Here are a few screen reader options that are free for your computer or browser.
(OS X) VoiceOver
Apple computers come with a screen reader built in, called VoiceOver. You can access it easily by pressing Command-F5. If VoiceOver is on, pressing Command-F5 turns it off.
If this is your first time opening VoiceOver, you can listen to the Quick Start Tutorial, which will give you an interactive tour of VoiceOver navigation and interaction basics.
The benefit to VoiceOver is that it is already installed and ready to use on your Apple computer and also works with websites.
NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access) is a free screen reader for Windows, which allows blind and vision-impaired people to use computers. It reads the text on the screen in a computerized voice.
The user can easily control what is read to them by moving the cursor to the relevant area of text with a mouse or using the arrows on the keyboard. NVDA provides the key to education and employment for many blind people. It also provides access to social networking, online shopping, banking, and news. NVDA can also convert the text into braille if the computer user owns a device called a “braille display”. NVDA can be installed on your Windows machine or used on a USB stick. This screen reader is unique because it’s an open source program, which means developers can contribute to improving this software.
(Google Chrome) ChromeVox
This enables visually impaired users to experience the power of web applications while also giving developers a way to verify the accessibility of their web applications.
ChromeVox can be easily added to your Chrome browser as an extension through the Chrome Web Store. Once installed, you can use these keyboard shortcuts. If you want to change the keyboard shortcuts, just click the browser extension icon, then click “options”.