Hi, I’m not a regular user of any screen-reader software, but I’m familiar with them due to my previous career of building accessible websites for charities.
As a quick test, I’ve tried VoiceOver with Scrivener (On my Mac of course) and it “mostly” works how I’d expect to see it working, but it really was a quick test.
The only issues I encountered were conflicts between keyboard shortcuts, so some behaviour I do via keyboard in Scrivener (Ctrl+Alt+Cmd+I or K to switch between comments & Meta data editing) clash with VoiceOver, and the “Ignore next key-press” command of VO+Tab (Ctrl+Alt+Tab), didn’t work in this instance. My tech-guru gut feeling tells me there’ll be a work around.
Also my text was being read out as column 1 in table 1, I don’t know if that’s due to my formatting or just how the internal rtf text is managed.
The only way to be certain if it’ll all work for you and your wife, is to try it and see. I’m sure Keith and Lee would be more than happy to discuss any issues you encounter.
It’s my understanding that both the OSX & PC versions of Scrivener are just native apps for their respective platforms, therefore they “should” work fine with any screen-reader. But I could certainly imagine there being areas where conflicts could exist.
As to Jaws etc. I never encountered a “standard” PC app that didn’t “work” (I’m not saying they were usable, EG Photoshop with Jaws may well work, but is it usable?)
The other area to evaluate of course is whether or not Scrivener will be usable with a screen-reader. Does she have any vision to be able to navigate with a screen magnifier? Or will she be totally reliant on keyboard nav?
Another of my gut feelings (based on my experience with Scrivener and having worked with a broad spectrum of computer users with different levels of accessibility needs for accessibility accreditation) is that the big benefits of Scrivener over “simple” word processors, is in it’s organisational aspects. The ability to “see” the structure of your project either in the outliner, cork-board or binder.
How well this transfers to the experience of using a screen reader… I’m not too sure. It will all depend on how the writer in question (your wife?) can keep a mental map of the application.