Web listening challenge, give it a go

Take a week to browse the web in my world. See how things work when you can only listen to content.

The challenge

  1. Download this open source screen reader software NVDA and install it on your PC
  2. Take a little time to learn the below key strokes
  3. Each day for a week, switch your monitor off and attempt to browse the web, using sites you use every day
  4. Write your experiences, frustrations and things you’ve learned
  5. Share these thoughts either on your own blog, your favourite social media or send us your thoughts

Key strokes

These are commonly used key strokes in NVDA to help move around web page content. They work across popular browsers like Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer.

  • 1 = Next level 1 heading
  • 2 = Next level 2 heading
  • 3 = Next level 3 heading
  • 4 = Next level 4 heading
  • H = Next heading
  • G = Next graphic or image
  • T = Next table
  • L = Next list
  • K = Next link
  • E = Next edit box
  • D = next land mark
  • Tab = Next link or control

Note pressing shift plus any of the above keys will go to the previous item. IE Shift+1 = previous level 1 heading.

  • Space = activate link or control
  • Enter = Submit or activate link or control
  • Home = Start of line or current item
  • CTRL+Home = Top of page
  • End = end of line or current item
  • CTRL+End = Bottom of page
  • Cursor Down = next item
  • Cursor Up = previous item
  • Cursor Left = previous character
  • Cursor Right = next character
  • Alt+D = go to the address bar
  • Alt+Left Cursor = back a page
  • Alt+Right Cursor = Next page

There are more controls documented in NVDA’s help although the above will be enough to get started browsing.

Reason for the challenge

I want to help spread the word of web accessibility to more people, this in turn changing the way people think about how they produce websites and their content. The internet can give the best level of accessibility to the widest groups of people no matter the technology people may use. It is the only communication media that can give visual, auditory and touch sensory access.

So if you are up for a challenge and want to make the internet a better place, have a go and share your experiences.