Government and corporate users have requirements in terms of security and documentation. NV Access is pleased to be able to provide all the documentation required by agencies and business in the one place. If there is anything you think we have omitted from this page, please contact us.
Note: We have had several questions regarding the Apache Log4j2 vulnerability, which is in the news currently. We can confirm that neither NVDA itself, nor the surrounding NV Access architecture (our website, servers, etc) are vulnerable or affected by this issue.
Table of Contents
- Corporate support
- Customising NVDA to your specific software
- NVDA Expert Certification
- WCAG 2.0
- Specific Government initiatives and programs
- NVDA License agreement
- Open Source software
- Internet access
- Collected information
- NVDA Log files
- NVDA Add-ons
- Secure Environments
- Deployment of NVDA
NV Access also has training material available for purchase in a variety of formats with discounts for bulk ordering. Add at least 10 copies of any of our courses to your cart to have a bulk discount applied automatically.
Customising NVDA to your specific software
NVDA is very customisable. There are a range of official “add-ons” to improve the accessibility of various common programs. If you have specific tailored software in your workplace, which you would like NVDA tailored to work with, please contact us.
One add-on which may be useful in corporate environments is “UnicornDVC”. UnicornDVC extends NVDA to be used over Microsoft RDP, Citrix and on VMware Horizon. Read the documentation on how to set up Unicorn with NVDA. It is available from Access4U.eu.
NVDA Expert Certification
NVDA Expert Certification allows your NVDA users to demonstrate their proficiency. For staff who use NVDA day to day, it is proof they can use the tools they need for their job. For people who help others (such as assistive technology trainers), it provides widely recognised professional development. NVDA expert Certification also gives the opportunity to list your organisation and your services on our list of NVDA Certified Experts. This list connects users looking for help with those, like you, who can assist them.
Find all the details about Certification, and sit the exam on our NVDA Expert Certification site.
To ensure your employees, clients and users have all the skills they need, we also offer the NVDA Productivity Bundle. This bundle includes our highly acclaimed training modules, and telephone support, all in one discounted NVDA Productivity Bundle. The items can also be bought individually from the NV Access shop.
NVDA and the NV Access website meet WCAG 2.0 level AA. For more information, see the VPAT below.
The Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) provides information about the accessibility of a product against the US Section 508 Refresh, WCAG 2.0 and the European EN301 accessibility standards. For more information on VPAT, see: https://www.itic.org/policy/accessibility/vpat NVDA complies with Section 508 and EN301, and meets WCAG 2.0, level AA.
Specific Government initiatives and programs
Various governments around the world have programs and initiatives to enable their citizens to get access to equipment, without being left out of pocket. NV Access has, for over 10 years, been the leader in enabling anyone, anywhere in the world, to access a free screen reader. Now that NV Access also provides paid support and training materials, we are keen to ensure that these are able to be included in such government programs.
NV Access is registered as an NDIS provider in Australia, meaning that Australians in the NDIS scheme, can choose to access training materials and support for NVDA as part of their NDIS plan, with no financial expense to the user. If you are involved in a government scheme and believe NVDA would fit within it for users, please contact us.
NVDA License agreement
NVDA’s license agreement is shown by the installer, prior to installation. Once NVDA is running, the license agreement is also available from the Help menu. You can also View NVDA’s license agreement online.
In short, yes, you are most welcome to download and use NVDA, for free, on as many PCs as you wish. This includes any corporate, government, education or other workplace environment. As a not-for-profit organisation, we provide NVDA freely to anyone who can use it as part of our corporate mission (See About NV Access). Many of our corporate users appreciate the peace of mind of having access to telephone support and training material. For these users we have created the “NVDA Productivity Bundle“. Sales of material provide the double benefit of helping your users, and supporting our mission. For any individuals and organisations who can afford a donation to NV Access, and who do not want anything in return, any amount, no matter how large or small, helps us continue this mission around the world. NV Access is a registered charity in Australia, and a receipt is provided should you require one for tax purposes.
Open Source software
NVDA is open source. This means that the source code is available for anyone to view. This is beneficial as it enables people outside the core developers to comment on bugs and offer suggestions for improvement. The final, compiled product contains only code which was either written, or directly checked and approved, by NV Access. Provided you download from https://www.nvaccess.org/ (the Official Site), you can be sure that you are downloading an official version of NVDA which is unaltered and free from malicious software.
You can also verify this by checking the digital signature in the “Digital signature” tab of the file properties.
While anyone could potentially download the NVDA source code and edit it, only NV Access can upload files to the Official Site. There is no more inherent risk with downloading NVDA from the Official Site than there is downloading a closed source program from its official site.
We work closely with partners including Microsoft, Google and Adobe, and they work with us in the knowledge of NVDA being open source. Microsoft uses Open Source software themselves, including various components built into Windows itself. Microsoft also have a page on Open Source Security which starts of with a section on the benefits of open source. Similarly, Google Open Source is a Google initiative “Bringing all the value of open source to Google and all the resources of Google to open source”.
The US Government runs Code.gov, a website documenting US government open source initiatives. US Government policy specifies that “Agencies must open source at least 20% of all new custom code created after August 2016.”. Similarly, The UK Government policy states: “Releasing government code under Open Source licenses increases transparency, collaboration and encourages good practices. The UK government made a commitment to making code open source by default at the Open Government Partnership Summit in Paris 2016.”
If “Automatically check for updates to NVDA” is enabled in NVDA’s settings (press NVDA+control+g to access), it will, once per day, attempt to access the internet to check whether a newer version of NVDA is available. If the program cannot access the internet, there is no impact on program features or notification to the user. If check for updates remains checked, the program will attempt to check for updates 24 hours later. If “check for updates” is not checked, NVDA itself never tries to access the internet.
- Note 1: Third-party, commercial add-ons, such as the Code Factory Eloquence and Vocalizer voices, may require access to the internet in order to verify their license. Such functionality is not controlled by NV Access.
- Note 2: The user can attempt to check for updates from NVDA’s help menu. As with the automatic check, this routine will simply abort quietly in the background if no internet access is available.
Automatically check for updates to NVDAIf this is enabled, NVDA will automatically check for updated versions of NVDA and inform you when an update is available. You can also manually check for updates by selecting Check for updates under Help in the NVDA menu. When manually or automatically checking for updates, it is necessary for NVDA to send some information to the update server in order to receive the correct update for your system. The following information is always sent when checking for updates:
- Current NVDA version
- Operating System version
- Whether the Operating System is 64 or 32 bit
Allow the NVDA project to gather NVDA usage statisticsIf this is enabled, NV Access will use the information from update checks in order to track the number of NVDA users including particular demographics such as Operating system and country of origin. Note that although your IP address will be used to calculate your country during the update check, the IP address is never kept. Apart from the mandatory information required to check for updates, the following extra information is also currently sent:
- NVDA interface language
- Whether this copy of NVDA is portable or installed
- Name of the current speech synthesizer in use (including the name of the add-on the driver comes from)
- Name of the current Braille display in use (including the name of the add-on the driver comes from)
- The current output Braille table (if Braille is in use)
This information greatly aides NV Access to prioritize future development of NVDA.
If these settings are unchecked, or NVDA has no access to the internet, there is no impact on performance or use of the program.
NVDA Log files
NVDA keeps a log file in the local %temp% directory (the location can be changed via command line options). By default, this records minimal information about errors and warnings generated within NVDA. NVDA’s General settings category (press NVDA+control+g to access) allows the log level to be set higher or lower, or disabled entirely. NV Access generally recommend leaving the log level at “info”, unless collecting specific information on a problem, or wishing to disable logging entirely.
Regardless of the log level, the generated files (nvda.log for the current or most recent NVDA session, and nvda-old.log for the previous time the program ran) are never sent anywhere. The log files can be safely deleted, or logging disabled entirely without any impact on program performance.
NVDA has a number of command line options which affect how the program behaves. Refer to Command line options in the User Guide for full information on these. If –no-logging is specified, NVDA will not record a log.
Add-ons are a way of providing additional functionality to NVDA. Add-ons can provide functionality in specific programs, including customised databases and other programs. Add-ons can also add additional functionality across the board. There is an Official add-on repository. If you feel your environment would benefit from a specialised add-on, please see our Consulting page, and contact us.
If you would like to disable add-ons entirely, the –disable-addons Command line option will prevent NVDA add-ons from being used.
When working in a secure environment, IT administrators may wish to have even more control over software options. NVDA has a –secure command line option which disables the python console, as well as access to open the log viewer, and add-on manager.
In such environments, preventing NVDA from accessing the internet, disabling logging and using the –secure command line option are all ways of meeting the requirements of secure environments and should have minimal effect on use of NVDA.
If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Deployment of NVDA
NVDA has a number of Command line options which can assist with batch deployment of NVDA. These include:
|–minimal||No sounds, no interface, no start message, etc.|
|–install||Installs NVDA (starting the newly installed copy)|
|–install-silent||Silently installs NVDA (does not start the newly installed copy)|
|–enable-start-on-logon=True|False||When installing, enable NVDA’s start on the logon screen|
Finally, just to reiterate, the NVDA License agreement places no restrictions on using NVDA in a commercial environment, nor on the number of PCs it may be installed on. In order to make NVDA freely available to those on the lowest incomes, we do rely on contributions from those more able to contribute. We do therefore encourage corporate and government users to please consider either purchasing training material, telephone support or the NVDA productivity bundle for your users from the NV Access shop, or making a financial contribution.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.