO-8859. Feedback is very valuable, so if you are able to test and leave a comment, that would be much appreciated.

We are interested in knowing how theses things are announced by as many screen readers as you folks can use. Please listen to either or both of the following test cases. Take notes on what you hear, and respond to this posting with your results.

For more information on marking up code for ideal aural interpretation, go to the Web Axe Podcast #58: Aural Style Sheets.

forms screenreader

Fieldsets, Legends and Screen Readers

In the article Fieldsets, Legends and Screen Readers from The Paciello Group Blog, the author Roberto Castaldo provides some excellent insight into how the screen readers JAWS and Windows Eyes work with the Fieldset and Legend tags. (Fieldset and Legend tags are used to group elements within a form.)

He concludes that support in JAWS is better overall than Windows Eyes, and that even there are issues in both screen readers, developers must continue to implement these standards tags and other accessibility practices.

Some tips from the article include:

  • Fieldset and Legend tags must be used together, never independently of each other.
  • Keep the content of the Legend tag brief (the Legend may be read when each of the controls contained in a Fieldset receive focus.)
  • In Windows Eyes, the option to read the Legend tag is off by default.
  • Fieldsets may be nested.
caption law podcast screenreader webaim

Podcast #66: Target, YouTube, Fangs, and more

Jammed-packed episode on several web accessibility topics with special co-host Jared Smith of WebAIM.

Download Web Axe Episode 66 (Target, YouTube, Fangs, and more)

NFB vs. Target Lawsuit

Other Topics

articles cognitive screenreader

Writing for Accessibility Article

In his article Writing for Accessibility, Joe Dolson explains that accessible copy is more than making non-textual elements available, it’s also about the main content! He continues to explain how tone and puncuation are very sensitive and important issues when writing for accessibility. Joe suggests:

  • Keep your sentences on the short side
  • Avoid excessive parenthetical statements
  • Avoid excessive subclauses
  • Read the sentence without giving any particular emphasis to the terms and see how easy it is to understand the statement

Related links:

law screenreader

JAWS and Target


The trial version of JAWS has always been a hassle to use for testing with its 40 minute sessions and required reboots. In the WebAIM blog, Jared Smith points out that the license infers that you cannot use the demo version of JAWS for web development purposes. Someone in the comments of the post suggests using Window-Eyes.

Target vs. NFB

Early this month, it was reported that Target lost an appeal of the class action status of the lawsuit by the National Federation of the Blind.