YUI Theater — Victor Tsaran: “Introduction to Screen Readers”

By Nate KoechleyMay 14th, 2007

Picture of Victor from Video. Click here to watch video on Yahoo! Video.

YUI Theater‘s newest video is a 27 minute Introduction to Screen Readers by Victor Tsaran, an engineer here at Yahoo! and our Program Manager for Accessibility. He begins by showing us the core functionality of screen readers and how they interact with the desktop. In the second part he demonstrates how he uses them to explore and understand web sites, how sites are “linearized”, and how using semantic markup to build sites supports accessible navigation and usability.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to play with a screen reader firsthand this video is must-watch stuff. And for everybody, don’t miss the closing minutes of the video when Victor resets the screen reader’s voice setting from the super-slow (necessary for us mere mortals to understand) back up to the impossibly-fast (that he uses everyday).


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Technical Notes

A downloadable and iPod-compatible MPEG version of this video is available for download. The .m4v file format we’ve used for this video (and many others in the YUI Theater) signifies that it is an MPEG-4 file with video; if you’re not downloading to view on an iPod, and/or are using a system that doesn’t recognize the .m4v extension, try renaming the file to .mp4.

An alternative link to the video via YouTube is here.

20 Comments

  1. Thanks,
    A great insight into how tricky browsing the web can be if the page isn’t structured in an accessible way.
    I’ll definitely be considering these points on my next project and also taking time to test it out with the screen reader…was it JAWS you used/would recommend for anyone wishing to perform tests.

    p.s. I won’t be turning on the high speed voice setting, in my opinion, that would kill me having to listen to that 8 hours a day :)

  2. Thanks, For the video, Learned lot of new things.

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  5. Thanks for posting this! I’ve always tried to be aware of accessibility issues for the web sites and applications I build, but my knowledge of screen readers is sorely lacking. Even if I haven’t gone and played with screen readers myself, this video and the seminar with Doug Geoffray from GW Micro in March have been very helpful.

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  9. What screen reader was used in the video? That wasn’t a common JAWS voice, I think it’s a local Boston voice over talent. His voice is much easier to listen to then the typical voices. How can we get him on our machines?

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  16. Thank you so much Victor, this has been really insightful.

  17. [...] Introduction to Screen Readers (tags: accessibility screenreader usability) [...]

  18. Victor Tsaran said:
    December 4, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    I know, I know… This is more than a year late but my answers still apply. :)
    1. The screen reader used in this video is JAWS For Windows (although it didn’t have to be).
    2. The voice used is Scansoft’s Realspeak (Tom).