Devices Offering Great Solutions (DOGS)

Screen Readers

Using computers with no vision

What does it do?

Blind people use computers and mobile technology. Persons who are blind or have little vision can either access features included on the device or add software that will read aloud all words on the screen. This is known as screen reading. You can choose to listen with a variety of voices at the speed most comfortable. You choose how much you want read, such as punctuation and how numbers are read. The blind tech user relies totally on keyboard commands to hear the text and perform actions. When in a workplace or school that uses business or learning applications purchasing a software may be necessary to customize keyboard commands for best use.

What kinds of screen reader tools are there?

Windows Narrator

Windows products have a built-in tool called Narrator. Find it under Settings/Ease of Access/Narrator.


Chromebooks have a built-in tool called ChromeVox. Find it under System Tray/Settings/Accessibility/ Chromevox.

Apple VoiceOver

Apple products have a built-in tool called VoiceOver. On a Mac computer, go to Apple/System/Preferences/VoiceOver. Find it on your iPhone or iPad under Settings/Accessibility/Vision/Voice Over.


Android devices have a built-in tool called TalkBack. Find it under Settings/Accessibility/TalkBack.


You can purchase screen reader software for your computer. One example is JAWS, from


You can purchase screen reader software for your computer. One example is Supernova from

Desktop computer with keyboard

How do I see what's new?

Technology changes all the time. To find out about the latest options for these, you can type keywords into a search engine such as Google, Safari, Firefox, or Bing on a computer or tablet. These are the keywords for this type of item:

screen reader, talking computers, tools for blind computer users

How do I find out more?

If you live in the US outside of Pennsylvania you would need to find your state's AT program.

If you live in Pennsylvania:

  • you could contact TechOWL to work with a specialist. We can meet with you and sometimes demonstrate this equipment. We can also help with different ways to get one for your own.
  • you might borrow this equipment to try out. Do we have this in our lending library?


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Jule Ann Lieberman

Jule Ann Lieberman has earned her Master of Science in Low Vision Therapy, is dual certified by Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals ( as Low Vision Therapist and Assistive Technology Instructional Specialist. Jule Ann began her work in assistive technology instructing blind and low vision adults in the use of assistive technology in 1998. She joined TechOWL, Institute on Disabilities at Temple University (formerly known as Pennsylvania’s Initiative on Assistive Technology) in 2013 as Assistive Technology Specialist and continues to provide information and assistance, consultation, demonstrations, and public awareness training in the use of assistive technology. Jule Ann has presented educational sessions at national and regional assistive technology conferences for many years. She has been legally blind with a progressive vision impairment since age of 16 and enjoys learning new technologies and how it meets the needs of those with vision loss and blindness.

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