To screen read or not to screen read

In the last few days I have been pondering about starting to rely more on screen readers.  My initial reaction was not to, didn’t see the point since my sight is still there, admittedly not as good as it was but, hey… its still there!

However in the last couple of months I have been struggling with headaches and eye strain.  Initially I thought magnification and breaking often were the obvious answer but it’s not quite the trick if you are going to spend the whole working day in front of the computer.

Luckily I recently met with another person who has the same eye condition as myself and have been using assistive technology for longer. After looking at a few of the gadgets and adjustments they are using it dawned on me that alternating between screen readers and magnification will be the answer on the way forward.  I can split the tasks.  Simple things like reading email and basic documentation can be done through the screen reader and the more visual technical work can be done through magnification.

I have been giving this a go for simple personal things like texting and emailing. It is helping a lot and it makes a lot more sense.

Since my sight loss journey has turned out to be a bit more of a roller coaster ride lately, it is small victories like this one that fill me with hope in continuing to do the things that I love.

As I delve deeper in my new approach to navigating the web and using computers as a visually impaired web developer, I also feel responsible for creating accessible experiences for others.

More on screen readers and gadgets on an upcoming post…

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