NVDA

NVDA adapted for Windows 8

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The popular free screen reader Non-Visual Desktop Access (NVDA) has been adapted for use on computers with Microsoft Windows 8, including touch screen devices such as tablets and hybrid ultrabooks.

As Windows 8 focuses much more closely on the experience with touch, Microsoft has now ensured that assistive technologies can fully process touch input, and therefore provide a suitable touch experience for blind users. NVDA has been modified to allow it to receive input from a touchscreen that allows the user to not only read what is on the screen simply by tapping or dragging their finger, but also to activate other NVDA-specific commands or move around the operating system by object navigation.

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Free and mobile screen readers on the rise

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The use of free screen reader NVDA and screen readers on mobile devices has increased significantly over the last year, according to a survey conducted by WebAim. The results of the Screen Reader User Survey, conducted in May this year, has shown that the popularity of commercial screen readers such as JAWS and Windows-Eyes have waned in the last year while use of NVDA has increased in the same period. Screen readers on mobile devices have also become more popular in the last year.

The survey, which received 1782 valid responses, was a follow-up to the original WebAIM Screen Reader User Survey of January 2009 and the follow-up survey from December 2010.

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In it together: NVDA gets help from Adobe on PDF compatibility

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Adobe has announced it is working with NV Access to improve the accessibility of its Portable Document Files (PDFs) with the free, open source screen reader NVDA.

According to a statement on the Adobe website, Adobe will help NV Access, the team behind NVDA, to improve the way the screen reader interacts with Adobe’s PDFs. In addition to PDFs, Adobe will help NV Access improve how its screen reader works with eBooks viewed in the Adobe Digital Editions software.

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Aussies amongst the winners of the 2012 Access Awards

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NV Access, the Australian organisation behind the screen reader NVDA, is among a list of winners of the 2012 Access Awards. Presented by the American Foundation for the Blind, the awards are given to people and organisations in recognition of their work in improving quality of life for people who are blind or vision impaired. Joining NV Access on the list of winners is Major League Baseball, Leader Dogs for the Blind and adapted physical education researcher Lauren Lieberman.

The non-profit Australian organisation NV Access has been recognised for their work on the free-to-download, open source screen reader, NVDA. The NVDA screen reader for the Windows operating system is a piece of software that translates text and other elements to synthetic speech, so that people who are blind or vision impaired or who have cognitive disabilities, can access information on the web as well as programs on their computer.

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