Aaron Page

My Experience of Using Web Applications as a Blind User

My name is Aaron Page. I am Allyant’s Director of Accessibility, and I am blind. I was born with congenital glaucoma and lost my remaining functional vision 15 – 16 years ago. I want to start by stating that my experiences are my own, and they are affected by my disability, my past experiences, and the assistive technologies I use.

My experience may not be the same as other blind / low-vision users, and will certainly be different from the experience persons with other disabilities, such as motor/dexterity or cognitive disabilities, may have as they try to access the web.  

When accessing the web, I primarily do so using the following devices and assistive technologies: 

  • A Dell XPS 13 laptop running Windows 11 w/JAWS for Windows as the primary screen reader 
  • An iPhone 13 Pro Max running iOS 17 w/VoiceOver as the primary screen reader.  

In this article, we’ll talk about what it is like to access websites and applications using the first device I mentioned above – a desktop/laptop computer running Windows and using the JAWS screen reader.   

What does a screen reader sound like? 

For those who have never heard a screen reader in action, it can be an illuminating experience. 

Below is a paragraph of text from the Allyant website, and following that is a short clip of this text being read out by my screen reader. Keep in mind that this is how my screen reader sounds when browsing websites, reading emails, etc., but this is only 60-65% of the maximum speed supported by my screen reader.  

“At Allyant, we believe every organization’s journey toward equitable access should be simple and seamless—eliminating the worry, stress, and uncertainty often associated with accessibility. For this reason, we offer many accessibility services and software solutions, spanning print and digital document remediation services, document remediation software, and digital accessibility auditing.” 

Screen Reader demo