5 Best Screen Reader Software for Blind and Visually Impaired People

Using the best screen reader software for our blind and visually impaired friends we can help them access computers smoothly. These tools are specially designed for them that can make their lives easier. 

First of all, I want to thank these software and app developers who came forward for such a noble cause. 

Although there are built-in screen reading apps available for Windows and Mac. So before you try any external software you should try these free built-in tools.

5 Best Screen Reader Software for Visually Impaired and Blind People

1. NVDA Screen Reader:

Supported OS: Windows 7 and Later

Price: Free

NV Acces is a free-to-use screen reader software to help the visually impaired and blind. According to the official Website it has served more than 100,000 people all over the world. 

NV Access also provides ebooks, technical support, and audible files for the blind with minimum charges.

The latest version of this software is NVDA version 2022.2.2 which supports Windows 7 and later. Also, if you are using older versions of Windows i.e. Vista and XP then you can download the older versions of NVDA.

NVDA screen reader software for blnd

Here are the features of this software:

  • NVDA supports almost every popular application on Windows.
  • Using this software you can easily access browsers, email, messaging software, etc.
  • The screen reader program can tell you the position of the mouse and the text under the mouse.
  • It supports Braille displays.
  • You can use NVDA as a portable software means you can run it with a USB stick.
  • It has a large community of users.
  • You will also get telephone support and training with some chargers applied.

How to use this software to read the screen for blind and visually impaired people

Step 1: Download the software from the official website.

https://www.nvaccess.org/

Step 2: Now double-click the .exe file that you have downloaded.

Step 3: It will open a license agreement file you need to check the “I agree” button and click “Install NVDA on this computer”

Step 4: Now a small window will pop up with 3 options-

  • Use NVDA during sign-in: Keep it checked so, the program will start working when your computer starts.
  • Create a desktop icon and shortcut key (control+alt+n): If you want to uncheck the previous option then you need to keep this checked. So, a person with no vision can start this software with a keyboard shortcut (control+alt+n).
  • Copy portable configuration to a current user account: keep it unchecked as by default. 

After checking the boxes with your preferences click “Continue” and the software will start to install, after the software is finished installing click “Ok

Step 5: Now a small dialogue box will pop up and you will start listening to the NVDA software. It is a robotic male voice.

Here you can select the keyboard layout i.e. desktop or laptop. Just click the up and down arrows to choose. 

The next option is “Use CapsLock as an NVDA modifier key” if you tick this checkbox you will be able to operate NVDA using the CapsLock key. For example, if you want to quit NVDA then you can press CapsLock and hit enter.

Step 6: Now click “Ok” and move to the next screen. Here you will see the NVDA Usage Data Collection notice. Read the notification and choose the option according to you. I chose to tap the “Yes” button.

Now the blind and visually impaired can start using this software to read screens and perform other tasks.

This was the complete working process for this PC app to read screens for the visually impaired and blind.

Alternatively, you can refer to this video-

Get it here

Also Read: 5 Best Screen Recorder For PC Without Watermark In 2022 [Free & Paid]

2. JAWS

Supported OS: Windows® 11, Windows 10, Windows Server® 2019, and Windows Server 2016

Pricing:

  • Home Annual License (U.S. Only): $95/year, for 3 PCs (Personal/non-commercial use)
  • Student Annual License (U.S. Only): $90/year for 1 PC
  • Home License: $1000
  • Profesional License: $1285

JAWS stands for Jobs Access With Speech. This is one of the most popular screen reader software for the blind and visually impaired. With the help of this software, accessing the most useful computer applications becomes easy for people with a weak or no sight. Now people with no vision can perform tasks on a PC like normal users.

jaws screen reader app for pc

Here are the main features of this software:

  • Drivers for Braille displays. 
  • It can access PDF documents.
  • JAWS claims to recognize images.
  • Powerful voice assistant feature.
  • It has DAISY formatted books for basic training.

Get it here

3. Dolphin Screen Reader:

Compatible OS: Windows

Trial Version: Yes

Pricing for the full version: $955

This is another popular software for people who can not see. It has powerful screen recording and other features for people who are blind or severely visually impaired. 

It provides a free version so you can test it before paying. Also, you can customize it according to your needs.

dolphin software to read screen

Here are the main features of this software:

  • Microsoft Office and Windows apps are easily accessible with this software. 
  • Dolphin Screen Reader Support Braille display.
  • It also provides expert support.
  • Using this software you can perform voice searches.
  • The screen reader announces spelling errors while you write.
  • It will speak words when you type.
  • It comes with comprehensive braille support.
  • With the help of the Braille On screen feature, braille teachers can track students’ progress.
  • Using the Verbosity Level you can control the level/amount of information that software announces.

Get it here

4. Apple VoiceOver for Mac

Compatible OS: Mac

Price: Free

Apple VoiceOver is one of the best screen reader software for blind and visually impaired people on Mac. The Mac app has multiple features that people with no sight or less sight could use.

It is a built-in application on macOS, so you don’t need to download it from external sources. 

voice over utility for Mac

Here are the main features of this app:

  • Using the voice-over feature you can hear what is happening on the screen.
  • You can also connect a Braille display with Bluetooth and get the voice-over for braille.
  • On the iPad version of this app, you can use 70 refreshable braille displays.
  • And with macOS, you can use more than 100 refreshable braille displays.
  • Speak Screen feature lets you hear the content out loud.
  • It can speak the words that you hover over text.
  • Listen to every movie scene on iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV.

Get it here

5. Zoom Text Magnifier

Compatible OS: Windows

Price: 

  • Home License (U.S. Only)- $85/year for 3 PCs
  • Student Annual License (U.S. Only)- $80/year
  • Magnifier/Reader- $700
  • Only Magnifier- $500

ZoomText Magnifier is another nice screen reading software for blind and visually impaired people. It can magnify text for people with low vision also it can read the text for completely blind people.

If you want this software for only low-vision people then you can opt for only Zoom Text Magnifier which will be cheaper.

zoom text magnifier and reader

Here are the main features of this software:

  • It has 4 main tabs ZoomText, Magnifier, Reader, and Tools. Here we will discuss the Magnifier and Reader tab
  • It has a feature to enable/disable the screen reader and modify the voice settings.
  • Using this software you can control the speed of reading.
  • It can read the text under your mouse- just hover the mouse and the software will speak the text.
  • Using the Verbosity level you can change the amount of information you want the software to speak.
  • It has an AppReader function to read from applications like webpages email etc.
  • You can select a reading zone to hear.

It provides a PDF that has the complete features of this software- See The PDF

Get it here

These are the best screen reader software for blind and visually impaired people. In this list 4 software are able to read the screen on Windows and Apple Voice Over software is for Mac users. 

FAQs:

Which screen reader is best for blind people?

Answer: The best tool is NVDA because it is free and has just the features that a blind person would need.

Is JAWS better than NVDA?

Answer: JAWS has better features but it is very costly.

Which browser works best with NVDA?

Answer: NVDA best works with the Firefox browser.

How do I get Firefox to read my text?

Answer: Go to the webpage that you want to read then go to the Firefox menu and click the “Read Aloud Icon”.

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