Assistive Technology Browser Combinations

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Revision as of 20:56, 22 November 2016 by Oedwards (talk | contribs) (Clarify that customer's needs take precedence over SSB's recommendations)
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Browser/AT Internet Explorer Firefox Safari Chrome Edge
JAWS Recommended/Most common in gov Recommended n/a Limited support Limited support
NVDA Supports with exception Recommended n/a Limited support limited support
VoiceOver (Mac) n/a Supports with exception Recommended Limited support n/a
Narrator Limited support (Windows 7)
Supports with exception (Windows 8.1+)
n/a n/a Limited support Supports with exceptions
VoiceOver iOS n/a Supports with exception (Shell for Safari) Recommended Supports with exception (Shell for Safari) n/a
TalkBack Android n/a Recommended * n/a Supports with exceptions n/a
ChromeVox n/a n/a n/a Supports with exceptions n/a


  • Visual focus may be different in Firefox and IE
  • Difference in Dragon for IE value fields where onchange isn't updated when voice.
  • Keyboard trap may happen in different browser.
  • Mobile Safari does not fire keyboard events except in input textarea.
  • The above is SSB's recommendation, but the customers needs take precedence.
  • * Firefox 43 does not work with TalkBack due to links not be accessible with Talkback enabled. This issue was fixed in Firefox 47.
  • Due to known OS and Browser version issues, Android 5.1 should be used for testing with a Firefox build prior to the known bugs. Per documentation provided by Roy Nickelson, the Firefox bugs should be resolved when version 46 is released. Per additional documentation provided by Jon Avila, Android OS ver. 6 only has a 1.2% adoption rate. This further justifies testing with the older 5.1 release. Jon has provided additional documentation here.

WebAIM also has a voluntary screen reader survey found at the following URL:

Amazon Fire has their own inaccessible browser (Silk).


Firefox 43 and Talkback

As of December 31 2015, it is not possible to activate links when Talkback is enabled. See this bug: (Note that this behavior is also present under Android 5.1.)

TO resolve this, you'll need to downgrade your device to Firefox 42.

  • Turn off automatic updates for Firefox:
    • Search for Firefox in the Google Play Store. Activate its icon in the list of results.
    • Activate "More Options" (3 dots at the top of the screen).
    • Uncheck "Auto Update." Note that talkback does not announce the state of this checkbox, so you'll need sighted assistance to check the state of this if you're blind. O_o
  • Uninstall Firefox 43. You can accomplish this under Home->Settings->Apps.
  • Download and install the appropriate build for your device here: [1]. Versions marked "ARM" are appropriate for all Nexus models, and versions marked "API 11" will work with any android version greater than 3.0.


| Blog post on Dragon that includes discussion of ARIA support


The ChromeVox screen reader uses the document object model (DOM) to provide access to web content which is different than how many other screen readers and assistive technology access browser content through an accessibility API or combination of API and DOM and thus results may not reflect how other AT products will work in Chrome.

Notes of Differences Between Firefox and Chrome (on Android with TalkBack)

  • Simulated checkboxes with an opacity of 0 worked better on Chrome than Firefox (Wells Fargo)
  • Radio buttons on Chrome do not announce number of radio buttons. For example, there will be no 1 out of 3 announced on Chrome
  • Form field on Chrome does not announce the label if text is already entered.
  • Nested links inside of headings only read as links on chrome, instead of reading as heading link.
  • Table cells announce all association of cells and headers except for column 1 (Chrome/S6)
  • br is a swipe stop (Chrome/S6)
  • readonly form fields announce that they can be activated to enter text (Chrome/S6)
  • aria-expanded does not announce (Chrome/S6)