When Sound Schemes go wrong
For anyone using the screen reader called Jaws, if your Sound Scheme no longer seems to work this might be the solution.
I’m not sure exactly what caused this, but suspect sticky keys, simulating holding down the alt key, caused me to accidentally changed a setting in Jaws. I’ll show you how to fix this.
Weeks ago I had specifically went into sticky keys on Windows 11 to turn them off totally. Usually, if you just press the other alt key at the same time and let go they’ll turn off. Or, if Windows is saying your holding down a control key, you can press both control keys to turn that off.
The reason I wanted sticky keys off was it seems like they’re a lot easier to accidentally come on in Windows 11, there’s no sound, warning or announcement, like there used to be, and by the time I realize what’s going on I’ve already hit who knows how many keystrokes, and told the computer who knows what to do? so, in theory when you go to a Window’s setting it should stay off. Right? Well this one doesn’t for whatever reason. I went back in to verify it was off and the box is not checked before posting this.
The say all text with sounds scheme, in the Jaws settings center, is very helpful in cutting out tons of unnecessary talking by a screen reader, and helps to concentrate on what you’re actually looking for. The fancy word for that is verbosity.
Anyway, so I had my sound scheme modified to only play sounds when I come across headings and links. Apparently, when the sticky key bug in Windows 11 causes the alt key to pretend to be held I must have turned on a setting in Jaws called Training Mode, because I started hearing the words “heading” and “Link” again. Long story short I had to go into the help topics, go down to sound schemes and after selecting that F6 read about it because when I went to the regular settings center everything looked normal.
So, the way to
turn Training Mode off:
1 Press the key combination insert, alt, S. This brings up the Sound Scheme list.
2 Now hit the home key, which is 7 on the numpad if numlock is turned off like usual for Jaws.
This takes you up to the very top of the list.
3 Hit enter, or whatever it takes to change this setting and then tab to the ok button. It’s kinda strange how that one option works but I can understand why they’d want it to be difficult to accidentally change.
I hope this is helpful to someone. Eventually, I’ll write up an article on how to modify a Sound Scheme if you want so you can hear less speaking and more easily jump around on a webpage or document. I imagine it’s in the free training that comes with the software though, inside FS Reader.