iTunes 8 + Jaws 10 = Accessibility: Hearing is Believing

I’ll admit, when it comes to accessibility technology advances, I believe it when I experience it on my very own computer. So, while the news about iTunes 8 being fully accessible to screenreaders made me grin from ear-to-ear, I had to confirm it for myself.

I’m thrilled to say that iTunes 8 and JAWS 10 are working like a charm. I couldn’t find any specific documentation on JAWS 10 keyboard commands for iTunes 8, so I’ve put together this list. I hope you find it helpful too!

Open iTunes

  1. Windows Key (Start Menu)
  2. P (Programs)
  3. Right Arrow (to open programs)
  4. Up Arrow (until you hear iTunes)
  5. Right Arrow (until you hear iTunes)
  6. Enter (to open iTunes)

iTunes Menu Bar

  1. Alt (go to menu bar)
  2. Left and Right Arrows (move across menu bar)
  3. Up and Down Arrows (move up and down in menus)
  4. Enter (select the item you are on)
  5. Esc (leave menu bar)

Listening to Music in iTunes

  1. iTunes (drops you into Sources view iTunes)
  2. Mu (to go to Music)
  3. Up and Down Arrows (go to other things like Podcasts, Audiobooks, Store, Playlists)
  4. Tab (go to search box)
  5. Tab (List box – the list of your music)
  6. Tab (Play button)
  7. Tab (Volume)
  8. Tab (Text List Button)
  9. Tab (Grid Button)
  10. Tab (Coverflow Button)
  11. Tab (New Playlist Button)
  12. Tab (Do Not Shuffle Button)
  13. Tab (No Repeat Button)
  14. Tab (Show Artwork Button)
  15. Tab (Show Genius Sidebar Button)

Using Search Box to Find and Listen to Music

  1. Type your search term in the Search/Edit box
  2. Tab (to music list)
  3. Down Arrow (to first song)
  4. Enter (to play from beginning)
  5. Space Bar (to pause)
  6. Space Bar (to resume)
  7. Ctrl + Down Arrow (volume down)
  8. Ctrl + Up Arrow (volume up)


  1. Tab (to get to List View)
  2. Left Arrow (to close tree view)
  3. Right Arrow (to open tree view)

Get Latest Podcast Episode

  1. Be on level 1 of a podcast
  2. Applications Key (Context Menu – between Ctrl and Windows key on Right)
  3. Down Arrow (until you find Update)
  4. Enter (to update podcasts)

Subscribe to Podcasts when you know the URL

  1. ALT (go to menu bar)
  2. Right Arrow (to Advanced menu)
  3. Down Arrow (to Subscribe to Podcast)
  4. Enter (dialogue box appears)
  5. Type in the URL (like
  6. Enter (to subscribe to podcast)

iTunes Options

  • ctrl + J

iTunes Settings

  • ctrl + ,

iTunes Radio (just like music but no search box)

  1. Tab (to get to List box)
  2. Down Arrow (to get to different stations)
  3. Right Arrow (to open station genre)
  4. Enter (to start radio station playing)

iTunes Store – Getting a Podcast from iTunesU

  1. ctrl + shift + H (home of itunes store)
  2. Tab (Edit – search box)
  3. Tab (Previous Button)
  4. Tab (Home Button)
  5. Tab (Sign in to my ITunes Store account)
  6. Tab – (you are on the content area of itunes)
  7. NumPad + (Turn on Virtual PC)
  8. Insert + F7 (JAWS Link List)
  9. Down Arrow (until you get to iTunes U, then press Enter to Select)
  10. Insert + F7 (JAWS Link List)
  11. Down Arrow (until you get to Universities, then press Enter to Select
  12. Insert + F7 (JAWS Link List)
  13. Down Arrow (until you get to UC Berkeley, then press Enter to Select
  14. Insert + F7 (JAWS Link List)
  15. Down Arrow until you find Paul Krugman – Professor of Economics
  16. Enter (to go to that class, PolySci 179)
  17. You will hear the title of the podcast read by JAWS
  18. Enter (to start listening to the podcast)


  1. Applications Key (to enter context menu)
  2. Down Arrow (to “Buy or Get Currently Selected Songs Table Item)
  3. Enter (download will begin)
  4. Go to Playlists
  5. Down Arrow (to UC Berkeley)
  6. Tab (edit)
  7. Tab (List Box)
  8. Down Arrow
  9. Enter (to start playlist)

Want to hear a demo of a person with a visual disability really using JAWS 10 and iTunes 8. Check out the JAWS iTunes demo by Chris Gilland from Blind Cool Tech.

Yes, if it weren’t almost 1 in the morning, I’d be doing the happy dance. Instead…I think I’ll go to sleep and dream about doing the happy dance :)


  1. My girlfriend is using iTunes 9 + JAWS11 and it’s fully accessible… HOWEVER, it’s painfully slow. JAWS is constantly reading parentheses that are not visible to me. For example, if she is using the down arrow to dig through the song list, she has to wait for “left paren name right paren” before it reads the song name. Does anyone have any suggestions to make this quicker?

Comments are closed.