AIM 7 accessibility options

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AIM 7 accessibility options

AIM 7 is compatible with leading assistive technology software including the JAWS screen reader (versions 10, 11 and 12), ZoomText 9.1 from AI Squared and Dragon Naturally Speaking 9.0 from Nuance. AIM also honors Windows operating system accessibility settings for high contrast.

We continue to work together with developers of assistive technology software to address known compatibility issues.


What is JAWS?

JAWS (Job Access With Speech) is a Windows-based screen reader that allows people who are blind or visually impaired to operate a computer with keyboard commands. JAWS provides the user with access to the information displayed on the screen via text-to-speech technology or through output to a refreshable Braille display.

Where can I download JAWS?

You can find the latest version on the JAWS downloads page:

Where can I download AIM scripts for JAWS?

For optimal performance, JAWS needs to run AIM-specific scripts when AIM is in use. Freedom Scientific includes these scripts in their standard JAWS installation, but changes may occasionally be made to the AIM interface that require AOL to update the scripts. You can download and install AIM scripts at

Are there keyboard commands for AIM?

Yes. Please read our online help article Keyboard shortcuts for AIM 7 to learn more about keyboard our commands.

What is Real-Time IM?

Built with guidance from the Gallaudet University and the Trace Research and Development Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Real-Time IM is available in the latest versions of the AIM software. Real-Time IM lets you see what the other person is typing in real-time (as it is being typed) right on your IM window. This feature also enables visually impaired users to respond and react to the message as the typed words are converted from text into speech. For more information, check out our online help article Real-Time IM.

What support is available for people with poor vision?

AIM honors Windows operating system settings for high contrast. Settings must be enabled prior to starting the AIM software.

To set up high contrast in Windows Vista:
1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
2. Click the Ease of Access icon.
3. Under Ease of Access Center, click Optimize visual display.
4. Under High Contrast, check the Turn on or off High Contrast when left ALT + left SHIFT + PRINT SCREEN is pressed box.
5. Click Apply and then click Save. Close all open applications.
6. Hold down the Alt and Shift key, and then tap the Print Screen on your keyboard. The High Contrast window appears. Tap the Enter key to go into your default High Contrast Mode.

To set up high contrast in Windows XP:
1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
2. Click the Accessibility Option icon.
3. Click Display.
4. Check the High Contrast box and then click Settings.
5. Under High contrast appearance scheme, click the drop-down menu and then select the contrast and color scheme that suits you the best.
6. Click OK.
7. Click Apply and then click OK.
8. Close all open applications.
9. Hold down the Alt and Shift key and then tap Print Screen on your keyboard. The High Contrast window appears. Tap the Enter key to go into your default High Contrast Mode.

Note: For optimal visual performance with ZoomText 9.1 from AI Squared, try standard Font Enhancements or turn Font Enhancements off. When the default xFont enhancements are used, text behind open menus can overlap the menu text. You can Adjust Font Enhancements in the ZoomText software by selecting Magnification > Font Enhancements > Settings and then setting the enhancement type to standard or none.

How do I use Dragon Naturally Speaking voice-recognition software?

AIM commands can be executed with Dragon Naturally Speaking; however, users must speak the appropriate keystrokes to perform the action, as Dragon currently does not support direct voice commands. For example, to select a buddy in the buddy list, speak move down or move up, followed by a number, to select a buddy in your list when the list has focus. Once the buddy is selected, say tap ALT and I to open the IM conversation window. The user can then dictate the message and say press enter to send the message.

For questions about accessibility support, please email us at

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Last updated: 06-23-2014
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