[Athen] testing with JAWS & NVDA

Bossley, Peter A. (Pete) bossley.5 at osu.edu
Tue Feb 10 06:32:32 PST 2015

In our experience, JAWS support for firefox is not full-featured like it’s support for IE is; NVDA is the opposite, working much better with FF than IE.

From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Howard Kramer
Sent: Monday, February 09, 2015 6:07 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network
Subject: [Athen] testing with JAWS & NVDA

Hello All:

This question will get into the technical weeds. I've been testing a few systems here at UCB with JAWS 15/I.E. 11 and NVDA (ver. 2014.4)/Firefox (ver. 35.01).

The one issue I came across which is causing confusion is that NVDA does not read the underscore "_" character out unless you're on the word and issue the spell command. The underscore "_" is used in a number of foreign language exams as a "fill in the blank line" placeholder. JAWS reads the "_" fine, repeating the character only 3 or so times. Even when I turn on punctuation in NVDA to read "_" always, it still will only read the characters when a spell command is issued.

Are either of you aware of this issue? Looking at the code I would judge the text with these characters accessible - yet NVDA seems to have a pretty hard time finding and reading these characters. Are you aware of an accessibility best practice that call for using something other than an underscore "_" for indicating a blank.

Also, noticed that JAWS doesn't seem to work well with FF or is that my lack of skill with JAWS? NVDA seems to work very well with Firefox - this is the only glitch I've come across.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.


Howard Kramer
Promoting the Integration of Universal Design into University Curricula (UDUC)
Lecturer, Cont. Ed - Evening & Cred Admin
cell: 720-351-8668
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