Document Testing with a Screen Reader (NVDA)

Scheduled at 9:00am in Independence on Tuesday, November 15.



  • Dax Castro, Accessible Document Specialist, Chax Training and Consulting
  • Chad Chelius, Accessible Document Specialist, Chax Training and Consulting

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 2-day
  • Format: Lab
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: Pre-conference


The ultimate way to ensure usability is to test your document for barriers with a screen reader. But using a screen reader can be daunting at first. This class focuses on the tools you need to know and the testing methods that will efficiently and definitively check your document for usability. Students leave the class with screen reader shortcuts and a checklist for evaluating a document.


This session walks users through the basics of navigating NVDA controls and then teaches attendees how to apply testing methodologies to PDF documents using a systematic checklist to maximize usability and validate things like logical structure, meaningful alt-text and several other compliance checkpoints.

This hands-on lab will kickstart your screen reader capabilities. Every attendee will be given a Screen Reader Shortcut Key Basics cheat sheet and a Testings for Accessibility/Usability Checklist they can use to move through any document with confidence.

Accessibility Topics Covered: • NVDA Interface/Settings • Basic screen reader shortcut keys for success • How to walk through your document • Key areas to check • Usability pitfalls almost no one ever catches • Checking tables for usability

Handouts • Screen Reader Shortcut Key Basics cheat sheet • Screen Reader Usability Checklist


  1. Testing your document with a screen reader is a key indicator of usability.
  2. Assistive Technology can be overwhelming for first-time users.
  3. There are many usability issues that are not caught by WCAG or automated checkers.

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Vision

Topic Areas

Accessible Educational Materials, Assistive Technology, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Dax Castro

Dax is an Adobe Certified PDF Accessibility Trainer, Accessible Document Specialist and member of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals. He has more than 25 years experience creating digital content using InDesign, Acrobat and other creative software. Dax specializes in user-centered accessibility approaches that push the envelope of technology to produce more robust accessible documents that still meet Section 508, WCAG 2.0/2.1 and PDF/UA compliance. Dax is also the co-host of the accessibility podcast Chax Chat streaming on all major podcast platforms.

Chad Chelius

Chad Chelius is a trainer, author, consultant, speaker and Managing Partner of Chax Training and Consulting. He resides in the Philadelphia area and has been using Adobe products for over 25 years. He began his career in the design and publishing industry. As an Adobe Certified Instructor and consultant he teaches and advises on all Adobe print and web products, specializing in InDesign and InCopy workflows, Illustrator, automation, and PDF accessibility using InDesign, Word, and Adobe Acrobat. He works with clients both large and small in and outside of the United States, helping them to solve design, workflow, and accessibility challenges using Adobe products. Chad is a LinkedIn Learning author and co-host of the accessibility podcast Chax Chat streaming on all major podcast platforms.