Learning to use the JAWS screen reader opens up a multitude of opportunities for performing common computer-based tasks such as creating documents, reading news items, accessing social media, and navigating the Internet. Whether you are new to using JAWS or teaching others how to harness the power of this valuable tool, there are some important steps you can take to help ensure a smooth learning process. The following tips can be used as check points for getting to know JAWS.
Become Familiar with the Computer Keyboard
Though it is not necessary to know how to type when first learning JAWS, it is helpful to know the location of keys such as letters, numbers, and punctuation, as well as modifier keys like ALT and CTRL. The more familiar you become with the keyboard, the easier it will be to locate keys when you need them. This makes executing keyboard commands faster and more efficient.
Learn How to Listen to Synthesized Speech
Listening to synthesized speech is often more challenging than listening to a person speak. Not all synthesizers pronounce words the same and understanding this type of speech can be difficult at first.
Before delving into computer concepts and keyboard commands, it may be helpful to hone your listening skills. Practice by having JAWS read text on the computer screen. Adjust the voice rate to a more comfortable speed as you listen. Over time, synthesized speech is easier to understand, and you will become a more proficient JAWS user.
Understand Important Computer Terminology
Becoming familiar with key computer terms prior to learning to use JAWS provides a basis for the information covered in subsequent lessons. Terms such as screen reader, modifier key, Windows desktop, and hotkey are examples of specific language you will hear while learning to use JAWS.
Want more preparation tips and in-depth information on getting to know JAWS? Join us for a live webinar Thursday, February 7 at 12:00 pm ET.
Visit the FS Zoom registration page to sign up and gain access to the computer in a whole new way.
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