What is a screen reader? 

A screen reader is an assistive technology that allows people with disabilities to "read" a website, document, or app -- even if they can't see the screen. Screen readers will announce the words on a webpage, the heading levels on a PDF, the alternative text of images, where links will lead a user to, and button or navigation options. 

Typically, screen readers are software's that can be downloaded to a person's personal or work device. Some common screen readers include JAWS, VoiceOver, and NVDA.


Who can a screen reader help?

Screen readers are an essential tool that helps a variety of people. People who use screen readers can include those who are:

  • Blind
  • Visually impaired
  • Dyslexic
  • Illiterate 


How are screen readers used? 

Screen reader users navigate through a webpage by using a series of keyboard shortcuts. By using these shortcuts, users who can't see a computer screen or can't read the language a page is written in can still fully interact with the content. 


Additional Resources 

Screen Readers - American Foundation for the Blind 

How Screen Readers Make Digital Content Accessible - audioEye 


Still need help?

Let us know! We are happy to answer your questions about accessibility. 

Madison Ellis, Accessibility Specialist


Amy Cole, Digital Media Manager 



Head back to the main Division Accessibility page.