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for the Blind

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JAWS for MAC???

Hi- I have a blind friend who wants to buy a mac. He's concerned that he won't be able to use JAWS (or similar) with it. Is JAWS Mac compatible? Is there another similar program you would recommend? Your response is most definitely appreciated.

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Re:JAWS for MAC???

I too am in agreement with recommending a mac. I have been learning VoiceOVer (mac's built-in accessibility option) for the last week. its got some quirks but those are easy to work around. believe me, the Voiceover program sounds a lot more natural than JAWS (ugh!) and its not prone to the problems that plague just about all windows applications.

Re:JAWS for MAC???

As one Who has used both systems, I recommend a Mac. It will take a wee bit of time to learn Voice Over and apple, but it's not altogether difficult. I have the manual if anyone wants a copy. I could attach the chapters into emails so you don't have to go and look it up.

If you would like more info on this, you can email me at

Re:JAWS for MAC???


A few months ago I got a MacBook Pro and I love it. I have not received a single error message, and it has never froze on me. I don't ever see the dreaded "Program Not Responding" message. I really like the screen reader that comes with it (VoiceOver). As someone else said, it is not quite in the same league as JAWS, but it is still pretty good. Perhap if enough people ask Freedom Scientific to develop JAWS for the Mac, they will.

The only problem I had with VoiceOver is the complexity of the key combinations. It is very tiring after a while because often you need to use combinations that really stress the fingers. There exist other options to use less key commands and such, but often I have found that they don't always work as well as I would like.

In the end, it is still worth it to get a Mac, it will take some time to get used to VoiceOver if you are used to using JAWS.

Good Luck,
Dianna K. Green

Re: JAWS for MAC???

JAWS doesn't run on the mac operating system. The mac does have a screen reader built in, though. It's called Voiceover. I have tried it only briefly-- I can say from experience that the learning curve is quite steep. Before your friend dives into a whole new operating system, he/she should do a couple of things-- read the 2005 AccessWorld review of Voiceover
and listen to the much more recent Dueling Operating System presentation from CSUN last month

It's a big deal to change operating systems-- if your friend is highly technical, he might find this to be fun. If he's changing to the mac because he isn't technical and he hopes the mac OS will be friendlier, he will find that that is not the case for blind users. He will have to do much more of his own computer-tweaking and resource-finding than he now does for a Windows computer. And JAWS is a much more mature screen reader than Voiceover an supports far more applications.

So, in short, if your friend wants a mac because his job requires it, he should do his homework and then probably go for it.

If he wants a mac because he finds Windows with JAWS har to use, he will be disappointed with the mac. He should still do his homework, though.

If he wants a mac because he loves to try new things and wants to use the photo-editing, audio editing, video-editing, or other capabilities of the mac, he should do his homework and probably go for it.

Re:JAWS for MAC???

I would strongly recommend Mac. You will have not get as much spam and I have not had as many problems as my friends with PCs. . I am on my second one and, have just made up a phrase, Once you go Mac you don't go back
J from Chicago.

Re:JAWS for MAC???

Actually, MACs have NO comercial screenreader- instead, they have a built in FREE screenreader. It is nothing like Window's Narrator, it is quite powerful. If not to the level of jaws, but it certianly is very good.

He can head to the local apple store and test it out. Every mac has it built right in!

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