Global Accessibility Awareness day () is this Thursday! So, how are y'all doing with using your screen readers? :)

@devinprater so um

how does one get a screen reader?

(because I assume you don't just... install one on a computer and um, that's how I ... do ... things... so... I'm ... confused...)

@Truck If you're on Windows, check out If you're on a Mac, VoiceOver is included. If you're on Linux, Orca may be included, and if not, it's likely in your package manager.

@devinprater ah, ok, so I _do_ install it on a computer (:

I'll test this ... soon, and try to install devuan.

Mobile ship them by default. TalkBack on Android, VoiceOver on iOS.

@devinprater it's very slow, and it always starts at the top left, which generally means, back button, that is, sure you just entered this context, but how about leaving again

@meena Ah yes, that is annoying. I usually just disregard that and just put my finger near the middle of the screen and go from there. It takes a lot of learning where things are in apps.

@devinprater on @elementary the document reader can't be made to actually read the PDF, even tho it's accessible.


@devinprater is my go to recommendation.

My first attempt would be to switch granularity to navigate by rotating through landmarks.

@devinprater keeping a diary on it including the question "how does Devin teach this shit?" and quite a lot of accidental control characters

@devinprater attempting to navigate with "n" and "p" and other modal keys but with the focus still in the diary buffer so it gets some random letters until I figure it out

@derwinmcgeary Nothing wrong with that, especially if you're on Mac or Linux.

@devinprater I haven't bothered using a screen reader because I know that it's not going to work well :\

I already know that the lesson is that it's painful and that I should do something about it :(

I occasionally check my work (websites or web apps) with TalkBack.

Orca on Linux breaks sometimes. I'm still bothered about them removing the config GUI. There are ways to make it show up again but meh.

Haven't figured out how to properly inspect native apps on desktop for accessibility. This is way easier in a web browser (if you know where to look).

Taught some colleagues in the past the basics of screenreader navigation.

Depends on the keybindings. There are two modes.

I recall it was possible via orca --config (or so)


I don't know if this is a common knowledge, but iOS has a feature named Speak which narrates the content of the selected text. It is lightyears better than the crappy VoiceOver. It can even sometimes understand to pronounce acronyms letter by letter. To try it, simply select a piece of text and from the menu press Speak. Unfortunately I haven't yet managed to successfully make Siri to invoke it on webpages that are opened in my browser.


@kyogre has also made this Shortcut procedure to make my iPhone speak the webpages. It is not elegant but it works just fine:

@Mehrad Oh yes, it's pretty nice. It doesn't replace VoiceOver though, since I can't control it while it's speaking, and it doesn't read other UI elements like the home screen and such. But I do use it to read books with my screen locked sometimes.

I know this is slightly off topic, but I thought it might help. I usually find some articles online and I want the computer to read it for me so that I can switch window and do other things. The Festival or eSpeak are very robotic and some minutes ago I was looking for a better and naturalistic alternative, and I found Mimic:

I copy the text in firefox and run:

xclip -o -sel clip | mimic -voice slt

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