For the past month I’ve been work on an accessibility project. There are three major screen readers
Given that JAWS is pretty pricey and has a steep learning curve I have mostly been focussing on getting everything running well on NVDA and VoiceOver and getting support from other members of the team to check JAWS.
For the past 8 years I have been working on a Mac. Whilst there is VoiceOver for Mac (which is not the same as VoiceOver on iOS) NVDA is not available and only runs on Windows. To get this running required a bit of work that I couldn’t find documented anywhere else. So here it is for you and future me.
- The first thing is to get a copy of Windows so that we can run in VirtualBox locally. Luckily Microsoft provide Window 10 images for testing browsers on Windows. They expire after 3 months but saves £150.
- Once you have Windows then you also need VirtualBox. If you have
homebrew you can install it with
brew cask install virtualbox.
- Now you need to load and boot the virtual machine.
- Download and install VirtualBox extension pack into the VM.
- Stop the VM.
- Alter the VM Settings and under the audio tab.
- Enable Audio
- Set the
Host Audio Driverto
- Set the
Intel HD Audio
- Under extended features ensure that
Enable Audio Outputis checked
- Boot the VM and the audio should be working now. You can prove it by visiting YouTube or something similar.
- Now, within the VM download NVDA
- Install NVDA
Now you can use a browser and see how it is read by NVDA.
Optional extra - Getting NVDA to read multiple languages correctly
- With NVDA running you can right click on it running in the task bar and select
- Under the
Speechsection you need to set the
- Now it should respect the element and html language attribute to determine how to read the text.