Blind Bargains

Blind Bargains Top 10 Stories of 2012: 4. NVDA, from Cool Toy to Feature-packed Screen Reader

We're continuing to reveal the top stories of 2012 in our Blind Bargains top 10. This year's panel included participants from across the assistive technology scene: Darren Burton, Jason Meddaugh, Wayne Merritt, Jamie Pauls and Joe Steinkamp. We'll post a new story every day until we reach number one, which will be revealed on SeroTalk live on January 3 at 2 PM Eastern. In case you missed them, you can read our earlier stories on our countdown. For number 4, we go open-source and Joe has the story.

"If this isn’t the year where NVDA hit critical mass in the public conversation of Screen Readers, then 2013 will be that year. The fledgling screen access solution has continued to gain a following and it has also managed to promote some unique features that have others using it in their daily toolboxes for fixing what ever needs accessed on the web and elsewhere. The issue that faces NVDA is the continuation of secure funding in order to keep those bits and bytes flying around the web. If you haven’t already, then please go to their site and donate. As I’ve said before, nothing on the web is free. And NVDA needs Community support to provide the services that they do so they can be responsive to the constant updates that come with Windows and it’s programs."

The perpetual question with NVDA from some involves how the screen reader can continue to survive and if there will be enough funding to pay for further development. One by one, NVDA is working to level the playing field with the legacy screen readers and negating the reasons to choose a more extensive solution. It's design is not for everyone, but new features like the recent addition of Powerpoint support are making it a viable solution for more people, especially those who don't have the funds or resources to purchase another option. If an open-source web browser like Firefox can survive and evolve, why can't the same happen amongst accessible software? As NVDA gains more believers, more funding will come and it will continue to evolve.

Thanks for all of the great comments on our prior posts, and don't forget to sound off in the comments.

Category: Articles
Displaying 1 comment.
austingrace Wednesday, 02-Jan-2013 5:17 PM ET:

I for one am a daily NVDA user. I have used all the major screen readers and NVDA is the best. Most screen readers bogg down the computer but not NVDA and system access. Whenever funds allow I donate to NV access. I'm happy to support the cause.

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J.J. Meddaugh is an experienced technology writer and computer enthusiast. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in telecommunications management and a minor in business. When not writing for Blind Bargains, he enjoys travel, playing the keyboard, and meeting new people.

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