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Annex B: Disability-specific web browsers

Publishing date: May 2002

The following list should not be considered to be exhaustive. Most of the following browsers are free; some carry a nominal charge. Each can be used in conjunction with a variety of access technologies and they can all be used for testing an organisations website but this is not essential. They are neither quality tested or rated in any way.

This list does not, in any way, constitute any form of endorsement by Office of the e-Envoy

Browsers (specific)


Developed by the AVANTI Project, this browser provides for some of the diverse needs of elderly and disabled people and covers a range of disability-specific requirements. [External link]

HomePage Reader

This browser from IBM uses their ViaVoice text-to-speech synthesiser and supports JavaScript. [External link]


Disability-specific browser developed at Deakin University. (external link)

Screen Readers

A screen-reader is used to allow navigation of the screen presented by the operating system, using speech and/or Braille output, and should therefore enable use of any mainstream application. In the context of browsing this usually means that they are used in conjunction with Netscape, Microsoft Internet Explorer, or, less often, with one of the other non-disability-specific browsers such as LYNX and Opera.


Produced by Dolphin. Speech and Braille specialist application supporting DOS, Windows 95/98 and NT. [External link]

JAWS (Job Access with Speed)

Produced by Henter-Joyce (a division of Freedom Scientific). Commercial screen reader software for Win95/98 and WinNT systems; also outputs to refreshable Braille displays. [External link]


Produced by Alva. Speech and Braille specialist application. Supports Windows 95/98 and Macintosh. [External link]


Produced by GWMicro. Speech specialist application.Supports DOS and Windows 3.x and 95/98. [External link]

Adaptive technology browsers

These browsers are all designed for general use, but are of interest because they may give enhanced accessibility in combination with particular adaptive systems, and some have enhanced screen magnification or navigation options.


This is W3C's test-bed browser, implementing emerging web technologies. Versions for Windows 95/98, Windows NT and UNIX. [External link]


This is a popular text-based browser for allowing flexible and powerful text-based access from older platforms. Versions for UNIX, Windows 95/NT and MS-DOS. [External link]

Voice browsers

Conversay Voice Surfer

Voice-activated browser allowing spoken selection of links using "saycons".

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