7 wheelchair racers in the middle of a race

Disability Resources & Educational Services

JAWS for Windows

JAWS is a screen reader for Microsft Windows offered by Freedom Scientific, Inc. JAWS will assist users who are blind or low-vision to use a Windows computer. JAWS has a variety of features, including Braille support, multi-lingual speech synthesis, and multi-screen support.

Starting JAWS

JAWS may be configured to launch when a user logs into Windows or it may be launched by double-clicking on the desktop icon or from the JAWS entry in the Start Menu. Refer to the JAWS Quick Start Guide for more ways to start JAWS.

Note: Pressing the CTRL key will temporarily silence JAWS.

How To Know That JAWS is Working

By default, when JAWS launches, it will display the JAWS application window (Figure 1) and will say "JAWS for Windows is ready." If the window does not show, it may be minimized to the task or quick launch bar.

opening screen for Jaws software

Figure 1. JAWS 12.0 application window.

Turning Off JAWS

To turn off JAWS, exit the JAWS application or press Insert + F4.

JAWS Options

JAWS is highly configurable, and a discussion of the configuration options for JAWS is beyond the scope of this document. A screenshot of the basic settings windows for JAWS is shown in Figure 2 below. The reader is encouraged to read the documentation included with JAWS or to click on one of the links on the JAWS documentation page.

Screenshot showing the JAWS 12.0 basic settings

Figure 2. JAWS basic settings window.