Learning Technology Index



What is it?

JAWS is a screen reader developed for computer users whose vision loss prevents them from seeing screen content or navigating with a mouse. JAWS provides speech and Braille output for the most popular computer applications on a PC.

What is its purpose?

JAWS makes websites, emails, apps, and documents accessible to blind persons or people with visual impairments. It has many practical built-in features, for example, two multi-lingual synthesisers for speech output or optical character recognition for images/inaccessible PDF documents. It is compatible with the Microsoft Office suite, Google Docs, Chrome, Edge, and Firefox.

How do I use it?

Users have to purchase and download the software from Freedom Scientific’s website. There is currently no student license available to users in Canada, and MUN does not hold an institutional license; users would have to purchase a home license for CAD 1500. JAWS is only available for Windows and is incompatible with the Mac OS.

Why would I use it?

JAWS can aid people with a visual impairment in accessing content displayed on computer screens.

Usage considerations

JAWS appears to be a potent yet complex software. It seems quite challenging to learn; alternatives might be easier to get started with, as learning JAWS as the first screen reader could be too daunting and cause frustration for the user.

Quick Facts
Content Delivery
Rating Level 
Web Search
Last Modified
29 June 2023
13 February 2023
License Available 
More Info

Security Concerns
Technical Support 

Ratings Information

CITL Rating

Select any category below for details about the criteria for each rating.

Functionality: ★★☆
Not Applicable.The software is intended for individual students, not collaboration or class work.
Ease of Use:★★☆
Minor Concerns. This assessment is based on online reviews, as LTCs cannot access the software and, therefore, cannot test the interface.
Tech Support/Help Availability (for Instructors):★★☆
Minor Concerns. No campus-wide technical support is available. Technical support is provided by the vendor.
Tech Support/Help Availability (for Students):★★☆
Minor Concerns. No campus-wide technical support is available. Technical support is provided by the vendor.
Hypermediality :
Not Applicable.The software is not meant for student-student or student-teacher communication.
Accessibility: ★★★
Accessibility Standards:★★★
Works Well.
User-focused participation:★★★
Works Well.
Required Equipment:★★★
Works Well. Proper use of the tool does not require specialised equipment but the purchase and download of the software.
Technical: ★★☆
Integration/Embedding within a Learning Management System (LMS) :
Not Applicable.
Operating Systems:★☆☆
Serious Concerns.
Web Browser:★★★
Works Well.
Additional Technical Requirements:★★☆
Minor Concerns.
Mobile Design: ★★☆
Serious Concerns.
Not Applicable.
Offline Access:★★★
Works Well. No WIFI is needed in general to operate the software.
Usage and Account Set Up: ★★☆
Sign Up/Sign In:★★★
Works Well.
Cost of Use:★☆☆
Serious Concerns.
Archiving, Saving, and Exporting Data :
Not Applicable.
Data Privacy and Ownership:★★★
Works Well.
Social Presence: ★★★
Collaboration :
Not Applicable.
User Accountability:
Not Applicable.
Works Well. The tool is widely known and popular. It’s likely that most learners with visual impairments are familiar with the tool and have basic technical competence with it.
Teaching Presence: ★★☆
Not Applicable.
Minor Concerns.
Learning Analytics:
Not Applicable.
Cognitive Presence:
Enhancement of Cognitive Task(s):
Not Applicable.
Higher Order Thinking:
Not Applicable.
Feedback on Learning:
Not Applicable.

Security and Privacy

There are currently no security or privacy concerns for this tool.

Support Information

Technical support can be obtained from Newfoundland’s local JAWS dealer, Optelec Canada Inc. Users can call 1-800-665-3005 or send an email to CanadaSales@Vispero.com