What Screen Readers are available?

There are a number of different screen readers available, both free and pay-for applications. Our Helpline are able to help you to find which screen reader is best suited to your needs, you can contact us on:

Free Applications

NVDA (Non Visual Desktop Access) (Windows)

Windows Narrator (Pre-installed on Windows machines)

VoiceOver (Pre installed on Apple machines)

  • Compatible for various applications designed by Apple as well as those developed by third parties.
  • Controlled by the keyboard or gestures on the trackpad.
  • Quick and easy to configure

Pay for applications

JAWS (Windows)

  • Installation doesn’t require sighted assistance
  • Choice of 2 different speech engines
  • Can output speech and braille, and output both at once
  • Can scan and read content from images and PDFs
  • Two versions: home and professional
  • Free, fully functional 40min demo: freedomscientific.com/Downloads/JAWS

Dolphin Screen Reader (Windows)

  • Can output speech and braille
  • Can scan and read content from images and PDFs
  • Uses a high quality, human sounding text-to-speech synthesiser
  • Extensive voice settings
  • A free, fully functioning 30 day trial can be downloaded from:

Dolphin Guide (Windows)

  • Good for people who don’t have much computer experience
  • Navigated using numbers
  • Can also be used with a touch screen
  • A free, fully functioning 30 day trial can be downloaded from: yourdolphin.com/product/try?id=5

Windows-Eyes (Windows) (discontinued from July 2017)

  • Can output speech and braille
  • Able to be installed without sighted assistance
  • Free when bought with Microsoft office
  • A free, fully functioning 60 day trial can be downloaded from: gwmicro.com/Window-Eyes/demo/

For more information about screen readers please see our factsheet:

For more information about braille displays please see the What is electronic braille? entry.

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