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Not impossible to make something accessible: a tutorial to use “” for annotation

In this post, I seek to present a simple tutorial on how to use “” for annotation with a screen reader, an while this guide will focus on my experience and accessibility, I invite you to visit the Hypothesis help webpage, in case of any inquiry relevant to the tool.

Basic screen reader information

In order to remain on the same track whilst explaining how the tool will be accessible, let me remind you of some screen reader information that will help using the annotation/ highlight effectively.

  • Be reminded that you will only use a keyboard
  • To select some text in a document/ web, you may do the following: use ‘CTRL shift+ arrows to select your text.
  • Ensure using the “virtual PC cursor mode” whilst reading an article.
  • The shortcuts mentioned are relevant to JAWS2022LLC (last update)

Installing “” and getting started

To install “” please visit

This page

Proceed with creating an account, then install the chrome extension.

This should work out fine without any accessibility problem.

Once you have the extension installed with the account logged in, please pin the extension by hitting the “ALT” key in your keyboard; hover with the tap key until you hear the “extensions button”, click on “pin” once you hear “hypothesis”.

Now, you have successfully pinned the extension; you may open a webpage and make the extension active by hitting “ALT” until you hear hypothesis, hit “enter”; it is now active, and the sidebar should appear.

If you now selected some text, as illustrated above, either the “annotate button” or/ the “highlight button” will appear, but will once be hidden if you navigated with the arrows or the “B”. that was the problem with the accessibility in the tool; in order to resolve it, you will need to do the following:

  • Start a virtual find prompt
  • Type in “annotate”
  • When you select the text, press F3, and the button will be spoken to you. If you pressed space, you should be able to navigate with “E” (Edit boxes) and start jotting down your ideas.
  • Incase of the highlight option, select some text, then hit “B” then space to activate the highlight feature.

Now I have attempted to explain how the tool works; a video tutorial might be available soon.


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