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Screen reader simulation


Screen reader simulation

Logo for Screen reader simulation
This site simulates screen reader access to a fictional university Web site. A set of keyboard shortcuts is presented to help you navigate through the site; this is similar to the experience of the person using screen reader software. It is recommended that you read the explanation first.
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Material Type: Simulation
Technical Format: Shockwave
Date Added to MERLOT: September 27, 2004
Date Modified in MERLOT: October 15, 2015
Submitter: Lynn Aaron


  • Reviewed by members of Editorial board for inclusion in MERLOT.
    Editor Review
    Very good quality; in queue to be peer reviewed
    avg: 5 rating
  • User review 4.5 average rating
  • User Rating: 4.5 user rating
  • Discussion (2 Comments)
  • Learning Exercises (none)
  • Bookmark Collections (6)
  • Course ePortfolios (none)
  • Accessibility Info (none)

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Primary Audience: High School, College General Ed, Graduate School
Mobile Compatibility: Not specified at this time
Technical Requirements: Shockwave is required. There is a download link.
2.42Mb File will be downloaded
Language: English
Cost Involved: no
Source Code Available: no
Accessibility Information Available: no
Creative Commons: unsure


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Discussion for Screen reader simulation

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Avatar for Jon Knolle
7 years ago

Jon Knolle (Administrator)

This is a great example to help people understand how screen readers work. It is next to impossible to DESCRIBE the experience of browsing a Web page with a screen reader ... which makes simulations like this very useful in the classroom. Using actual screen reading software can certainly be a better experience but may not always be possible. Providing even a "taste" of what it's like using a screen reader certainly helps individuals to understand the user's experience a little better.

Technical Remarks:

As indicated, the simulation requires Shockwave Player. Being a Director developer myself it's hard to criticize this ... but it does occasionally make access more complicated since it is not as common as Flash player. Installing Shockwave Player on Apple OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) may be confusing for some. There are instructions at the URL (they were very hard to locate on Adobe's site).
Used in course

Avatar for Lynn Aaron
12 years ago

Lynn Aaron (Faculty)

This simulation provides an eye-opening opportunity to experience the WWW from
the point of view of a sightless person. As when using a screenreader, the
content of the page is read aloud with no visual clues. I've used this
simulation as a demonstration in several Web development courses. Students have
responded with amazement. They gained understanding of the need to include
accessibility features in their Web pages. They also gained respect for the
ability of people without sight to use the WWW.

It's worth reading the explanation before trying the simulation. It is also
possible to see the mock Web site, but it's better to do this after the

Technical Remarks:

It's necessary to have Shockwave installed. It may take some time for the file
to load, depending on the speed of your connection.

Audio is essential since the Web page content is read aloud. You'll need
speakers or headphones.
Used in course