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Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

How To Download Files Using a Screen Reader

If you're new to computing, there's a lot about your computer that you're not familiar with. Perhaps you're only able to write a letter in your word processor but you know your PC is capable of so much more.

One of the best things about having a computer and a high speed internet connection is having the ability to download files, whether they're games, applications, whatever. Follow these instructions and you'll be downloading in minutes. Anyone can use these instructions but they were primarily written for people using a screen reader.

  1. Open your browser and go to a web site containing files you'd like to download.

  2. Find a file to download and click the title if it's a link or find an associated link that says something like Download or Download Now.

  3. The dialogue box will appear with the option to Save. Click on the Save button. Another dialogue box will then appear.

  4. You'll see several options here. First, the filename. Make sure this is what you want. If you're using a screen reader, hit tab.

  5. Now you'll be on the filetype box. Most of the time, you can leave this alone. If you're downloading an application, this box will say application.

  6. Hit tab again and you'll be on the save button. If you know exactly where that file is going to be saved, go ahead and click or press enter on it. If you're not sure, hit tab again and you'll land on the cancel button.

  7. If you wanted to cancel the download, this is the button to use. If you want to continue, press tab again.

  8. Now you'll be on the save in box. Use your arrow keys to select a drive to save the file to. You may wish to save to the (C:) drive or directly to your desktop. Once you've made your selection, press tab.

  9. Below the Save In box is a box that contains various files and folders. These are files that are stored on your C: drive. If you want to save this file in a particular folder, you can choose it here. If you want it to go directly to your C: drive, simply press tab.
  10. This will bring you back to the filename box. If you're satisfied with all your selections, press enter to begin the download.

  11. A status window will appear. Once the download is finished, you'll see a message that says "Download Complete" and you'll have the option to open the file or folder containing the file you downloaded or the option to close the status window.

    (Note: The status window also includes a check-box that says "Close When Download Complete". If this box is checked off, the status window will automatically close when the download is finished, in which case you'll have to use Windows Explorer to double-check if the file downloaded correctly. If the box is unchecked, then the status window will remain open.

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