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Penn State University Libraries

User Guide: Navigating Opposing Viewpoints using a Screen Reader


  • Adaptive Technology and Services
  • 113 Pattee Library, west
    University Park, PA 16802
  • Phone: 814-865-0284

Navigating Opposing Viewpoints with a JAWS Screen Reader

The links above will allow you to jump to different content areas on this page.


Opening Opposing Viewpoints

Opposing Viewpoints in Context is a vast and comprehensive collection of documents related to current social issues and includes viewpoints from experts in their fields, newspaper and journal articles and much more.

Please note, all full-text articles have a Listen feature. Articles that are not full-text do not have this feature. More information can be found under the 'Selecting Documents' section on this page.

You can access the Opposing Viewpoints in Context Database from here or from the Libraries' homepage by performing the following steps:

  • Press the keys INSERT + F7 to hear the list of links available on the page.
  • Type the key 'D' followed by 'A',  press ENTER when you hear 'Databases.' This will take you to a new page called 'Databases by Title (A-Z).'
  • Next, press keys INSERT + F6 to hear the list of headings on the page. Use the DOWN ARROW to hear the available headings and press ENTER upon hearing 'Search for a Database'.
  • Press the TAB key once to move the cursor to the edit field. Type in the word 'Opposing' and press ENTER.
  • Again, you will be taken to a new page that lists the results of your search. The only result available will be for the Opposing Viewpoints database.
  • Select INSERT + F7 to get a list of the links on the page, type O-P-P and press ENTER. This will open a new window, first with a redirect page and then taking you to the Opposing Viewpoints In Context homepage.

Searching for Documents

By default, you will be provided with the basic search edit field on the homepage, containing just one box, allowing a keyword search. You can access the Advanced Search page by selecting the Advanced Search link located directly below the Basic Search function. You can also search using the links to popular topics on the homepage. Instructions for these search methods are listed below.

Basic Search

To move the cursor to the Basic Search edit field, press the 'E' key followed by the ENTER key when the page has opened and the URL has been read. You will hear: "Wrapping to top. Edit has pop up. Please enter a search term."

Basic Search functions include:

  • The default setting searches all document types but you can select from Viewpoints, Academic Journals, Primary Sources, Statistics, or from a combo box with several other options.  Press the SHIFT and then the TAB key at the same time to move the cursor above the edit field, to where you can select the various document types. Press ENTER when you find the document type you'd like to search. After selecting a document type, press the TAB key to move the cursor back to the edit field.
  • Once you begin to enter a search term, a drop down menu appears with auto complete options that may be related to your search. To listen to the options that are generated, use the DOWN ARROW key. Press ENTER if you find the keyword you like or finish typing in your own and then press ENTER.

Topics on the Homepage

If you know the general issue you would like to search for, you may find it more effective and efficient to press INSERT + F6 on the home page. This will tell you that there are two level-two headers - Featured Video and Featured News, and twelve level-three headers - including links to major news sources like The New York Times, USA Today and Newsweek as well as general current news topics. Below these news topics are links to subtopics.

If you select one of the level three headers n(a general news topic), there will be a link called 'View All' directly after the header. Press the TAB key once and your cursor will be on it. This link will take you to a page with issues related to the general topic, listed in alphabetical order. You can either listen to the screen reader read the page or you can press INSERT + F7 to listen to the issues, which are also links. Once you find the issue that piques your interest, select it and you will be taken to a page with a brief summary about the issue, followed by a well-organized page with related documents.

Alternatively, from the homepage, you can press INSERT + F7 to listen a list of all of the subtopics links on the homepage, in addition to all of the other links available on the page. These subtopics are related to some of the most current and reported upon issues in our society.

Advanced Search

To navigate to the Advanced Search page from the homepage, simply press the 'E' key to move the cursor into the Basic Search edit field and press the TAB key twice. This will move the cursor to the Advanced Search link and press ENTER.

You will now be on the Advanced Search page. Press the 'E' key which will move you to the first of three edit fields.

The layout of the Advanced Search page is as follows:

Row 1: Edit field for search term 'in' combo box containing the search field limiters - telling the database what to search for, keywords, author names and more.

Row 2: Combo box with AND, OR and NOT allowing for the refining of the search, edit field for search term, 'in', combo box for the search field limiter

Row 3: Combo box with AND, OR and NOT, edit field for search term, 'in', combo box for the search field limiter

Buttons are located directly after the last combo box to add or remove rows to the search or you can press the TAB button twice to skip these and move directly to the SEARCH button.

You can skip over the SEARCH button and further limit your search to include only Full-Text or Peer Reviewed documents, by date range, document type, content type, reading content difficulty level, and lexile range.


Selecting Documents

Depending on your search method - whether you used the Basic Search edit field, the Advanced Search page or used the headings and links on the homepage - your results page layout can vary. No matter the layout, each page contains the same kind of detailed headings, which can be accessed by pressing INSERT + F6. Level two headings list document types, level three headings are document titles. When you head an article title that you'd like to access, press ENTER.

You can also access the articles directly by pressing INSERT + F7 and use the DOWN ARROW button until you hear titles of articles.

Listen to Article

As mentioned above, all of the full-text articles in Opposing Viewpoints provide the option to listen to the article. To access this feature within an article, press ALT + L followed by ENTER. The link is located at the top of the page, directly under the article title, publication name and date.


Once you have an article open, press INSERT + F7 for a list of links available on the page. This list will allow you access to the following options:

Bookmark - Provides the document URL to copy and paste elsewhere for future use.

Dowload - HTML or PDF format

Share - Use Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Blogger and many more avenues to share the document

Citation Tools - Export citations in MLA 7th edition or APA formats into once of the following third party citation managers: EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager or RefWorks

Email - HTML or PDF formats


Dictionary - Search for a word in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary

Translate - Change language of the document to Spanish, Japanese, French, German, Italian, Portugese, Chinese (simplified), or Korean

Save - Add the document to your Saved Items list