A different view of the screen
By Donna J. Jodhan
In most cases, when a blind employee navigates their screen, they do so
using their keyboard exclusively. Whereas a sighted employee uses their
mouse to point and click, a blind employee uses their keys to do the same.
They depend on shortcut keys to get them where they need to be on the
For sighted persons, their dependence on a mouse is almost exclusive and for
a blind employee, their dependence on shortcut keys is almost exclusive.
The tab, control, escape, and alt keys are a blind employee’s best friend.
Or should I say a blind person’s best friends. Various combinations of
these keys are also best friends and of course there is the find command to
help a blind person find things quickly.
This is how blind persons navigate their screen. In the workplace, a blind
employee can be just as fast as a sighted person when navigating the screen.
The one huge challenge comes when a screen freezes and a blind employee is
unable to tell what is going on because their access technology software is
unable to speak. Such situations would be during circumstances such as: A
system crash, a hard drive failure, or a screen interruption. A blind
employee would also depend on any sound that their computer gives off in
order to help them navigate their screen and/or decipher what may be going
For someone with enough vision to identify colors, they may use their vision
to help them identify such things as: Where the cursor is, an image of the
screen, and maybe location of fields and icons and/or images. Some blind
persons use screen magnifiers to help them navigate while others use close
circuit TV devices. It all depends on the level of vision.
I’m Donna J. Jodhan your free lance writer and roving reporter wishing you a
I wish all of my readers a very happy holiday season for 2012 and a special
thanks to Jill Walters for giving me the opportunity to write for her.
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