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Screen shot of first slide of courseTarget Audience:

All ages: students who would benefit from using JAWS to access a laptop or desktop computer and who have no prior experience using a computer or screenreader.


  • Students will benefit most when they have JAWS already installed on district computers and have daily access to these computers so they can practice.
  • Students should have a basic knowledge of alphabet, number, and punctuation keys and be able to compose and type simple sentences. This skill can vary, but students who have very little knowledge of touch typing will find executing the keyboard commands necessary to use screen reading programs (e.g., Alt + Tab) to be challenging. You can help your student acquire this skills by using the free Talking Typer software from the American Printing House for the Blind (APH).

Course Description:

The JAWS Screenreader Part 1: Basic Concepts class covers an introduction to terms and physical components related to computers (e.g., USB drive, headphone jack, computer focus, modifier keys). In addition, students will learn to navigate the computer desktop, open Microsoft Word, and shift focus between JAWS and Microsoft Word.

Learning Objective:

Students will develop basic computer concepts by learning computer terms and physical components of computers and by practicing computer desktop navigation and opening Microsoft Word using JAWS and Windows Keyboard Commands.


Approximately 30 Minutes

Important consideration for teachers:

When setting up JAWS, determine which type of computer keyboard layout setting the student will be using. Students may choose to use either the desktop or laptop keyboard layout setting; the difference in these settings is the modifier key that they will use. If the keyboard layout setting is set to desktop, the JAWS default modifier key is Insert. If the keyboard layout setting is set to laptop, the JAWS default modifier key is Caps Lock. It is possible to use the laptop setting when using a desktop. When on the laptop, unless you have a laptop that also has a number pad, it is advisable to use the laptop setting, because many of the keystrokes used when the keyboard is set to desktop require the use of a numpad. In order to change this setting, please go to the JAWS Help Menu, Startup Wizard. For the purposes of this training, we will refer to the JAWS-specific modifier key as “JAWS key.” When you hear “JAWS key,” press either the Insert key if your keyboard is set to Desktop or the Caps Lock key if your keyboard is set to Laptop.

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