When talking about accessibility, the question of how blind people interact with computers often comes up. This article will explain the basics and take OS X as an example to let you test an application. There are many tools to help people with low vision, for example magnifiers. Here it helps a lot when applications provide sufficient contrast and use clear fonts. But magnification can only get you so far, and at some point it’s not enough to effectively use a computer anymore. This is where screen readers come into the picture.
A screen reader is an application that presents the screen contents to the user in a non-visual way, either using speech output or using braille displays. For testing it is usually enough to deal with the speech output of the screen reader, braille will usually work if speech works. OS X comes with VoiceOver out of the box which makes testing applications easy. For a full description of VoiceOver, head over to the documentation, we’ll just mention the most essential keyboard shortcuts here. There is also a tutorial for VoiceOver that is a fun way to get started. To test a Qt application just run the application and turn on VoiceOver (Command-F5). For OS X, accessibility support in Qt has improved a lot lately, so make sure to use Qt 5.3 at least.