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How good are Windows 8 accessibility features for the blind?

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#1 TheSentinel


    The man in the dark

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 04:27 PM

How good are Windows 8 accessibility features for the blind?
By Mardon Erbland


You can find many reviews about Windows 8 Consumer Preview. This one is different because I set out to understand how Windows 8 performs for a blind person who must use keyboard shortcuts to navigate. I am sighted but tested the operating system thinking about my blind nephew.

My review focuses on navigation of the new OS using keyboard shortcuts and no mouse. It is not aimed at partially-sighted or low-vision people who use a mouse and may actually benefit from the larger icons. Neither do I evaluate how screen readers such as JAWS will read the screen contents once the correct location is reached. I suspect that the makers of JAWS and other screen reader software will have lots work to do before their programs will work well with Windows 8. I hope that isn't the case. But my guess is that it will be.

I run Windows 8 Consumer Preview on a VMware Player x64 v4.0.1 virtual machine. My hardware is a Gigabyte MoBo; i7 Hex core at 3.2GHz OC; 24GB DDR3 RAM; nVidia GTX580 512; host OS Win7 on 250GB Intel SSD; VM on 150GB partition on an internal 2TB SATA300. Other internal drives are two RAID0 arrays each 2 x 1TB WD Caviar Black and two NEC 1920x1200 displays

More details about Windows 8 for blind users at: http://betanews.com/...-for-the-blind/