A Way to Be of Service to Our Peers

By PCB Technology Team


As an experienced Jaws user, have you ever found yourself on the phone frustrated in your attempt to assist an inexperienced Jaws user? The more instructions you give, the deeper trouble you seem to cause. “Try pressing this key combination.” “Oh, that didn’t work?” “How about pressing…”and it goes on and on. Just imagine how frustrating it is for the person you’re trying to assist. Don’t you just wish you could be at their computer yourself? Well, you can be, at least virtually. With the last several releases of Jaws, “Jaws tandem” is now available to all Jaws users regardless of whether you have a Jaws professional or home addition.


How It Works


For purposes of our discussion, we will refer to the person offering assistance as the controller and the person receiving the assistance as the target. If the target is willing, the controller is granted permission to access and control the target’s computer via a “Jaws Tandem session”.


To start a JAWS Tandem Center session, the controller would follow these steps:


  1. Press INSERT+J to open the JAWS application window.
  2. Press ALT+U to open the Utilities menu.
  3. Select JAWS Tandem from this menu, and then select Tandem Center from the next submenu.
  4. Select Get Access to a computer, which then opens the Get Access to a Computer dialog box.
  5. Press SPACEBAR to activate the Get Access button. The Meeting ID Created dialog box opens. An alphanumeric ID appears in the Meeting ID read-only edit field. It is not case sensitive.
  6. The target user presses INSERT+ALT+T, opening the “Allow Access to My Computer” dialog box. The target’s focus is placed directly in the Meeting ID edit field. The controller then gives the user the meeting ID to type in. Once the meeting ID is entered, the target user presses TAB, and then SPACEBAR to activate the Allow Access button.
  7. After the target user enters the meeting ID, wait for the connection process to complete on the target system. After successful connection with the target, the controller has access to the target system’s desktop.


Note that once an ID is generated, it is valid for 60 minutes until a connection is made. If a connection hasn’t been established within this period, the controller must obtain a new ID from the Tandem Center.


Conducting a Jaws Tandem Session


Once the controller and target have established a connection, the controller can run the target’s system using JAWS and braille as though the controller would be sitting in front of the target’s computer. The controller Uses the same JAWS keystrokes and functionality to control the target system. JAWS keystrokes work no matter which type of keyboard layout is used: Laptop or Desktop.


Disconnecting a Session


Either the controller or target may close the tandem session at any time, breaking the connection by Pressing INSERT+ALT+T.


The Golden Rules of Offering Assistance


If you are offering assistance to another Jaws user by employing Jaws Tandem, and the offer of assistance is accepted, above all remember you have been granted a position of trust and responsibility. Before beginning a Jaws Tandem session, ask the target to close all applications on their computer which might reveal confidential or personal information. These applications may range from email, to social media, to banking. Secondly, before beginning the session explain in general how you might be of assistance and what you are planning to do. Once in the session, explain each step you are taking and any settings that you are changing. In your zeal to offer assistance, resist making changes which will significantly alter the computing environment with which the target is familiar. If you have been allowed access to someone’s computer, it’s as though they have invited you into their home, so be a respectful guest and not the proverbial bull in the china shop.


If, as the target, you have accepted someone’s offer of assistance and allowed someone access to your computer, if you feel uncomfortable at any time with whatever is occurring, remember that you can terminate the session immediately by pressing INSERT+ALT+T.


Jaws Tandem offers those of us who are more experienced with Jaws and computer software an opportunity to respectfully offer assistance to our less experienced peers. The above quick summary of the Jaws Tandem tool when properly used may save both time and frustration. For further details and an extensive JAWS Tandem FAQs, look under “JAWS Help Topics” in Help in the Jaws menu system.

Like the post? Share it!

Comments are closed.