In-Process 1st April 2021

Can you believe we’re a third of the way through 2021 already? That’s no April Fool’s day prank, so with the year moving so fast, we better get into this week’s In-Process:

Preparations for NVDA 2021.1

NVDA 2020.4 came out well over a month ago. If you haven’t already got your copy, head over to the Download page and grab it. We’ve covered many of the new and updated features in earlier editions of In-Process. To read more about what’s new, the NVDA 2020.4 Release Announcement has you covered. So, attention now turns to the next version, NVDA 2021.1.

NV Access make regular development snapshot “alpha” builds of NVDA available. While anyone can download these, we don’t recommend them for most users. They are particularly useful for those developing or who like testing. Uncovering bugs in alpha builds also helps us resolve them before we get to beta, RC or stable builds. One of the upcoming changes in NVDA 2021.1 is an update to Python 3.8. This is an important step forward, but will mean updating add-ons. We are still putting the final touches to these changes. We wanted to give you a heads up that this change is coming. You may encounter issues using add-ons with alpha builds for a little while. We will notify add-on authors via the official add-on mailing list once the first beta comes out. When that first beta comes out is when we would like all add-on authors to update their add-ons for 2021.1.

WebAIM survey of Web Accessibility Practitioners

Recently, WebAIM conducted a survey of Web Accessibility Practitioners. Like the survey for screenreader users, this survey had some interesting results. According to the WebAIM survey, NVDA is now the most popular screenreader used for testing. In their last screenreader user survey in 2019, WebAIM reported that NVDA is also the most popular among end users.

Shift or control?

When learning to use a screenreader, one of the first commands people want to know, is how to stop it speaking. Sometimes before getting too far into how to get it to read things.

NVDA has several ways of stopping speech, which each work differently.

  • SHIFT: Press to pause speech immediately. Press SHIFT again to continue reading where it left off.
  • CONTROL: Stop speaking. There is no “Continue” command. Issue a new reading command to start reading again.
  • Speech interrupt: NVDA’s keyboard settings (NVDA+control+k) has two options which can stop speech. “Speech interrupt for typed characters” stops speech when a character is pressed. Speech interrupt for enter key” stops speech when the enter key is pressed. In both cases NVDA also passes the key to the application. Let’s use the example of reading a document in Word. If the letter “d” is pressed, speech will stop, but a “d” will be inserted into the text at the caret. With these options off, the key still goes through to the program, but NVDA continues reading.

Of course, if you’d like to learn all the NVDA commands from scratch, you will find our “Basic Training for NVDA” has all the answers. Available in a range of formats from the NV Access shop. It is also included in the NVDA Productivity Bundle.

Also, if you are a new NVDA user from another screenreader, you might find the Switching from Jaws to NVDA or Switching from Window-Eyes to NVDA guides useful.

That’s all for this week. To those celebrating Easter, Passover or anything else this week, enjoy! We look forward to bringing you more news in April.

Egg with NV Access logo

Egg with NV Access logo