[Athen] Microsoft Narrator

Jeffrey Dell jeffreydell99 at gmail.com
Wed Jan 18 11:43:21 PST 2017

I am delighted that companies are including accessibility tools in
operating systems but in many cases they are not good enough for
education or employment. I find it astonishing the number of students
that have come in recently only knowing how to use the very basic
built in accessibility tools. I have great respect for VoiceOver but
not as much for my experience with ChromeVox and Narrator. Many K-12
schools because of lack of funding or because of lack of knowledge do
not make tools like JAWS available for students to learn. This
combined with school systems going with a single platform like Mac or
Chrome where they do not support Windows. What will these students do
when they enter employment and cannot use a PC? This is a growing
trend that I'm seeing and it is causing students to come in lacking
the tools they will need to be productive. I have talked with state
rehabilitation counselors about this issue because since the student
claims they know how to use a computer and doesn't often know what to
request they pass them through without considering better tools.
These are things that students should be trained on as part of their
transition planning. Some students can easily catch on or be taught
on the fly. The majority of students that I have worked with and
taught them an essential tool to be able to get access to a standard
product fall behind the class and it effects their grades.
I have used Narrator on Win 10 recently and it has improved slightly
but the student would be better served by more developed products like
JAWS or NVDA. A couple of years ago I would have said the same about
NVDA but it has really become a great tool that I prefer over JAWS in
many cases.

On 1/18/17, Pratik Patel <pratikp1 at gmail.com> wrote:

> If your university uses Windows 10 and constantly updates as major updates

> are released, then the student can use Narrator for most activities. For

> now, however, I’d recommend that she learn NVDA or JAWS. NVDA has a less of

> a learning curve.


> Regards,


> Pratik



> From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On

> Behalf Of Leyna Bencomo

> Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 1:59 PM

> To: Access Technology Higher Education Network

> <athen-list at u.washington.edu>

> Subject: [Athen] Microsoft Narrator


> Greetings,


> I have a new student who is newly blind and has been using Microsoft’s

> “Narrator” which is the in-the-box screen reader for Windows. She is not an

> expert by any means and is willing to learn another screen reader if I

> recommend it. I have no current knowledge of Narrator so I don’t feel

> qualified to answer her.


> She is a freshman, an athlete and not majoring in a STEM program.


> Why do my wise colleagues think? Does she need to learn JAWS or NVDA? Or

> can she stick with Narrator for her college career. BTW, she depends on her

> Android smartphone for most things.



> Leyna Bencomo

> Assistive Technology Specialist

> Information Technology

> University of Colorado Colorado Springs

> 1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway, EPC 215

> Colorado Springs, CO 80918

> (719) 255-4202 / <mailto:lbencomo at uccs.edu> lbencomo at uccs.edu

> <http://www.uccs.edu/~it/> http://www.uccs.edu/~it/





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