Quick facts

Screen readers are text-to-speech software applications that speak digital content that appears on an electronic screen. These tools can be helpful for people who want or need additional input beyond the visual engagement with screen content, such as those with low vision or who are blind. They’re also helpful to those experiencing temporary or permanent mobility disabilities, people with learning disabilities, as well as those in many circumstances where visual screen access isn’t possible.

There are a number of text-to-speech tools and screen readers available; some are built into your devices and some require purchasing. If you’re a new user expect a learning curve as you get comfortable with any of these tools. Certain software or features will require more practice before you can leverage all the benefits of the software. For example, you might need to learn keyboard shortcuts associated with a specific screen reader to make navigating digital content more efficient. Generally, those with longer-term needs will spend more time practicing with the tools and will gain important long-term benefits.


Note: if you are interested in JAWS or other assistive technology to address an accommodation need due to a disability, please reach out to designated WFU support for conversation prior to purchasing. For students, reach out to CLASS. For staff and faculty, connect with Human Resources to coordinate an accommodation process.


Voiceover is Apple’s free built-in screen reader and is part of both the latest Mac operating systems and iOS as well.


TalkBack is Google’s free screen reader for Android devices.


Accessibility including VoiceOver

Additional Resources

Note: certain assistive technology may be a part of an accommodation related to a disability. To discuss accommodations at Wake, contact: