Doing a Google Search with JAWS, NVDA or Chromevox

Closeup of Computer Screen With Favicon and Address Bar

Don’t want to read?

Written By Cody Laplante

Cody M. Laplante is a certified Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments located in the capital region of the United States. With a Master’s Degree and Graduate Certificate in Assistive Technology, Cody founded eye.t to provide live and asynchronous training options to children, adults, professionals and parents to ensure that all people with visual impairments can have access to a computer.

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Published on

January 25, 2022

Arguably, the most important skill you can learn on the internet is doing a Google Search. Why? Well, because that is how you learn anything in our society today. That is how you solve a problem at work when you don’t have the answer. That’s how you find out when your school’s semester starts or what the weather is going to be like this weekend or prices on a flight to visit your parents.

Being a contributing member of society in 2022 means that you can do a Google Search, and from our learners we’ll expect nothing less. So, let’s get started.

The Address Bar

So we are in the address bar of a browser. For the sake of simplicity, let’s say tat we are in Google Chrome. Remember, the address bar is where we can type the URL of a website like OR we can just type our question and it will perform a Google Search. Remember, you can search a question or put in some key words. 

Side Note: If you do not know how to get to the address bar, check out last week’s email, where we talk about the first 5 skills to teach your learner on the internet.

For my search, I want to know what day St. Patrick’s Day is on, so I’ll type in “What Day is St. Patrick’s day? And I’ll press Enter so submit.

The Search Results Page

Once we press enter after entering our search, we are brought to the Search Results Page. This is a list of websites that may have the answer to our question. Today, I’m going to show you a Navigation Sequence to navigate this Search Results page, but it is just as important to know why this works. For that, I’d recommend you check out our Basic Internet Navigation Course (link to BIN Instructor). This course is a step by step guide to accessing 90% of the accessible web. 

Keep reading for the sequence

Skip to Main Content

Now, the first thing we are going to do is press Tab one time. Once I do that, my screen reader says, “Skip to Main Content” and a link appears at the top left corner of my screen. This is  a link ESPECIALLY for screen reader users. Selecting this link will allow me to skip over all of t he junk at the top of the page, and jump directly to my first search result. Once I do that, I’ll move on to navigating by heading.

Navigate by Heading

We always recommend navigating by heading when performing a google search simply because each search result is a heading. Remember to learn more about why this is the case, check out our website! (link to BIN Instructor). To navigate by heading using NVDA or JAWS press H on the keyboard. For Chromevox, the key command is Chromevox + H, and for VoiceOver for Mac, VoiceOver + H. If you don’t immediately see the search result you want, navigate to the next heading with the same key command.

And that’s it, those are the basics of navigating a search results page. For more information on this skill as well as fun practice activities, lesson plans, data sheets, and mock websites, use the button below to sign up for our Basic Internet Navigation Course. It is the one-stop shop for teaching your learner how to use the internet with JAWS, NVDA, or Chromevox.

Next week, we begin our journey into EMAIL! That’s right, all next month we will be covering how to check your inbox, compose an email and even how to keep that email inbox organized all while using NVDA or JAWS. Until then, have a great week and keep at it!

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