Screen Reader Simulation


This simulation provides a way to experience what it is like to use a screen reader. A web site, the University of the Antarctic, is presented as a screen reader user would experience it. Keyboard shortcuts are provided to navigate within the site and find specific pieces of information.


Note that this simulation is very old and does not reflect the current state screen reader technology. A better experience may be gained by installing NVDA or using VoiceOver and experiencing an actual screen reader.


When you enter the simulation, you will see a screen with some keyboard shortcuts that you can use to navigate through the web site. These are not exactly the same keyboard shortcuts as real screen readers, but the idea is the same: you can't use your mouse; you are limited to the functionality in your keyboard.

You will also see a list of tasks within the simulation.

  1. Find the last name of the founder of the University of the Antarctic (U of A).
  2. Find the phone number of U of A.
  3. Find the current enrollment for the Bio 250 class.

See if you are able to complete these tasks. If you find that you are somewhat frustrated at finding this content, that's because WebAIM planned it that way. Blind computer users are often frustrated by difficulties in finding or accessing web content.

WebAIM has compiled a list of keyboard shortcuts and tasks to aid those who may be accessing this simulation using a screen reader or refreshable braille device.


This simulation requires the Shockwave plug-in. Although Shockwave is generally not considered very accessible, WebAIM has added captions and audio which increases its accessibility for deaf and blind users. WebAIM recognizes, however, that certain disability types (such as those who are both deaf and blind) may not be able to fully access the simulation. These individuals probably don't need to, though, since WebAIM is attempting to simulate something that they are probably already quite familiar with.

The Simulation

Open the WebAIM Screen Reader Simulation (This simulation is a large 2.42 MB file due to extensive audio content.)