In-Process 8th February 2019

Welcome to February!

Recently, we passed a milestone I’d been looking forward to. We sent out our 100th NVDA Expert Certificate! The recipient of that certificate, Sylvie Duchateau, has been a longtime NVDA user and supporter of the community. I asked her if she would mind sharing a few thoughts with everyone on In-Process. Here is what she had to say:

I started using NVDA in 2012, because I was curious about this new free screen reader. At the beginning, I used it from time to time, and I was mainly relying on a well-known commercial screen reader. Then, I got used to NVDA and worked with it more frequently, since my computer was crashing every time I used the commercial screen reader.

Two years later, NVDA was so efficient that I no longer needed to use my old screen reader anymore. NVDA became my daily tool, at work but also at home. NVDA is very important to me now, because it is stable and quick, it does not require much space on the computer, and it helps me doing everything I need with a computer.

Today, as I work for Access42, a consulting company specialised in digital and web accessibility, I use NVDA to do my daily computer work, but also to show people how a screen reader works and how to evaluate the accessibility of websites and documents.

I took the certification exam to check if I had fully understood NVDA’s functionalities, and because I think it is important to show how one is comfortable with the program. Moreover, answering the certification questions in a limited time was a challenge I wanted to achieve.

As a member of the NVDA community, I am committed to helping people using NVDA in answering their questions on the English-speaking mailing list and the French-speaking mailing list. I test the functionalities of new coming versions, and I often contribute to the blog of our company Access42 in order to highlight which enhancements have an impact on web browsing and web accessibility.

I also show blind people how to use NVDA for their daily life and I help my colleagues to choose the right settings for the most efficient evaluation.

NVDA has become one of the tools Access42 uses to explain their students what web accessibility is. It is also an evaluation tool that helps us determine if a web component, such as a slider, an autocomplete or a progress bar is accessible and corresponds to what the specification expects.

Thank you, Sylvie, for being a champion of accessibility, and an ambassador of NVDA! If you too would like to do the NVDA Certification, you can find the exam on our NVDA Expert Certification page If you’d like to hone your skills a bit more first, the “Basic Training for NVDA” module is the ideal learning companion. You can get Basic Training for NVDA in Braille, Audio and electronic text.

Someone asked recently about getting location information in Word. I thought it was a good opportunity to share some general information here on finding out where you are with NVDA.

Everyone hopefully knows that you can press NVDA+T to read the title bar of the current window. You can press NVDA+UP ARROW (or in laptop keyboard layout, NVDA+L) to read the current line or item. You can also press NVDA+DOWN ARROW (or NVDA+A for laptop layout) to read from the current point onward.

To report the current item which has focus, press NVDA+TAB. This will give different information depending on where the focus currently is. On the desktop, it will read the selected icon and report what number of how many total icons it is. On a cell in Excel, it will read the cell contents and location, and on a line of text in Word, it will simply advise the program name and that you are in a multi-line edit.

If you press NVDA+numpad delete (or NVDA+delete in laptop layout), NVDA will report the location of the review cursor. In Word, this reports distance from the left and top edges of the page in whatever measurement unit you have Word set to report in (note this also includes the page margin). In Excel, this will report the sheet name and cell coordinates. In many other programs, it will read the distance from the edges of the screen.

Reading the status bar (NVDA+end for desktop layout or NVDA+shift+end for laptop layout) in some programs gives location information. In Word, for instance, it should tell you the section and page. You can also set the status bar in Word to tell you the line and column information. To do that, press F6 to move the focus to the status bar, then press the applications key to open the context menu. Arrow through the options and press space to check or uncheck any items you want (line and column are both in there).

Thanks to a conversation on the NVDA User’s Email List for prompting that, and I hope you found it useful.

That’s all for this week. I hope the weather isn’t too extreme where you are, whether you have snow, floods, fire or anything else! Take care, and I’ll have more soon.