People with visual impairments, including blindness most often use an assistive technology (AT) device called a Screen Reader. A screen reader is a software application that attempts to identify and interpret what is being displayed on the screen (or, more accurately, sent to standard output, whether a video monitor is present or not). This interpretation is then re-presented to the user with text-to-speech, sound icons, or a Braille output device. Screen readers may also be used by people with a learning disability. Screen readers are often used in combination with other AT for screen magnification. (Source Wikipedia )
Popular Desktop screen reader applications:
JAWS – Job Access With Speech – for Windows PC
JAWS is a screen reader produced by the Blind and Low Vision Group at Freedom Scientific. Its purpose is to make personal computers using Microsoft Windows accessible to blind and visually impaired users. It accomplishes this by providing the user with access to the information displayed on the screen via text-to-speech or by means of a Braille display and allows for comprehensive keyboard interaction with the computer.
Non Visual Desktop Access (NVDA) – for Windows PC
NVDA is a free and open-source screen reader for the Windows operating system, enabling blind and vision impaired people to use their computers for no more cost than the computer and operating system itself. Started in April 2006, it has grown to become quite usable as a day-to-day screen reader, enabling the user to do most tasks they would need to. It is not as stable or as bug-free as some of the commercial screen readers, but since December 2006 the creator of NVDA has been able to use NVDA full-time as his primary screen reader, finally giving up his original commercial product.
VoiceOver – for Apple Mac Computers
VoiceOver (VO) is a screen reader built into Apple Inc.’s Mac OS X operating system since version 10.4 (VO is also available on Apple iOS, tvOS, watchOS and iPod devices – see below). By using VoiceOver, the user can access content and navigate by using text-to-speech, the keyboard and the touchpad. VoiceOver is designed to increase accessibility for blind and low-vision users, and for some users with learning disabilities.
Serotek – System Access – for Windows PC
Serotek’s System Access software brings you accessibility anywhere, and is available in configurations to meet every lifestyle and budget. Whether you’re composing a document or spreadsheet, keeping track of appointments, or surfing the web, System Access provides intuitive and affordable access to all Windows-based applications.
System Access comes in a standalone package, a mobile version and a web-based product called System Access to Go.
Popular Tablet/Smartphone screen reader applications:
VoiceOver – for iOS, iPadOS, tvOS and WatchOS
VoiceOver is the screen reader built into Apple iOS, tvOS, watchOS devices. By using VoiceOver, the user can access content and navigate by using text-to-speech in addition to the touchscreen. VoiceOver is designed to increase accessibility for blind and low-vision users, and for some users with learning disabilities.
ChromeVox – Chrome browser and ChromeBooks
ChromeVox is the built-in screen reader for Google ChromeBooks as well as the Google Phone.
Android Accessibility Suite (TalkBack) – Android phones
TalkBack was an accessibility service for Android that helped blind and visually impaired users to interact with their devices. It used spoken words, vibration and other audible feedback to allow the user to know what is happening on the screen allowing the user to better interact with their device. The service was initially a downloadable app but eventually was pre-installed on many Android devices. In 2017, it was replaced by Google with Android Accessibility Suite which comes pre-installed on many Android smartphones.