Learn More, Do More, New Features in JAWS: Updated Basic Training

In this week’s look at some of the new features in JAWS 2020, we review improvements to a popular resource that has helped many new users over the years learn how to use JAWS, the JAWS Basic Training.

The Basic Training is produced using the DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) format. Each book offers both text and audio and can be downloaded and read using Freedom Scientific’s FSReader DAISY reader software that is automatically installed with JAWS.

For JAWS 2020, the nine books that comprise the Basic Training have been updated and restructured to make them more concise and task oriented. The goal was to keep things simple, easy to follow, and generic so the training applies to more people in more situations. Some examples include:

  • In the “JAWS User Interface and Utilities” book, we no longer try to show everything in the user interface. Instead, we point out the most important things and where to find them in both the menus and in the Utilities folder. This makes it easier for teachers, instructors, and IT professionals to find things quickly.
  • Many of the topics from the outdated JAWS Training Bundle, which was very popular with beginners and agencies, has been rewritten and is included in several books: “Introduction to Windows,” “Using the Keyboard to Read and Edit Text,” “Introduction to Files and Folders,” and “Working with Menus, Dialog Boxes, and the JAWS Startup Wizard.” This material is task-oriented and assumes users have little to no experience using JAWS or Windows.
  • In the “Surf’s Up, Surfing the Internet with JAWS, an Introduction” book, we show you how to find and use Surf’s Up, a series of web pages that demonstrate how to navigate the Internet with JAWS.
  • The Training Table of Contents now contains more information about each book such as the topics it covers and the listening time. This helps you get a better idea of what each book contains and how much time you should allow to complete it.

Do the following to install or update one or more Basic Training books:

  1. Press INSERT+J to open the JAWS application window.
  2. Press ALT+H to open the Help menu, press DOWN ARROW to select Training, and then press ENTER. FSReader opens and displays the JAWS Training Table of Contents which contains links to the JAWS Basic Training DAISY books. Choose Yes if prompted to update the table of contents to make sure you have the latest book titles. Note that the Training Table of Contents is currently only available in the English and Dutch versions.
  3. Use TAB or the list of links (INSERT+F7) to navigate to the book you want to open and then press ENTER. If the book is not currently on your computer or an updated book is available, FSReader will automatically download and install it.
  4. Repeat this process for each book you want to download.

New to reading DAISY content with FSReader? Check out our FSReader Overview video. We also offer an FSReader Vocabulary Reference, which is especially useful for teachers. Using FSReader and the Basic Training is a great way for instructors, even those with no JAWS experience, to work with their students learning JAWS.

The Basic Training DAISY books can also be downloaded individually from the Getting Started with JAWS page and installed to any folder on your computer’s hard drive. If you choose this option, press CTRL+O after starting FSReader for the Open File dialog box, and then navigate to the folder where you saved the book you want to read.

Visit our Training web pages to locate additional downloadable training resources for JAWS as well as other Freedom Scientific products.