Earlier this year, the PDF Association launched the “NVDA goes PDF/UA” project to fund support for PDF/UA in NVDA, enabling superior access to accessible PDF documents. The first round of funding in June resulted in significant enhancements to PDF access in NVDA 2012.3, particularly with regard to tables. We are pleased to announce that the PDF Association is providing further funding to continue this work.
While NVDA users have enjoyed rich access to some PDF documents for several years, this access is inconsistent due to widely varying degrees of accessibility in PDF documents. This was largely due to the lack of consistent, clear rules for accessible PDF. PDF/UA aims to bridge this gap, providing a single standard which document creation and processing software, PDF reader applications and assistive technology can implement and be assured of excellent accessibility.
We would like to thank the PDF Association for their continued support and look forward to working with them into the future to ensure the best possible access to PDF documents.
Version 2012.3 of the free award-winning NVDA Screen Reader for Microsoft Windows has just been released. The NVDA screen-reading software is currently Providing more than 6,000 blind and vision impaired people independent access to Windows computers each day at home, at school, in the workplace and on the go. This release contains around 30 new features and 50 bug fixes including support for East-Asian character input, experimental support for touch screens on Windows 8, improved access to Adobe Reader and much much more.
NVDA is free for anyone who needs it. However, if you would like to see it constantly improved, or you believe like NV Access that blind and vision impaired people should be able to use any type of technology for the same cost as their sighted peers, please consider making a single or monthly donation.
To find out more information about this release or to download a copy, please visit our download page.
NV Access will be demonstrating the NVDA screen reader at Texpo 2012, an annual public event run by Vision Australia to showcase current technologies and services available for those who are blind and vision impaired in Australia. On August 24th and 25th in Melbourne, August 31st and September 1st in Sydney, and September 7th and 8th in Brisbane, you will get a chance to chat with the developers of NVDA and learn about its benefits and features in several 45 minute sessions run over the course of each day.
For more information about locations and what else will be at Texpo, please visit the Texpo 2012 website.
Presented by lead developers Michael Curran and James Teh, The NVDA sessions will introduce and demonstrate NVDA, including browsing the web, working with documents and much more.
These sessions run for around 45 minutes, starting at 10:30, 11:45, 1:15 and 2:30 on Friday and 10:15, 11:30, 1:00 and 2:15 on Saturday.
Michael and James will also be available for questions after each session.
We look forward to seeing you there.
NV Access is very happy to announce the availability of the Nuance Vocalizer range of voices for NVDA. These voices, which have proven to be popular on iPhones and the Mac, can now all be purchased for one affordable price for use with NVDA. Whether you use NVDA installed on one computer, or carry it around with you for access at anytime on a USB flash drive, these performant and high-quality voices will be there when you need them.
Purchasing Vocalizer today for 75 EUR gives you access to over 50 different voices covering more than 30 major languages.
Vocalizer can be purchased from Tiflotecnia Lda and other local distributors. For each purchase NV Access will receive at least 10 EUR to help support the NVDA project.
For more information about Vocalizer with NVDA, trial downloads and a list of
distributors, please visit the official Vocalizer NVDA website.
To use Vocalizer, NVDA 2012.2 or higher is required. Please visit our Download page to get the latest version of NVDA if you have not done so already.
NV Access is pleased to announce that version 2012.2 of NVDA, the free, open source screen reader for Microsoft Windows, is now available. Highlights of this release include an in-built installer and portable creation feature, automatic updates, easy management of new NVDA add-ons, announcement of graphics in Microsoft Word, support for Windows 8 Metro style apps, and several important bug fixes. You can find out more or download a copy from our downloads page.
Adobe is continuing its funding of NVDA screen reader development in 2012. Priorities include ongoing improvements to NVDA’s support for PDF documents (including work towards PDF/UA standard compliance), AIR applications, Adobe Digital Editions and general HTML and ARIA improvements. Please see Adobe’s blog post for further details. As always, we are extremely grateful to Adobe for their ongoing belief in and support of the NVDA project.
Thanks to financial contributions from both the Hong Kong Blind Union (HKBU) and the Taiwan Digital Talking Books Association (TDTB), NV Access will be able to undertake a project to improve the usability of NVDA for Chinese language users. Both of these organisations have been great supporters of NVDA in the past and we are thrilled that they are willing to provide the means to get this particular project off the ground.
Depending on available voices, NVDA is able to handle speaking of Chinese text quite well. On the other hand, writing East-Asian languages such as Chinese or Japanese is nearly impossible. To input languages such as Chinese in Windows, the user types certain key sequences, but then must usually choose the correct Chinese character from a list of possible choices. In order to make NVDA suitable for East-Asian language users, it has to be able to report these choices and also allow the user to review the typed phrase so far before it is finally entered in to the document or control they are working with.
To date, work has been undertaken by individual communities to add this support into NVDA. Although these modifications seem to work reasonably well, they are not integrated into the official version of NVDA. This means that there is a tendency for these changes to break with new releases of NVDA and the support is not readily available to the widest amount of users, including those in other countries wishing to learn a language such as Chinese. NV Access will therefore commit development resources to reviewing existing code, integrating it in to the official NVDA project and making further improvements in close collaboration with the original communities. If you are interested in more information, you can read a detailed work proposal including full cost estimates.
The HKBU and TDTB have both agreed to contribute one third of the project cost each. Although this means we are one third short, NV Access is still happy to undertake the project, focusing specifically on Chinese input, and the needs of Taiwan and Hong Kong. If there are any individuals or organisations (especially from either mainland China or Japan) who may be willing to contribute the shortfall, we would be more than happy to work closely with them on this project, expanding our focus to cover their specific user needs.
Again, we would like to thank both the HKBU and TDTB for their contributions and we look forward to working with them on this project.
NV Access is pleased to announce that version 2012.1 of NVDA, the free, open source screen reader for Microsoft Windows, is now available. Highlights of this release include features for more fluent reading of braille; indication of document formatting in braille; access to much more formatting information and improved performance in Microsoft Word; and support for the iTunes Store. You can find out more or download a copy from our download page.
NV Access is pleased to announce that version 2011.3 of NVDA, the free, open source screen reader for Microsoft Windows, is now available. Highlights of this release include automatic speech language switching when reading documents with appropriate language information; support for 64 bit Java Runtime Environments; reporting of text formatting in browse mode in Mozilla applications; better handling of application crashes and freezes; and initial fixes for Windows 8. You can find out more or download a copy from our download page.
Vision Australia has recently announced that it is now offering several of its computer training courses especially tailored for use with the NVDA screen reader.
These courses, freely available to blind and vision impaired Australians in several states, focus on such skills as typing, email, word processing and browsing the web.
Vision Australia has offered courses in computers for many years, and NV Access is excited that due to growing popularity of NVDA in Australia, there are now courses specific to those who use this screen reader.
These courses are available in several formats and can be taken either as face to face or as distance learning.
Please visit the Vision Australia Adaptive Technology Course Outlines page or call Vision Australia on 1300 84 74 66 for more information about these courses with NVDA.