NV Access are looking to appoint a full-time software developer to join our small team. Your work will focus on improving our NVDA screen reading software and related online infrastructure, including feature implementation and bug fixing.
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 100,000 blind and vision-impaired people across the globe to access computers.
To apply for this position, you must be classed as “An Australian Resident for tax purposes”, and be prepared to work full time from home with occasional face to face meetings.
Sadam Ahmed left war-torn Somalia for a new life in Australia. Not only did he make a new life for himself, Sadam made a business as well. In 2019, Sadam founded Accessible Technology Solutions Enterprises. From the Accessible Technology Solutions website:
“We are a boutique technology company specialising in high quality technical support. From screen reader configurations to helping you to get the most from your Windows PC or assisting you with braille display set-up. We can help.”
Blind himself, Sadam is a keen ambassador for NVDA. The world’s most popular free screenreader is a great fit for many of his clients. He shared his thoughts with us on how they teach clients with NVDA and some of the great outcomes they’ve had. You can listen to him in his own words, or read the transcript below:
Hello, my name is Sadam Ahmed.
I am the CEO of Accessible Technology Solutions Enterprises, a company that teaches and trains clients, students and teachers for the visually impaired on different types of assistive technology. We have been using NVDA for a number of years now. I use NVDA almost exclusively on my Windows PCs and I think NVDA is a very good screen reader which has come a long way.
“Traditional Assistive technology is very expensive and is not usually affordable for people. NVDA is a very lightweight application that runs beautifully on Windows 10.”
It really is a fantastic solution for those who cannot afford traditional screen readers which are very cost prohibitive, particularly for people in different countries.
When I went to Somalia where I originally come from, a lot of people were using NVDA and I’ve actually recommended NVDA to my friends who were doing computer science and engineering courses, as NVDA supports the applications like Python and SQL very well.
I teach NVDA to my clients and a lot of them have gone on to actually get employed, which is really good, because the unemployment rate in the blind community is very high, so anything that helps someone to become a digital citizen is fantastic. I have been using NVDA for a number of years and NVDA continues to grow in feature set and really supports Windows 10 very well.
Sadam Ahmed (Standing against a cream wall)
I’d like to talk about Microsoft Word, or the Microsoft Suite. We teach Microsoft Office, PowerPoint and Excel to our clients, particularly when using NVDA, and it works really, really well. We also teach the Outlook Suite as well as Office 365 from a keyboard point of view.
NVDA has always had really robust support for outlook, excel, word and PowerPoint. These apps work particularly well whether using a keyboard or using touch input on a windows device with a touch screen.
“We have seen a significant rise in the usage of NVDA amongst our clients. Many of them are using a computer for the first time and NVDA gives them great independence and freedom when it comes to both work and play.”
In particular, it has enabled some of our clients to not only be more confident with the keyboard and the computer in general, but actually hold down and obtain full time employment. We’re very proud of this at Accessible Technology Solutions, because 70% of blind people are unemployed, which was the last stat that I saw.
So, anything we can do to break down the barrier of either unemployment or underemployment is fantastic and NV Access with NVDA and Microsoft Office are certainly are doing that. Microsoft’s mission statement is to empower everybody to do the best work possible and certainly that is borne of the Microsoft Office suite.