Google Drive Guides for JAWS and VoiceOver

Check out these easy to follow step-by-step guides to using Google Drive with with JAWS or VoiceOver written by John Rose with TSBVI.  Many of our classrooms are "Going Google".  John shares the commands and steps necessary to complete various tasks and he suggests the sequence of teaching these common tasks.   Google Drive Guides for JAWS and VoiceOver is posted on the Paths to Literacy website.


Posted by John FarinaSep 10, 2016

I may be doing some things wrong but I found that many of the command sequences did not work when using the latest update to the OS10 operating system on my mac.
Also, while it is very nice to have commands for google drive it would be as or more helpful to have commands for writing and editing documents since this is the major reason that classrooms are using google products.
I am still finding that even with some difficulties this app works far better on an iOS device than a computer, at least so far. What am I missing to feel more comfortable to teach students about these products using screen readers on tablets with windows or full laptops?

Posted by TSBVI Short-Ter...Oct 31, 2016

Hi John,

Than you for your comment. I'm sorry to hear that you have had issues with the keyboard commands in Google Drive when using VoiceOver. I am currently using Version 10.11.6 OSX El Capitan, and have noticed just one minor issue with the commands (namely the Move To... feature in the Actions menu is not voicing). Otherwise, I was able to accomplish the other tasks using VoiceOver. That said, I have not yet updated to macOS Sierra 10.12, because I tend to wait some time to ensure there are no major bugs.

Which sequences did not work for you? Are you using Google Chrome with VoiceOver? Google recommends we use Chrome.

To address your other concerns:

I am working on guides for Google Docs with JAWS and VoiceOver but would recommend Google's accessibility page as a starting point. They have a page dedicated to Screenreader Support for Docs and one with Keyboard Commands for Docs.

I have not yet worked extensively with the Google Drive and Docs app on an iOS device. This guide was prepared during direct instruction with a student who was using an Apple laptop with VoiceOver. The student needed to access Google Drive using the laptop in order to retrieve and turn in documents using shared folders. I look forward to having an opportunity to using the iOS app with VoiceOver.

As far as comfortability, I offer only hope and solidarity. Using the laptop and desktop with JAWS or VoiceOver can often be a struggle. We find here that certain tasks work on one computer but might not on another. A task or sequence might not work for us when we practice it, but it does work for a student later on. The only thing that has helped me personally is time and continued practice. Of course, then the system or software is updated. 

Best of luck,



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