[Athen] Google Docs and Google Slides Accessibility

Russell Solowoniuk SolowoniukR at macewan.ca
Wed Aug 26 14:47:26 PDT 2015

Hi Samantha,

I've had good luck using Jaws with Google Docs, mostly the word processing app. Below are some steps to set things up so that Jaws works well. Enabling Braille support is very important, as before I did this navigation was excruciatingly slow.

Hope this helps,


Set Up Jaws to Work with Google Docs

In order for Jaws to work in Google Docs you must first enable both screen reader support and Braille support. Below are instructions to accomplish this.

For Windows users, NVDA is the recommended screen reader for using Google Docs. However, if you're using JAWS, we recommend Mozilla Firefox as your browser with the latest version of JAWS.

If you're using Firefox, follow these steps to adjust your JAWS settings for Google Docs:
1. Open a document in Google Docs.
2. Listen for these words: "Screen reader support enabled." If you don't hear this feedback, press Control + Alt + Z to enable screen reader support. You should hear "Screen reader support enabled." Google Docs will remember this setting the next time you sign in.
3. Set key echoing to no echoing: Press JAWS + 2 until you hear "None."
4. Turn off the virtual cursor: Press JAWS + Z until you hear "Use virtual PC cursor off." Then press JAWS + Z + Z until you hear "The virtual cursor will be turned off for all applications."
5. Disable both "Auto forms mode" and "Forms mode off when new page loads": Ensure that the screen reader's focus is on the top toolbar, and then press JAWS + V. In the settings window, search for "Forms options" and uncheck both "Auto forms mode" and "Forms mode off when new page loads." Then press OK.
6. Tab from the address bar through the Google Docs toolbar controls until you hear application mode announced. At that point, press Escape to return to the content of your document.

Enable Braille support

To enable Braille support, follow these steps:
1. Open a document, presentation, or drawing in Google Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer.
2. If you haven't already enabled screen reader support, press Control + Alt + Z (Windows) or Command + Option + Z (Mac).
3. Press Alt + / (Windows, Chrome OS) or Option + / (Mac) to open a menu search.
4. Type "Braille" to locate the Enable Braille support command. You'll hear "Enable Braille support, not checked."
5. Press Enter. You'll hear "Braille support enabled."

To disable Braille support, repeat steps 3 - 5 above. After you press Enter, you'll hear "Braille support disabled."

If you enable or disable Braille support in Google Docs, Google Slides, or Google Drawings, the setting applies whenever you sign in to any of these products.

Follow the link below for additional information on using Google Docs with a screen reader.


Russell Solowoniuk
AT Educational Assistant, Services to Students with Disabilities
MacEwan University
7-198 D4, 10700-104 Ave.
Edmonton, AB T5J 4S2
E: solowoniukr at macewan.ca
T: 780-497-5826
F: 780-497-4018
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>>> Samantha Johns <samanj at pdx.edu> 8/26/2015 3:19 PM >>>

Hello all,

I am currently testing out Google DOCS and Google SLIDES for Accessibility

Does anyone have any experience with these platforms?

Thank you!

* <http://www.pdx.edu/oai/>*

*Samantha Johns*

*Accessibility & **Course Support Specialist *

Portland State University
1825 SW Broadway
Smith Memorial Student Union, Mezzanine 209
Portland OR 97201
(503) 725-6624

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