Assistive Technology Browser Combinations

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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
Dragon Recommended Supports N/a Supports with exceptions Does not support
ZoomText Recommended supports N/a Supports with exceptions Does not support

Caveats and Notes:

  • The above are SSB's recommendations, but the customer's needs take precedence. If a customer requires SSB to test othe, not-recommended versions, make sure the client understands and acknowledges the risks of doing so, and consider suggesting that they have SSB test both so as to better identify the risk.
  • Visual keyboard focus may be different in Firefox and IE due to various CSS properties, and so visible focus should be tested in both browsers. Clearly identify where the problem does and does not occur (which browser, which controls) in AMP entries.
  • Keyboard traps may also occur in one browser but not another, and is another test that should be performed in both browsers. Testing should focus on highly-scripted components, "overly-aggressive" scripting, embedded content, and such.
  • Difference in Dragon for IE value fields where onchange isn't updated when voice.
  • Mobile Safari does not fire keyboard events except in input textarea.
  • On Android, Firefox versions prior to 47 should not be used for TalkBack testing. This is due to TalkBack being unable to activate links in Firefox versions 43 through 46.
  • WebAIM has a voluntary screen reader survey found at the following URL:
  • Browser usage among the general population can be dramatically different than usage by uses of Assistive Technology, a critical factor many people may fail to take into account. For instance, contrast one recent set of general population browser statistics with the last WebAIM Screen Reader User Survey 6.
  • Android OS version usage statistics can be found on the Android Developer Dashboard, which shows that Android OS 7.x has a market share of less than 1% of Android devices, while OS 6.x has about 30%, and Os 5.0/5.1 has about 33%.
  • For comparing testing results and considering which device/OS combinations to test with, Jon has assembled testing results for Mobile Browser support for ARIA roles, states, and properties.
  • 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)