The IRS Alternative Media Center is working create "talking tax forms" to make IRS tax forms and publications fully accessible and Section 508 compliant. These "talking tax forms" work with screen readers, in addition to Dragon Naturally Speaking Voice Recognition Software. The IRS is using the Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF) to distribute the government forms as well as other documents. Adobe Reader is a free download. The IRS has made more than 650 tax forms accessible in PDF format on their website, irs.gov. In addition to possessing a compatible speech reading software, users of "talking tax forms" must also have installed Adobe Acrobat (Reader) 8.0 or higher, or the full Adobe Acrobat Suite 8.0 or higher.
Not only is the form available in PDF, the IRS Alternative Media Center has produced succinct text descriptions for fillable forms in PDF format. You will be able to save a form and print a filled in form at a later date. The forms are compatible with JAWS for Windows (Version 9.0) and Window Eyes screen reader. The "talking tax forms" have also been tested with Dragon Naturally Speaking Voice Recognition Software. If the tax form you need for 2009 is not currently available on the IRS website, check back after January 1, 2010.
Below is instructions on how to use the forms from the IRS website.
"To access the forms please follow the steps below:
1. Open Adobe Acrobat 8.0 or higher
2. Highlight the file name and press enter to open the file.
3. Once the file has been opened, press ENTER (or other key command for your synthesizer) to invoke "forms mode". Forms mode allows a user to edit the form while tabbing through the fields.
4. Press (TAB) to move through the form.
5. When the form has been filled in, the user may save the file using the windows "SAVE" command.
Note: When reviewing a form for the first time in standard reading mode, you may hear what sounds like duplication of information. This is not a glitch, the synthesizer is reading the text on the form and also reading the "short descriptions" coded into the fields. The short descriptions for the fields often mirror the text on the form. While it may be helpful to review a form fully using standard read mode, you should go into "forms mode" before beginning to fill in the form."