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RE: best screen readers for browser testing


From: Cohen, Lisa A.
Date: Jun 18, 2002 11:58AM

I'm a web developer who is charged with 508 compliance... The reality of
the situation at this point is that you need to test with one or more AT
software programs, in my opinion. In fact, two of the 508 requirements
mention assistive technology, and in software development, testing is tied
to requirements. In other words, when the requirement states that "the form
shall allow people using assistive technology to access the information,
fields and functionality...", then the only way to test that requirement is
to use assistive technology to test the forms.
Of course, there are a number of wonderful techniques references out (books,
courses etc.) which make recommendations on how to implement accessibility
requirements, but they naturally vary from source to source.
In the case of a government agency which has stated that JAWS (largest
market share) is the official standard screen reader, then you have no
choice but to test the 508 requirements with JAWS.
We also test with IBM Home Page Reader, but not as extensively.

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