Using Google Calendar with screen readers

Screen Reader support

Google Calendar fully supports ChromeVox and Windows IE9/JAWS. Other screen reader and browser combinations may work but are not guaranteed.

Tips:
  • JAWS users who would like to use built-in shortcuts should turn off virtual cursor. (insert+z+z)
  • Mac OS X users may want to use the following settings in order to ensure that Tab key navigation reaches all accessible elements:
    • In Mac System Preferences: System Preferences > Keyboard and Mouse > Keyboard Shortcuts > Full keyboard access > All controls
    • In Safari: Preferences > Advanced > Press Tab to highlight each item in the page

Keyboard navigation is now possible with Google Calendar with any browser and without the need for special software.

Signing in

Once you have a Google account, follow these steps to sign in to Calendar:

  1. Visit https://www.google.com/calendar.
  2. The initial focus is in the Username edit box. Enter your username and press Tab to move to the password edit field.
  3. Type your password, and press Enter.
  4. If your username and password are correct, you’ll be in your calendar.

Using Google Calendar

Upon signing in, there will be a welcome link. Activating the link will enable Agenda view as the default view and enable keyboard shortcuts for Google Calendar. Agenda view is the recommended view for screen reader users.

Navigating the Agenda view

  • Use Up / Down arrows to navigate up and down the list of events for displayed calendars.
  • Use Left / Right arrows to navigate among days
  • Press Enter to expand an event to show more of the event’s details
  • Press Tab to navigate among the event’s details, such as RSVP options or event color
  • Press Delete to delete an event
  • Press e to go to an event's details
When an event title is selected, the screen reader will read out the event title, event time, and the calendar the event is on.

Navigating the event page

  • Use Left / Right arrows to navigate among options within a particular setting. For example, navigating the Show me as setting: Available / Busy / Busy (decline invitations)
  • Use Spacebar to toggle on or off the All day... and Repeat options
  • Use Enter to make selections such as event color or Add attachments
  • To navigate the Guests list:

    • First, focus on a Guests list option
    • Use Up / Down arrows to navigate among invited guests and added rooms
    • Use Spacebar to toggle Optional attendee status for guests
    • Use Delete to remove an invitee or added room
      • On Mac: fn + Delete. On Chromebook: alt + Delete.
After adding guests to an event, a Suggested times link will appear, allowing you to easily choose a convenient time for all event participants.
  • To navigate the Room picker:

    • First, focus on a Room picker option
    • Use Up / Down arrows to navigate among rooms
    • Use Spacebar to open/close a room location/category or to add/remove a room on the guest list

To navigate among calendar lists

  • First, focus on a calendar list option
  • Use Up / Down arrows to navigate up and down the list of subscribed calendars
  • Use Spacebar to turn the visibility of a calendar on or off (display events on your calendar or not)
  • Use Delete to remove a calendar from the list (only available for ‘Other calendars’)
    • On Mac: fn + Delete. On Chromebook: alt + Delete.

Keyboard shortcuts

To see a list of keyboard shortcuts at any time, press "?".

Still in development

  • Views: Day, Week, Month, and Custom multi-day views have not been made accessible yet. In the meantime, Agenda view can be used, which has been optimized for accessibility.
  • Audible feedback: Audible feedback is not yet available for every action (for example: deleting an event or removing a guest).
  • Navigation: General navigation currently requires extensive tabbing or screen reader-enabled navigation. We are working on improving this.