I’m writing this month to spread a little holiday cheer. And also, to give you a quick explanation of the online shopping experience for persons who are blind and use a screen reader.
First, I want to say that I know the holidays can be a stressful time. From both a practical as well as family standpoint. Remember to practice your self-care routine by taking a few deep breaths. Or, taking a break with a nice cup of warm tea or hot cocoa. This really does help you relax and reset so you are ready to face the holiday hustle and bustle.
Of course, many of us are shopping in person or online as we buy gifts for friends and family. As a person who uses a screen reader, I realize the process for online shopping is different for those of us who are blind. Today I will use the example of the Amazon shopping experience.
As I stated in my previous newsletter, screen readers automatically read the page top to bottom and left to right. So, when I go to the Amazon site, it is somewhat of an auditory party in my ears as I listen to all the content on the page. So, the first thing I need to do is to zero in on what I’m shopping for.
Let’s say I want to find a women’s hoodie sweatshirt. I start by using the “c” key to find the category combo box. Next, I use alt and the right arrow key to open the category choices and arrow down to ”women or women’s clothing’”. After this category is selected, I press enter. Next, I tab over to the search field and type in the text such as ”women’s hoodie”. I then press enter to run the search.
Afterwards, the search results will come up and I can read down the page. I can also use the “tab” or “h” key to move through links or headings. Of course, product descriptions may or may not be enough for me to make the best choice when shopping. In these cases I have my sighted family members offer their opinion before adding items to my cart.
Once the choice is made, I use arrow keys and combo boxes to choose my color and quantity. I then hit the “b” for the add to cart followed by the “proceed to checkout” button. As you can see, it isn’t easy to shop online with a screen reader!
In conclusion, I hope everyone has a blessed holiday season filled with God’s goodness and blessings. As always, feel free to contact me if I can do anything to help. Go to https://www.kimberlyduff.com and fill out my contact form.
Take a holiday time out by taking a moment to listen to this song by Amy Grant. In it she describes Mary’s search for peace in the middle of her Christmas turmoil.