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Test accessibility using Screen Reader on desktop

You can test the accessibility of your website using the Screen Reader feature of BrowserStack Live on desktop. When you enable the Screen Reader feature on Live, the NVDA screen reader is used on Windows and VoiceOver is used on macOS in the background.

Supported operating systems and browsers

Operating System Browsers
Windows 10 Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, Yandex & Edge (17.0 and above)
Windows 11 Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Yandex & Edge (v17 onwards)
Operating System Browsers
macOS Catalina Chrome & Safari
macOS Big Sur Chrome & Safari
macOS Monterey Chrome & Safari

Enable Screen Reader

Ensure that your system audio is turned on.

  1. Log in to the Live dashboard.
  2. On the Live dashboard, select the device combination to start your test session.
  3. On the Live toolbar, click Screen Reader. Accessing Screen Reader
  4. To enable Screen Reader, switch the Screen Reader toggle to on. Toggling on Screen Reader The Screen Reader feature starts providing the audio description for every action on the website including pointing, clicking, keyboard navigation, etc.
    To configure NVDA settings, see Configure Screen Reader settings.
  1. Log in to the Live dashboard.
  2. On the Live dashboard, select the device combination to start your test session.
  3. On the Live toolbar, click Screen Reader. Accessing Screen Reader
  4. To enable Screen Reader, switch the Screen Reader toggle to on. Toggling on Screen Reader

    The Screen Reader feature starts providing the audio description for every action on the website including pointing, clicking, keyboard navigation, etc.

    After Screen Reader is enabled, VoiceOver Utility opens automatically. You can click on the browser on which you want to test your website to bring it to front.
    To configure VoiceOver settings, see Configure Screen Reader settings.

Supported keyboard shortcuts for Screen Reader

The Screen Reader feature enables the NVDA screen reader on Windows and VoiceOver screen reader on macOS. You can use the keyboard shortcuts to perform various actions supported by NVDA and VoiceOver.

For a complete list of keyboard shortcuts, refer to the Screen Reader keyboard shortcuts topic.

Configure Screen Reader settings

To configure NVDA settings, you can open the NVDA menu using the following shortcuts:

  • Windows keyboard: Insert + N
  • macOS keyboard: Right Option + Control + N

On the NVDA menu, you can configure settings related to speech, braille, vision, keyboard, and more. The following video shows how to change the language using the NVDA menu:

For the full range of functionality supported by the NVDA menu, check the NVDA user guide.

You can use the VoiceOver Utility to configure the VoiceOver settings. With VoiceOver Utility, you can configure settings like verbosity, speech, sound, and more.

Do not close VoiceOver Utility because you cannot access it once it is closed in the current session. If you closed it in the current session, you will have to disable Screen Reader and enable Screen Reader again to bring up the VoiceOver Utility. It is recommended that you keep VoiceOver Utility running in the background while you test and bring it in front whenever required.

The following video demonstrates how you can access the VoiceOver Utility and change the VoiceOver language:

To know more about VoiceOver Utility, check the VoiceOver user guide.

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