An Audio Walk-through of the Twitter Service with JAWS for Windows, (NVDA Keystrokes and Text Transcript Included)

Hi Everyone!

As there have been recent changes at Twitter, I have seen a lot of questions as to how to continue to use it with a screen reader? I seek to answer some of those questions in this short audio demo of the Twitter application/website on Windows. I use JAWS in this recording, but NVDA keystrokes, (where they differ from JAWS keystrokes) will be mentioned. There is a transcript included as well.

The “Play” button for the audio can be found below the transcript.

Enjoy!

Transcript

Rachel:

Hey everyone, I’m Rachel Ramos. I’d like to take some time today to show you how to use the Twitter service with a screen reader. Now that the accessible clients that we’ve all loved and relied upon for years are no longer available due to changes at the company. However, you can still use the service with the screen reader. I’ve seen a lot of questions come through on tech related discussion groups and e-mail lists inquiring as to how this is possible now that the clients are no longer around. So there are two ways that you can use the service. One is you can use it through the Twitter website loaded in your browser of choice and the 2nd if you are on Microsoft Windows, you can download the Twitter app which is free of charge from the Microsoft Store. A few things to note before we begin. I’m already signed in to my Twitter account on the website. So if your experience is different it may be because you need to sign in first to your Twitter account. This is being recorded in May 2023. Websites and applications, along with screen reader access can change at any time. I will be using the Twitter application for this demonstration. However, if you are using the website, the interface will look identical, so any of the keystrokes that I will mention will be available on the website as well as in the application. I will be using JAWS for this demonstration. But where the keystrokes differ when it comes to NVDA, I will do my best to cover those as well.

JAWS:

Home slash Twitter.

Rachel:

So this is the application that looks very much like the Twitter web page. I’m going to start out our exploration of the site by pressing H for heading.

JAWS:

To view keyboard shortcuts press question Mark View keyboard shortcuts visited. Heading level 2 link Twitter visited. Heading level one link home Heading level 2 your home timeline. Heading level one wrapping to top view keyboard shortcuts.

Rachel:

So there aren’t too many headings, which is nice, and the first one that we land on is an important one. That is the Twitter built-in keyboard shortcuts. So there is a link that if you press enter on it, it will open a web page that will give you the keyboard shortcuts split up into different categories such as navigation and media among others. So if you want to look at the navigation keyboard shortcuts, for instance, you go to that heading and then there is a corresponding table below that. With the shortcuts that are built. In being that Twitter has its own keyboard shortcuts, you will want to make sure that your screen reader is equipped to use those instead of its own shortcuts. With JAWS, you don’t need to turn off the virtual cursor. However, if you are using NVDA you will want to turn off single letter navigation by pressing insert shift space. So to start out, how do we create a new tweet? To do that, we’re going to press the letter N as in November.

JAWS:

Twitter home Slash Twitter dialog everyone what’s happening with text edit what’s happening following?

Rachel:

So Jaws gets me directly to the edit box that I need to be in. I would press enter to open that box. Unless of course you have auto forms mode or auto focus mode enabled, in which case, this box would open up for you automatically. You can type your tweet text, when you’re finished typing and you want to send the tweet. Go ahead and press control plus enter and Jaws will tell you that your tweet has been sent. I’m not going to send a tweet right now, so I will press the escape key to close this dialog.

Rachel:

So let’s say that I want to scroll through various tweets. Now to do this, Twitter breaks up the website into various tab controls. So if you are looking for anything in the for you tab or the following tab, you have those tabs on the main page. If you’re using JAWS, You will press the apostrophe key to go to these tabs. If you’re using NVDA, you will need to re-enable the single letter navigation by pressing insert shift space and you can press the letter F as in foxtrot until you get to these tabs.

JAWS:

Wrapping to top, for you tab following tab.

Rachel:

So I have for you and I have following. I’m going to press enter to select the following tab.

JAWS:

Forms mode on following tab navigation Region tab following tab selected.

Rachel:

So I’ve now been informed that the following tab has been selected, but it also let me know that forms mode is enabled. I don’t need forms mode on at the moment, so I’m going to press escape.

JAWS:

Forms mode off virtual PC.

Rachel:

Now I’m going to press the period key. This is kind of like the refresh button, so period will bring up the newest tweets at the top. JAWS told me what key I pressed and now I’m going to press the letter J as in Juliet to start going forward or going to the next tweet.

JAWS:

Sarah Blake LaRose D.Min. @sarahblarose one hour ago. I am still trying to make peace with the Twitter interface with text to speech, especially on the PC that does not happen and this makes it especially hard to. Keep up.

Rachel:

I’m going to press the letter J again to go to the next tweet.

JAWS:

Promoted IBM at the 2023 verified question mark question Mark OBJ retweeted Magic 109 verified account at MAGIC 109 Radio 3 hours ago. The nighttime rewind with our faithful Magic magician entertains you with some of the best tunes from the Sixties, 70s and 80s. So why not unwind with some of the best oldies you know and love? Visit our website at magic109.com.

Rachel:

OK, I’m going to press control as that’s quite a lengthy tweet. So if I want to find out more information, I’ll just press the down arrow key to read through it.

JAWS:

G question Mark question Mark OJ retweeted Magic 109 verified account at Magic 109 Radio 3 hours ago. The nighttime rewind with our faithful magic magician. With some of the best tunes from the 60s, seventies and 80 as so why not unwind with some of the best oldies we all know and love? Visit our website@magic109.com to review our schedule page.

Rachel:

And if I press enter there, it would open the website and then I could go and check out what that radio station has to offer. If I want to go back a tweet or several, I can press the letter K as in kilo.

We’re now going to take a look at notifications. Notifications are anything that has to do with you on Twitter. So if somebody has mentioned you, followed you, retweeted, or quoted your tweet etc. To do that, I’m going to press insert plus F7.

JAWS:

Links list dialog links list view.

Rachel:

And we’ve opened up our links list. Now to get to notifications, I will press the letter N.

JAWS:

Notifications 5 of 68.

Rachel:

And press enter to activate.

JAWS:

Banner region, primary navigation region notifications link.

Rachel:

Now what this does is this pulls up the portion of the site with notifications and you’ll find it’s very similar to what we were just looking at with the timeline of Twitter. Again, these are broken up into various tabs, so I’m going to press the apostrophe key and jaws. To navigate by these tabs of which notifications I want to see.

JAWS:

All Tab, Verified tab mentions tab wrapping to top all tab.

Rachel:

Alright, so we have all, verified, and mentions. I’m going to press enter to select all.

JAWS:

Forms mode on secure connection All tab, main region notifications timeline navigation.

Rachel:

And all this is doing is just selecting the tab. So as you heard forms mode has been enabled. I don’t want to engage forms mode at the moment so I will press escape to close that.

JAWS:

Forms mode off virtual.

Rachel:

And now I can press the period key to make sure that I have the most current notifications and then I can press the letter J to scroll forward through them.

JAWS:

Jlsears86

followed you

Leonid Prazdnik (Lprazdnik@mindly.social) Retweeted your Retweet [Podcast] Introducing

Rachel:

And what this is doing is this is just going through all the notifications. If you want it to be more granular in what notifications you look at, you can always choose the verified or the mentions tab.

JAWS:

@Kev@DragonsCave.space @KevanGP May 1 Replying to @walkside3 It’s cool, got fixed anyway.

Rachel:

But let’s say that I wanted to reply to this mention. I’m focused on it, and all I need to do now is press the letter R for reply.

JAWS:

Twitter notifications Twitter dialog @Kev@DragonsCave.space @KevanGP May 1 Replying to @walkside3 It’s cool, got fixed anyway. Reply edit

Rachel:

So there’s quite a lot of information that’s given there, but it gave me the reply and then it put me in the box where I can type a reply if I wish to. Again, I would just press enter to open the edit box, type my reply, press control plus enter to send.

JAWS:

Main region notification.

Rachel:

So we’re back on the Twitter web page. Now let’s jump into direct messages. So just like we accessed the notifications area, we’re going to access direct messages by pulling up our links list with insert F7.

JAWS:

Links list dialog links list view.

Rachel:

And pressing D for direct messages.

JAWS:

Direct messages 6 of 59.

Rachel:

So we are now in the direct messages area of Twitter. I’m going to press the letter H for heading so you can see what’s on this page.

JAWS:

Messages Heading level 2 messages, Heading level one Pinned conversations, Heading level 2, all conversations, Heading level 2 wrapping to top to view keyboard shortcuts.

Rachel:

So if I want to search direct messages, I can do that by pressing the letter E.

JAWS:

Search direct messages edit.

Rachel:

If you want to go through the various messages that you have from people, you can of course down arrow through them. But what I want to do is compose a new direct message. So again I’m going to pull up my links list.

JAWS:

Links list dialog links list view.

Rachel:

And I’m going to press the letter C for compose.

JAWS:

Compose a DM 13 of 32. New message dialog create a group, search query, edit combo expanded.

Rachel:

I’ve pressed enter on compose, it’s on an edit box which I can now choose to open.

JAWS:

Forms mode on secure connection.

Rachel:

And I will do that. So let’s say I wanted to send a direct message to my husband, Joel, I will type in his name. And press tab for the results.

JAWS:

Joel Ramos @thevigeek following Button.

Rachel:

So it tells me that I’m following Joel and this is the person that I’d like to direct message, so I’m going to press enter to choose this.

JAWS:

edit combo expanded search people.

Rachel:

Now,  I got back into the search box. I’m going to press escape to close it.

JAWS:

Forms mode off.

Rachel:

And I’m going to press now the up arrow to head to the next button.

JAWS:

Next button.

Rachel:

Press enter.

JAWS:

Main region and reaction. More actions listen to HKC Radio. Start a new message edit.

Rachel:

So I’ve pressed the letter E to go to the edit box and I can start a new message. If I want to confirm that I am messaging the correct person. I can simply go by headings.

JAWS:

Heading level 2 Joel Ramos.

Rachel:

And that’s it. Perfect. Just like in any other place on this website slash application that we locate an edit box, we’ll press enter and be placed in forms mode slash focus mode. If it’s not auto enabled, type our message and press control enter to send.

The last thing I want to cover is how to retweet or quote a tweet. I’m going to head back to my home timeline here by pressing the home link.

JAWS:

Links list dialogue, home, (unread. Zach Klein 3 hours ago, some accessibility features.

Rachel:

So I’m put directly back on my home timeline and let’s say that I wanted to retweet or quote the tweet because I’m focused on this tweet in question. All I need to do is press the letter T as in tango.

JAWS:

Retweet 1 of 2.

Rachel:

The first option, it immediately focuses me on is retweet and if I down arrow.

JAWS:

Quote tweet 2 of 2.

Rachel:

I get to quote tweet if I press enter it will bring up an edit box where I can type in any comments I have. If I just want to retweet all I need to do is press enter and it will then let me know that my tweet has been sent. So we’ve gone over a few things today in terms of how to use the Twitter service with the screen reader. 1st at the top of the website Slash Application you have the keyboard shortcuts link which is helpful in learning Twitter’s built-in keyboard shortcuts. A note about NVDA. If you want to use the Twitter keyboard shortcuts, you will need to turn single letter navigation off and you do that by pressing insert shift space. To navigate to the various tabs in Jaws, you will press the apostrophe key. In NVDA you will need to enable single letter navigation with insert, shift space and press the letter F as in Foxtrot to get to tabs. To refresh any timeline, be it home, mentions, direct messages et cetera. You press the period key to scroll through tweets. You will press the letter J as in Juliet to go forward. And K, as in kilo to go backwards. If you want to create a new tweet, you will press the letter N as in. November, if you want to reply to a tweet, you will press the letter R as in Romeo. If you want to retweet or quote a tweet once you are focused on it, you will press the letter T as in tango. If you want to send a tweet, a direct message, a reply, and so on, you will press control plus enter. If there’s a conversation in Twitter that you’d like to view, such as a tweet with multiple replies, simply focus on the tweet and press shift plus enter to open the conversation. If you want to access things like notifications, direct messages, etcetera. Access your links list by pressing insert F7 and then pressing the letter of the corresponding action that you would like. For instance, N for notifications, D for direct messages.

I hope you found this demonstration of using Twitter with a screen reader useful. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to find me on Twitter at: @walkside3.

Thank you so much for listening!

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