Keyboard showing HJK keys.

Tech Power User: JAWS Quick Keys

Using JAWS Quick Keys or VoiceOver Single Letter commands to navigate like a tech power user!

In the first post, 3 Steps to Becoming a Tech Power User, we learned about how students progress through different levels of navigation commands on their iOS device. In this post, we’ll see how these power tech skills transfer to navigating with JAWS or other laptop screen readers.

Tech best practices indicates that young kids begin their tech development using touch screen devices. Students learn to navigate using gestures before Bluetooth keyboard commands, and they use iOS rotor navigation features before the single letter Bluetooth keyboard commands. BLV students typically switch to using a computer for most educational tasks by the end of elementary school or the beginning of middle school. When students are comfortable navigating tablets with single letter keyboard commands, the transition to navigating efficiently on a computer is easy!

VoiceOver on a Mac: Quick Nav Single Letter Keyboard Commands

When using VoiceOver on a Mac to navigate a webpage, first turn on single letter navigation (also called single key navigation) by pressing VO + Q. Turn Single letter navigation ON.

Note: VoiceOver commands on iPads, iPhones and Macs are the same.

The Single Letter commands are:

Note 1: To move backwards through the desired element, use the Shift key then the desired single letter. Example: Shift + H will move to the previous Heading.

Note 2: VO stands for Control + Option keys which are pressed simultaneously.

JAWS Quick Keys

When on a webpage, computer screen readers, such as JAWS use “Quick Keys” which are similar to the single letter keyboard commands. The same or similar commands are used to navigate by elements:

Note 1: To go backwards through the desired element, use Shift key then the single letter. Example: Shift + H will move to the previous Heading.

Note 2: The single letter command L on an iPad navigates by Links; the JAWS Quick Key L navigates by Lists.

In the video, Becca demonstrates using JAWS Quick Keys.

Lamp shining on a stack of textbooks.

Why I study assistive technology

Computer code on a screen

Writing Python code on iPad with Pythonista

Computer code on a screen

How I use IDE with low vision