What screen readers are available?

There are a number of different screen readers available, both free and pay-for applications. 

Free Applications

NVDA (Non Visual Desktop Access) (Windows)

  • Download available on NVDA’s website 
  • Converts into speech and braille
  • Controlled using a mouse and/or keyboard
  • Recognises and reads 43 different languages

More information can be found on NVDAs website

Windows Narrator (Pre-installed on Windows machines)

  • Fairly basic and not a “full” screen reader, however it is being developed to be compatible with the latest web browsers, email client and office applications
  • Controlled using a keyboard

More information can be found on Windows Microsoft website

VoiceOver (Pre installed on Apple machines)

  • Compatible with various applications designed by Apple as well as those developed by third parties
  • Controlled using a keyboard or trackpad
  • Quick and easy to configure

Paid for applications

JAWS (Windows)

  • Easy installation doesn’t require sighted assistance
  • Choice of 2 different speech engines
  • Converts into speech and braille, and can output both at once
  • Scan and read content from images and PDFs

You can download and try a free, fully functional 40min demo from the freedomscientific website

Dolphin Screen Reader (Windows)

  • Converts into speech and braille
  • Scan and read content from images and PDFs
  • Uses a high quality, human sounding text-to-speech synthesiser
  • Extensive voice settings

You can download and try a free, fully functional 30 day trial from the Your Dolphin website.

Dolphin Guide (Windows)

  • Good for those with less computer knowledge
  • Navigated using numbers
  • Can be used with a touch screen

You can download and try a free, fully functional 30 day trial from the Your Dolphin website.

For more information about screen readers please see our factsheet:

For more information and advice on screen readers please contact our Helpline on:

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