VSCode setup for accessibility.

Mar 5, 2019 | Scripting and programming, Technology | 2 comments

I quite like the stand alone Visual Code Editor.
Here are the steps to follow to set it up for optimal accessibility.

Installing Visual Studio code and configuring Jaws for best accessibility.

Download and install VS Code

  1. Download VSCode from the official site.
  2. Run the downloaded installer.
  3. Step through the various screens of the installation wizzard. Check the box labeled Add “Open with Code” action to Windows Explorer file context menu to have the code editor available in the windows explorer context menu.
  4. Click Install when ready to proceed.

Configure Visual Studio Code to enable screen reader support

  1. Press alt plus f to move to the file menu.
  2. Press p for preferences.
  3. Expand this menu.
  4. Press enter on Settings.
  5. Press the letter e to jump to the settings search edit field.
  6. Type screen.
  7. Tab over until you hear Editor Accessibility support.
  8. Expand this with alt and down.
  9. Arrow down to enabled.
  10. Tab off the field then close the settings screen with control + F4.

Accessibility support would generally have been enabled for you by default with the auto setting but there is currently a limitation in the built in console. accessibility support must explicitly be set to Enabled for the console to be accessible.

Jaws settings.

It is useful to have Jaws turn off the virtual cursor when you set focus to vSCode by default.

  1. Modify your ConfigNames.ini file.
    1. From within VSCode, press Jaws key plus 0.
    2. Close the default Chrome script file.
    3. Open the open window by pressing control + o.
    4. type the following full path and press enter.
      “C:\ProgramData\Freedom Scientific\JAWS\2019\Settings\enu\ConfigNames.ini”
    5. Press page down and create a new line.
    6. paste the following into the new line.
  2. close the script editor then restart Jaws to be certain.
  3. Press Jaws key + 6 to open the configuration settings.
  4. Tyep virtual into the search field and press enter.
  5. Press tab then press end.
  6. Uncheck the box that you have landed on “Use virtual PC cursor”. THen tab to OK and press enter.

You are now ready to start efficiently using the Microsoft visual studio stand alone code editor.


  1. C S Grover

    I tried to follow your suggestions, but when turning off the virtual cursor, it affects the chrome browser as well. I made sure the config file got updated by running notepad as administrator in the end. Also, please could you explain why it is better to run without the virtual cursor? Thank you.

    • digitaldarragh

      You won’t be able to type into the edit field properly if the virtual PC cursor is disabled. Also, keyboard shortcuts won’t work as effectively.


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