A screen reader is software that enables people with sight loss to use computers. It reads the text on the screen in a computerized voice. People generally interact with the computer using a standard keyboard.
Most screen readers can also convert text into braille if the user owns a braille display device.
Screen readers hold the key to education and employment for many people with sight loss.
JAWS for Windows
JAWS for Windows is a popular screen reader produced by VFO Group (formerly Freedom Scientific). Available since the early 1990s, it has a large user base. Tech support is provided Monday through Friday.
More info on JAWS can be found on the Freedom Scientific website.
Non-Visual Desktop Access (NVDA)
NVDA is a free and open-source screen reader for Windows. It is updated on a regular basis and has a large user base around the world. Since the software is free, tech support options are limited and are mainly provided through online forums.
More info about NVDA can be found on the NV Access website.
Microsoft Narrator is a screen reader built in since Windows XP. With Windows 10, Narrator has gained new capabilities, putting it on par with screen readers like JAWS and NVDA.
For more info about Narrator, please visit the Microsoft website.
Apple Voiceover is a screen reader built into Macintosh computers since MacOS 10.4.
For more info about Voiceover, visit the Apple website.