Well, with all this talk of free copies of JAWS, it seems timely that today Freedom Scientific are offering a public beta of JAWS 5.0. Correction – they were offering a free download, but because of some issues that people reported Freedom Scientific “made the decision to postpone the public beta release until this behavior could be thoroughly investigated”. That said, if you are a genuine JAWS user, you can download the new beta version (but you will need an authorised copy running on your system already). Among the new features are automatic language detection in HTML (assuming you’ve specified a value for the lang attribute) and new navigation quick keys. There’s also a whole bunch of other additions that you’d never understand unless you were to switch off your monitor and use JAWS exclusively for a week ;)
It’s too early to say how well it supports all the existing web standards that we constantly strive to promote – hopefully Gez can lay his hands on a copy and update his extremely useful assistive devices behavior chart.
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