February 1, 2022 0 Comments Tech

What Is An Accessibility Overlay, And Why Should You Use It?

There are apps like Google screen reader, NVDA, and Jaws that let users with visual or auditory disabilities to use their Android device or desktop through voice commands. What these apps do is to read the text on the screen using a synthesized voice. In addition, users can listen to notifications, texts, emails, pictures, etc. This has become very useful for people with disabilities who find it difficult to read.

Some of these apps come with an accessibility overlay that you can activate when in need. For example, in the case of Google screen reader or NVDA, when you open them go into tools and select accessibility overlay so when they start reading the text on your screen, they also display it in front of it so when actors are not available, you can use this option instead. This is what we will be covering in this article, so stick around!

What Is An Accessibility Overlay?

Using accessibility overlays is a very smart idea if your phone or desktop didn’t come with pre-installed assistive software like braille drivers etc… The way it works is relatively straightforward. While the screen reader is reading the text, it also places an image in front of it, so when people are not available, you can see what’s being read to you. In most cases, this option can be activated from the tools. Once this option is enabled, it makes reading a whole lot easier and efficient.

There are several types of accessibility overlays you can choose from:

Floating Text: This type of overlay displays text in an adjustable window that can move around on the screen: The overlay places a semi-opaque black rectangle over everything except what’s directly underneath your cursor Magnification: This displays only a portion of the screen at one time so you can magnify whatever part of the screen you want to read Block Captions: You get small images with captions under them. The images multiply themselves, so when turned off, they show up as many copies Microphone Mode:

Use Accessibility Overlay To Help People

Using an accessibility overlay is something very beneficial for people with disabilities, but there is one more thing you should know about it: it helps others too! If you meet someone who tells you they can’t see or hear, and they ask for some help, this overlay comes in handy every single time!

Using an accessibility overlay is much better than using voice-to-text, especially if you’re not familiar with the software. I’ve often had to write down what someone who can’t hear or see said because I was talking to them on text, and it took me forever! Using it for reading is much more efficient so you can finish your work quickly without miscommunication problems!

Using an accessibility overlay when you’re not using voice-to-text is not much different than using it for reading. All you do is place the caret where you want to read and press play! It’s that easy! The only difference is that instead of having text displayed at the bottom, you have a cool image in front of your text!