News Archive

  1. Seeking QA Engineer to join NV Access

    Use your software development and testing skills to empower blind and vision-impaired people globally through technology. Work from home, anywhere in Australia

    • Opportunity to gain experience through diverse aspects of a software development organisation.
    • Open source development – global, life-changing impact
    • Flexible working conditions – work from home

    NV Access is a global non-profit organisation, based in Australia, dedicated to the ideal that access to technology should not incur an extra cost for blind and vision impaired users. The purpose of NV Access is to lower the economic and social barriers associated with accessing Information Technology for people who are blind or vision impaired. NV Access develops the free, open source NVDA screen reading software for Microsoft Windows, enabling more than 70,000 blind and vision-impaired people across the globe to access computers.

    We are now looking to appoint a software tester to join our small team. Your work will focus on supporting development of our core product through testing, triage and development of automated tests for the NVDA screen reader. The accountabilities of this role include the following and more:

    • Quality assurance for NVDA, including triage, testing, debugging, and determining the cause of bugs either within NVDA or 3rd party software.
    • Writing of both end user and technical documentation
    • Interaction with and provision of assistance to the NVDA development community
    • Working with other software projects to improve accessibility, including filing bug reports or requesting required features
    • Contribution to and interaction with accessibility communities
    • Occasional provision of technical support to end users
    • Assisting with research and development of future projects

    Your key attributes will be:

  2. An understanding of testing processes and bug isolation.
  3. An interest in testing and community engagement
  4. Ability to pick up new concepts and technologies quickly and follow agile development methodologies
  5. Understanding of/keen interest in accessibility
  6. Good communication skills
  7. Self motivated
  8. Solid grasp of issue tracking and version control
  9. Able to communicate with people in different time-zones / language and cultural backgrounds.
  10. An understanding of software project management, including triage and planning
  11. Highly desirable attributes are:

    • Experience in accessibility development
    • An understanding of object oriented programming and design
    • Python development experience
    • C++ development experience
    • Windows technical knowledge
    • A university degree in information technology (or similar)
    • Contribution to open source projects
    • Experience developing automated tests

    To apply for this position, you must be allowed to work in Australia and be prepared to work full time from home.

    This role is a 12 month contract. However, a permanent position is negotiable.

    Salary range is AU$70,000 to $80,000 + super + salary packaging benefits.

    To apply or if you have any queries, please email info@nvaccess.org.
    Apply for this job via Seek: https://www.seek.com.au/job/34835282

    All applications must include a cover letter and a resume.

  12. NVDA 2017.4 drops support for Older Operating systems

    After much consideration, NV Access has decided that NVDA 2017.3 will be the last version of NVDA to support older Operating systems such as Windows XP and Vista. NVDA 2017.4, which will be released around the end of November, will require windows 7 Service Pack 1, or Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 to run. Those users on older Operating Systems can continue to run NVDA 2017.3.

    It is becoming increasingly harder to maintain support for older Operating Systems while at the same time fixing bugs and adding new features for newer and more secure Operating systems. With only 4% of our users now on these older Operating systems, we feel it is no longer worth the investment, especially now that it is starting to impact the majority of our users. To add to this, Microsoft no longer offers any support for Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 with no Service Pack. This means that users are running these Operating Systems at great risk to security. Many other mainstream applications including browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome have already dropped support for these older Operating systems.

    NV Access acknowledges that this decision will be unpopular to some, and also understands that there will be users who will not be able to switch to a newer Operating system. Therefore NV Access will continue to offer the NVDA 2017.3 download on its website, even once future NVDA versions are published.

    Increasing the minimum Operating system version requirement for NVDA allows us to focus efforts on the stability and security of NvDA, by leveraging features and optimizations both in the Windows Operating System itself, and the modern development tools Microsoft provides.

    For those in the community who choose to run snapshot or rc versions and provide feedback, from today these builds may no longer run on older Operating Systems. In the coming days, these snapshots will refuse to run on anything below the minimum Operating System version, and will display a Windows dialog alerting the user to the fact. The NV Access update server is now already offering NVDA 2017.3 to any user running a snapshot or rc version on these older Operating System versions and will not offer any future NVDA version above 2017.3. For those on supported Operating Systems, you will see no change.

    We certainly look forward to continuing to develop and provide more stable, secure, and feature-filled versions of NVDA to the community, ensuring that blind and vision impaired people across the globe have equal access to computers.

  13. NVDA 2017.3 Now Available for Download

    NV Access is pleased to announce that version 2017.3 of NVDA, the free screen reader for Microsoft Windows, has now been released. Highlights of this release include input of contracted braille, support for new Windows OneCore voices available on Windows 10, in-built support for Windows 10 OCR, and many significant improvements regarding Braille and the web.

    The free NVDA Screen Reader is enabling blind and vision impaired people all around the world to socialize, gain employment or get an education by providing them with independent access to computers. Before downloading, please consider helping NV Access to continue this important work by becoming a monthly donor.

    To download NVDA, please visit our Download page.

    To find out what’s new in this release, please read What’s new in NVDA 2017.3.

  14. Jamie: Moving On from NV Access

    By James Teh

    Today I am making a personal announcement that is bitter sweet. After a great deal of difficult deliberation, I’ve decided to move on from NV Access. NV Access, NVDA and our amazing community have been such a massive part of my life over the last 10 years – so much more than just a job – so this was not a decision I made lightly.

    I’m very privileged to have been able to work full time in my dream job, making computers accessible to so many blind and vision impaired people around the world who would otherwise have missed out. Not only has it been fulfilling from that point of view, it also gave me the chance to work alongside my lifelong friend Mick Curran – the man who originally conceived the idea of developing a free screen reader. However, I’ve always said working at Mozilla would be my second dream job, and recently, an opportunity arose enabling me to make that a reality. After nearly 10 years at NV Access, I decided this was an opportunity I just couldn’t pass by.

    Over the years of close collaboration, I’ve developed an increasingly strong affinity for Mozilla. The opportunity to work at Mozilla, with its rare combination of devotion to public benefit and amazing resources, is a prospect that truly excites me. As the web continues to grow in complexity and scale and as browsers evolve accordingly, we’re reaching a point where existing techniques in both browsers and assistive technology must also evolve in order to be sustainable into the future. Mozilla is a great place for me to explore and realise such possibilities. Beyond that, I am deeply passionate about the open web, and Mozilla is a great vehicle through which to help move web accessibility forward.

    Although I won’t be working for NV Access or full time on NVDA, I will still be participating from the sidelines. I will remain on the NV Access Board of Directors, helping to steer and advise the organisation at a strategic level. I’ll still be using it myself, so I’ll no doubt contribute the occasional patch in my own time. But beyond that, I’ll almost certainly be contributing to NVDA as part of my work at Mozilla, especially in relation to Firefox and the web. This opens some exciting possibilities for pushing web accessibility forward in that I’ll have the ability to make changes in both Firefox and NVDA.

    I want to extend my sincerest gratitude to everyone who has helped to make NVDA the world-changing project it is today. Leaving is difficult, but it’s so much easier knowing that NV Access and NVDA are in extremely competent, caring hands. Mick, Quentin and Reef are an absolutely amazing team and I’ve been super privileged to work alongside them all. Mat and Tarryn, though rarely recognised, do essential work behind the scenes on our Board helping to steer the organisation and supporting Mick and me. As always, the fantastic NVDA community continues to grow in both numbers and strength, and we’re seeing more contributions (especially code!) to the project from the community than ever before. I can’t wait to see what exciting developments are in store for this next chapter in the NVDA story.

  15. Announcing NVDA 2017.2 Release

    Version 2017.2 of the free NVDA screen Reader from NV Access is now available for download. Highlights of this release include full support for audio ducking in the Windows 10 Creators Update; fixes for several selection issues in browse mode, including problems with select all; significant improvements in Microsoft Edge support; and improvements on the web such as indication of elements marked as current (using aria-current).

    NVDA is used by 10s of thousands of blind and vision impaired people spanning more than 120 countries, enabling them to socialise, get an education and participate in the workforce regardless of their location, language or economic situation. However, NV Access needs your help to continue this important work. Please consider making a donation when downloading.

    To download NVDA, please visit our Download page.

    To find out what’s new in this release, please read What’s new in NVDA 2017.2.

  16. NVDA Certified Expert Accreditation Now Available

    NV Access is very pleased to offer NVDA Certified Expert accreditation. The certification tests your knowledge of all aspects of the free NVDA screen reader. The exam is online and available now at https://certification.nvaccess.org/. Free for anyone to sit, the test is time limited and takes less than an hour.

    Once you pass the exam, you have the opportunity to become an NVDA Certified Expert. For $100 AUD (approximately $75 USD), you receive:

    • An individual certificate in an accessible PDF, suitable for printing.
    • An “NVDA Certified Expert” logo, which advertises your accreditation. Some ideas for using this are your website, e-mail signature, business card or fliers.
    • Listing on the official certification webpage.
    • The knowledge that your support helps to make computers accessible all over the world.

    We love hearing from our users! We have already received some great feedback about the accreditation. Users have asked to opt-in to add contact details to their listing as an NVDA Certified Expert. Listings with contact information would enable users to search the list for a local NVDA Certified Expert. The desire to help others is so typical of our fabulous community! We agree that this is a fantastic way to get more users helping each other. We are not quite ready to roll out a more detailed certified experts page yet, but rest assured we are working on it.

    So, what should you study to prepare to become an NVDA Certified Expert? If you have the “Basic Training for NVDA” module, then that is a great place to start. Note that purchasing that module is NOT required to sit the exam or become accredited. Some of the key elements you should be familiar with include:


    • Starting, basic setting up and use of NVDA
    • Getting around Windows and reporting the current focus or window title
    • Switching between programs, accessing the Start menu, taskbar and system tray
    • Navigating the NVDA menu and familiarity with the menu items available
    • Understanding settings, where to find them and how to change them
    • Changing settings with desktop or laptop keystrokes
    • Reading, writing, editing and navigating documents
    • Selecting, copying and pasting, and reading the clipboard
    • Reporting text formatting and formatting changes
    • File management with File Explorer / Windows Explorer
    • Browsing the web filling in forms and problem solving navigating tricky sites
    • Understanding focus and browse modes and how to switch between them
    • Using the review cursor to read, navigate and copy text
    • Using object navigation and changing review modes
    • Understanding how to use, create and trigger configuration profiles
    • Installing and setting up NVDA and creating a portable copy of it
    • Changing Braille settings, using add-ons, speech dictionaries and input gestures

    While that may seem a lot, your diligence and hard work are worth it. Your users, employer, friends and the wider NVDA community will all thank you. Plus, with that knowledge, you will be able to use the PC faster and with less frustration than ever before!

    Need one last little reason to go for it? Become an NVDA Certified Expert today, and be one of the first to experience NV Access’ new branding. The new logo is on the certificate and described. It is not on the website or social media yet; we saved it just for you! The exam and the list of certified users are now online at https://certification.nvaccess.org/.

  17. NVDA 2017.1 Released

    NV Access is pleased to announce that version 2017.1 of NVDA, the free screen reader for Microsoft Windows, has now been released. Highlights of this release include reporting of sections and text columns in Microsoft Word; Support for reading, navigating and annotating books in Kindle for PC; and improved support for Microsoft Edge.

    This award-winning software has been changing the lives of thousands of blind and vision impaired people who can now independently use computers to produce written content, read news, socialise, shop and bank online, and, most importantly, actively participate in education and employment. Please consider helping NV Access to continue this important work by becoming a monthly donor.

    To download NVDA, please visit our Download page.

    To find out what’s new in this release, please read What’s new in NVDA 2017.1.

  18. NVDA 2016.4 Now Available

    NV Access is pleased to announce that version 2016.4 of NVDA, the free screen reader for Microsoft Windows, has now been released.

    Highlights of this release include improved support for Microsoft Edge; browse mode in the Windows 10 Mail app; and significant improvements to NVDA’s dialogs.

    NVDA is used by 10s of thousands of blind and vision impaired people spanning more than 120 countries, enabling them to socialise, get an education and participate in the workforce regardless of their location, language or economic situation. However, NV Access needs your help to continue this important work. Please consider making a donation when downloading.

    To download NVDA, please visit our Download page.

    to find out what’s new in this release, please read What’s new in NVDA 2016.4.

  19. Microsoft Word with NVDA EBook now available for Purchase

    Microsoft Word with NVDA is the second module in the official set of training materials for learning to use the free NVDA screen reader.

    The book can be purchased from our Microsoft Word with NVDA product page.

    Suitable for the new and existing user of Microsoft Word wishing to improve proficiency, this module assumes that the user has completed the “Basic Training for NVDA” module, or has equivalent knowledge.

    Topics covered include: Getting started with Microsoft Word, proofreading, styles, tables, page layout, referencing, inserting, collaboration and sharing and customising Word options.

    The purchase price of this product supports the work of NV Access and our ability to provide the NVDA screen reading software free of charge. If you would like to sample the style of the material prior to purchasing, we have made an extract of the Basic Training for NVDA module freely available on our website.

  20. What does NVDA mean to you: Take our NV Access Branding Survey

    NV Access is currently undergoing a rebranding effort so that we can better communicate what we do and what we believe in. As a part of this effort, we are inviting those in the NVDA community to provide feedback on both NVDA and NV Access by answering a short survey.

    Providing your feedback will allow us to better understand the needs of users, but also to better tell our story to existing and future funders, thus ensuring that we can continue creating and delivering a high-quality free screen reading solution.

    Go to the NV Access Branding Survey to provide your feedback.

    If filling in our branding survey with Firefox 48 and a screen reader, you may need to refresh the page once if you first see no content.