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They may want to toggle the verbosity setting to “all punctuation” when reading code, and use a less verbose mode for reading prose.

There’s no need to force a high verbosity level on all users.

Unfortunately, screen readers don’t always read what’s on the screen.

Sometimes that’s OK, but sometimes that’s really bad.

It would be annoying to most users to hear every single comma or period in every sentence sentence, for example.

And sometimes users would rather hear a pause than hear every opening and closing parenthesis. By pausing instead of reading all punctuation, screen readers sound more natural and human-like, and that can be a good thing.

If you type an HTML document using all the punctuation marks available on your keyboard and listen to a screen reader read the document in a web browser, you’ll hear only some of the punctuation and characters read aloud to you.

If you need the typographical symbols to be read out loud explicitly, of the 91 symbols tested, the only “safe” symbols to use across all screen readers tested in their default configurations are these 17: Everything else fails in at least one of the three screen readers tested.

Screen readers are designed to do one thing: read what’s on the screen. You would think that screen reader software would have perfected the art of reading text by now, because that was the whole reason why screen readers were invented.

If there’s one thing a screen reader ought to do really well, it’s read what’s on the screen.

No one should have to wonder if a screen reader will read text.

I knew that screen readers were inconsistent in the way they handled typographical symbols, but I didn’t know all of the intricate details of exactly what they did or didn’t read, so I set up some tests. I didn’t test every possible typographical character possible; not even close.

and I’m just talking about text, typographic symbols, and static HTML here: the things that screen readers are supposed to excel at reading.

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