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Using NVDA to Test Web Accessibility

Proposal No: 3109

Bios & Handouts


  • Jonathan Whiting, Director of Training & Evaluation, WebAIM

Disability Area:          

Topic Area:                  

Length of Session (in hours): 1-hrFormat: Lab Expertise Level: BeginnerType of session: Not provided

Summary of Session

In this hands-on session, start using the NVDA screen reader to test the accessibility of your web content. We will discuss NVDA's strengths and quirks and how to avoid common pitfalls when testing with a screen reader. Computers will be provided, or bring your own laptop (Windows-only).


NVDA is a free, open-source screen reader for Windows. It is currently the second most popular screen reader in use and is excellent for web accessibility testing. Participants in this session will start using NVDA to test their web pages for accessibility. After a brief introduction to screen reader testing and the NVDA screen reader, participants will have a chance to install and configure NVDA. This may include choosing a more understandable voice and installing extensions. Participants will then practice basic reading controls, follow webpage navigation, and then fill out and submit forms. Eventually everyone will begin testing their own web pages and identify areas where screen reader accessibility could be improved. Other topics will include: differences between screen reader testing and keyboard testing, differences between browsers, and NVDA bugs or quirks.


  1. Learn to install and configure the NVDA screen reader.
  2. Practice reading through web content.
  3. Practice navigating web pages and submitting forms.

Speaker Bio(s)

Jonathan Whiting

o: Jonathan Whiting is the Director of Training at WebAIM, based at Utah State University. His main passion is helping others learn to make the web more accessible to people with disabilities. Jonathan is also currently involved in the GOALS Project, a program to assist institutions of Higher Education in improving their accessibility system-wide. With a Master's Degree in Instructional Technology and over fifteen years of experience in the field of web accessibility, Jonathan has published dozens of articles, tutorials, and other instructional resources. He has traveled extensively to train thousands of web developers and other professionals who develop or maintain web content.


screen reader slides