JAWS is a computer program that converts text on the computer screen to speech.

JAWS is an acronym for Job Access With Speech. It is the most popular program for converting computer text to speech. It was originally released in 1989.

JAWS reads the text on the screen to the user. This allows users with minimal or no sight to be able to use the Internet and World Wide Web. It also works with the users in aiding them to be able to enter information to the computer.

JAWS has made a great difference for these people with these disabilities; however, it requires work on the part of website developers to make the pages be readable and readable in a usable format.

For instance, many pages include graphics on them. JAWS cannot tell what is in the graphic, it can just tell the user it is a graphic. This is where the importance of alt tags on images comes in. With the alt tag, JAWS can tell the user what is in the alt tag that hopefully describes the image. On a number of web pages without this, users would not know where to click, as choices may be images and if you are just told there are images and nothing else how do you know which one takes you to the previous page? Likewise, on URL links in pages, they need alt tags of a short definition of it as hearing a long URL would be confusing.

JAWS and other text to speech programs have been great to help those with vision limitations to not be limited from using the Internet and World Wide Web which I would assume I the most used communication device now.

Dwight Watt does computer work for businesses, individuals and organizations and teaches about computers at a college in Northwest Georgia. His website is www.dwightwatt.com. His email address is dwight@dwightwatt.com.

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