Running JAWS in a Virtual Machine on the Mac

I am a Mac user but I need to test with JAWS and/or NVDA. I use Parallels to run a Windows VM on my Mac. I only test Web applications in the browsers. The main problem I have found is that there is no ins key on a Mac keyboard. I finally saved the mechanism I use to remap the right hand side alt key to be the ins key in my Windows VM. This has worked for Windows 7 and Windows 10. This is a brief summary of the mechanism I use – mostly posted here so I will have access to it when I need it again (thus, it is a bit brief).

The easiest way is to use remapkey which is part of the Windows Server 2003 utilities download (search for remapkey and it should be found). This worked for me in Windows 7 but I didn’t use it on Windows 10. See this WebAim article for how to use: http://webaim.org/blog/screenreaders_on_mac/

You can also manually modify the registry if you know the scan codes. Here is information on how to do that: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/disable-caps-lock-key-in-windows-vista/

And here is my HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout entry to remap the right hand alt key on my MBP to the insert key (used in JAWS):
Name: Scancode Map
Type: REG_BINARY
Data: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 02 00 00 00 52 e0 38 e0 00 00 00 00

52 e0 is the scan code for the insert key – the key we WANT (listed as e052 in scan code maps)
38 e0 is the right hand alt key scan code – the key we are REMAPPING (listed as e038 in the scan code maps)

I still haven’t figured out how to use table navigation keys from the Mac. Does anyone have a solution for that?


About Becka11y

Web Accessibility Consultant with 30+ years in the software industry and 12+ years of direct accessibility innovation.

One comment:

  1. I wish I had an answer for you, Becky. I’m useless. But I can offer my thanks for helping me get a little further down the road to testing JAWS on the VM I run in my Mac. Nice article and ideas.

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