Developers, which browser/screen reader combo are you using on Mac OS?


I'm addressing this thread to developers, mainly because I use my MacBook for work, and that means I have to read a lot of code with the browser, and have to deal with websites like Github, Gitlab and StackOverflow, which means a lot of code blocks.

For the past two years, I've mostly used VoiceOver and Safari, but I've been trying out Google Chrome and ChromeVox recently. I'm finding that neither of them seem to be as easy to work with as the flat system that Windows screen readers provide, but I wonder if you have figured a way of making this easier. I'll explain what I mean.

VoiceOver, in Safari, seems to be jumping from object to object. That means if you have a block of code where line endings are important and you need to look at the code character by character, the behavior is not predictable. Sometimes using the arrow keys work, and sometimes they don't.

When using Chrome and ChromeVox, you have to keep switching between the granularity levels, which is too much work. The flat keymap also has a lot of commands using control, but on the Mac I've found the best combination of ChromeVox keys to be the default Command+Ctrl, which makes those keys stop working.

Another issue is Google Docs: the level of accessibility varies a lot based on what you're using, and none of them seem to be 100% usable when collaborating with sighted people.

Any ideas welcome!


#1 Emacs with emacspeak

This is a really good question. Emacs with emacspeak might be an option for most of what you are doing. It is a challenging interface to learn however. It uses some really odd phrasing and key combonations. I too run into problems trying to learn coding on the web with voiceover and safari. Its gotten so frustrating that I am thinking of just going back to windows to do this. I do hope there are some improvements with the next version of MacOS.

#2 Emacspeak is great!


I'm a heavy Emacs and Emacspeak user, and the only reason I don't want to go back to Windows is that there is no good Emacspeak speech server for Windows, and Emacs has some issues when run in a Windows environment.

But still, i can't open all sorts of websites in Emacs and eww, so I'm stuck relying on VoiceOver, which is nowhere near useful in this case.