To become a tech “power user” with a screen reader, the student must fully embrace keyboard commands, including numpad key commands. In previous posts, we learned about different numpad keyboard layouts (Computer Numpad Part 1: Learning Numpad post) and activities to introduce numpad layouts (Learning Numeric Keypad Layout: Activities post). In this post, we will learn how to use NVDA’s Review Cursor and the corresponding numpad commands.
Learning to use a screen reader can be confusing! Using and understanding the terms is the critical first step to unraveling the screen reader mystery. Here are two terms that you need to know for this activity!
NVDA has keyboard commands (for laptops without numpad keys) and associated numpad commands (for desktops or laptops with numpad keys). The numpad keys are more efficient typically requiring only one key to press, easy to remember commands and users can quickly navigate content using the numpad keys input.
Note: Users with physical issues or those who struggle to press multiple keys simultaneously, often benefit from using the numpad commands.
Remember, the numpad keys on a computer keyboard have 1, 2, 3 across the bottom.
NVDA has organized the commands by rows:
Order of the left to right key in each row:
The “NVDA” key is the Insert Key. NVDA can also be configured to use the Capslock key as the NVDA key. Toggle caret moves review cursor on/off: NVDA + 6. Turn Number Lock off.
The NVDA Review Cursor Commands chart has three columns: the description (or action) of the command, the associated numpad command and the associated keyboard command.
Download the accessible NVDA Review Cursor Commands chart here.
Power User Tip: For all the keystrokes above, pressing them once will read the text as described. Pressing them twice quickly will read the text by a character. Pressing them three times quickly will read the text phonetically.
In the video below, Thee Quinn does an excellent job explaining and demonstrating the use of the NVDA Review Cursor.
by Diane Brauner
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