TeamViewer QuickSupport: a Workaround For The TeamViewer Screen Reader Accessibility Challenges

Many of us who use AIRA are familiar with the TeamViewer application. This gives AIRA agents the ability to remotely access and, if needed, control our computers. This is extremely convenient when we encounter accessibility challenges which require a bit of assistance from a trusted sighted agent. When opening TeamViewer we need to navigate to the fields which contain the TeamViewer partner ID and password to provide to the agent. In the past these edit fields were easily readable with screen readers. Lately, however, these edit fields in the Windows version of TeamViewer became inaccessible. There are some workarounds to get around this, such as using the screen reader’s speech history feature to review what was spoken, but this method isn’t as convenient. The speech history feature is built into JAWS and can be used by installing an optional NVDA adde-on.

Recently, I became aware of an alternative version of TeamViewer with totally accessible fields for navigating and reading the partner ID and the password. This is done through a small program known as TeamViewer QuickSupport.

This is what you might think of as a light or slim-down version of TeamViewer. It is only used to establish a connection with an agent and lacks the other bells and whistles of the main TeamViewer program, nearly all of which I never used, anyway. The program doesn’t install. Instead, you just run the executable whenever you want to establish a connection. You will still encounter the UAC (User Account Control) prompt when you run it although activating the No button still allows the program to run. There is a check box which must be checked which says that you agree with the program’s license agreement. Press the continue button and you’re ready to connect with your helper. You’ll notice that the fields for reading the partner ID and password are totally accessible with your screen reader. There is one unlabeled button which is used to adjust a few configuration options for audio, video and a few other settings.

This lighter version should make using TeamViewer for Windows a much more accessible experience.

Please note that what I’m documenting is for the Windows version. Since I have no experience using TeamViewer on other platforms I am not able to provide any feedback on those versions.

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