I'm posting today, to put a thought into words, and to get some feedback as well I guess. I am not trying to open a can of worms, (Even though I know some how I will).
I also understand and respect that this is an Apple forum, and am posting here because to my understanding, generally speaking, the best use of a mouse with a screen reader, and as well, understanding screen, app real estate, may come with Apples Mac, and Voiceover, , and a touch track pad, as well as the use of iOS.
I had an interesting experience, at work yesterday. I sat with a sighted computer user, who primarily drove the workstation with the mouse, other than typing into edit fields. I knew what applications she was using, as I use them with JAWS. I understand, the mental application layout, at least from a screen reader and keyboard command prospective. Believe it or not, this was the first time in my life, that I felt I was with a compitent sighted computer user, and on top of that knowing where they were going, what they were doing, I found myself in ah, of how quick they drove around, as well as ease of use.
I understand there are a lot of us, compitent blind computer users. I believe myself to be one. I believe I am quick, and have a lot of keystrokes memmorised. We as blind users have to trust, and think ahead much of the time, we don't allow the screen reader to finish reading the output of the commands we are giving the computer before moving forward because we know, trust what it is going to do. What I believe I realised yesterday, is, it may be, one or two mouse clicks as a sighted user, to 5 to 10 of our keystrokes. It's as if your, listening to an entire song as you look at the screen, and gaining information, vs, listening to each stem of that song as you move line by line with a screen reader. I am so thankful for all of the work that has been done in the accessibility arrena, so blessed because of it on a day to day basses, and I realise I am sounding, perhaps somewhat selfish, but in the future, might there be a quicker, less mind bending way for us as blind users to navigate a computer?
Mind bending you say? possibly out loud as you read this post.
No, I am not trying to wine or complain, I truly promise, I don't mean that it is mentaly hard for me to drive a computer with the keyboard and accessibility, of course not, but seeing the ease of use that a sighted user navigated yesterday, it is, in some weird odd way, maybe, so, and for some accessibility users more than others, as we are all on a different level.
Take Microsoft Edge for example. As I have navigated it with a screen reader, and may get lost as I am tabbing through, f6 brings me to the list of tabs. I believe this list is at the top of the screen. As a sighted user, I didn't verify, but I believe one may be able to quickly jump to the top with the mouse curser, click on a different tab, and in a split second be there, instead of control+tabbing through all the open tabs, or cycling around with F6, to get to the tabs list, hitting left or right arrow, and then hitting space or enter. As I mentioned above, it may be, one click to several keystrokes. I do also realize this doesn't hold true in every app, everywhere.
I don't know what the answer is, if there is a different answer than we already have, but it's interesting and fassinating to ponder.
Might there be, in the future, a touch pad for example, that would not show the taskbar or desktop to confuse the user, but just show the real estate of the app in focus so that one may more quickly learn a way to navigate with a screen reader?
Thank you for reading. I am interested in thoughts from both sides of the table, from sighted users who understand screen readers, as well as blind users, who may have once been sighted and understand both sides of the coin, if it were.
What do you think?