Screen readers

NVDA screen reader now recognises long description

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Free screen reader for Windows, NVDA, has been updated to recognise 'longdesc', an attribute used by web developers to describe the data that is visually presented in images such as graphs and diagrams.

To access the long description, press 'NVDA'+'d' once the screen reader announces it is there. For example, if users have their screen reader focused on an image of a graph, NVDA will announce there is long description available. To activate the long description, users can press the NVDA button (usually Insert) and the 'd' to hear the long description. This update is compatible with the Firefox and Internet Explorer browsers.

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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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Windows 8 released with enhanced accessibility

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Microsoft has today launched Windows 8 and its tablet version, Windows RT, the latest operating system for computers and tablets. Rather than simply building on its predecessor, Windows 7, today’s releases overhaul the operating system’s design. 

As well as new features intended to help Microsoft compete with Apple and Google Android, such as an app store, Windows 8 is the first version since Windows 2000 to include radically enhanced access features.  


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Windows 8.1

Windows 8 and the slightly updated 8.1 marked a significant change from Windows 7 due to the introduction of features based on the use of a touch-screen device. While this led to significant improvement in the built-in accessibility features over Windows 7, many users found it difficult to use the touch-screen optimised environment using a traditional mouse and keyboard.


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Apple iOS 6 accessibility

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The release of iOS 6, the latest version of Apple's operating system for mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad, has come with new features that improve accessibility.

There are a number of new features that have been introduced by the iOS software update. These include:


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