Screen Readers

NVDA 2017.1 is slated to be available in late February. It will support the enhanced accessibility functionality in the Amazon Kindle for PC version 1.19. In the new version users will be able to:

  • read books in browse mode
  • read with the cursor
  • use continuous reading
  • have pages turn automatically as they read
  • highlight text
  • add notes
  • perform dictionary and Wikipedia lookups
  • copy text to the clipboard

In addition, users will be able to access:

  • links
  • footnotes
  • graphics
  • highlighted text
  • user notes

The beta version of NVDA with Kindle support is available for testing now. You can download Kindle for PC 1.9 and download the beta version of NVDA with Kindle support. Read more about NVDA and Kindle for PC on NNVACCESS

Microsoft gave away the upgrade to Windows 10 for a full year. Now most users will pay as much as $199 for a copy of the popular operating system. However, if you’re an assistive technology user, there is good news. You can still get it for free.

People who use assistive technologies such as screen readers like Jaws and NVDA used by people who are blind or have low vision can still get Windows 10 for free. Microsoft has rolled out a new webpage to help their customers use assistive technology navigate the process.

This does not, however, elevate the need for producers of website, software and apps to comply with web accessibility guidelines such as the WCAG 2.0, so that people with disabilities can perform functions and access content and to meet the requirements of the ADA.

For more information on complying with the guidelines visit the Expert Accessibility Service page on the Interactive Accessibility website. 

Facebook can now automatically create alternative text for images generating descriptions that enable users who are blind or have low vision to envisage the content of the photo. The iOS app provides an audio breakdown of what’s happening in the photo using object recognition technology.

Using its vast supply of user images, Facebook has trained a deep neural network driving a computer vision system to recognize object in images. As is a standard in the WCAG 2.0 guidelines, the results are translated to “alt text,” which can be read by screen readers. 

On Tuesday, March 8, 2016 Boston Accessibility is hosting a roundtable at the IBM Innovation Center on 1 Rogers Street in Cambridge Massachusetts. Jeremey Curry from AISquared will talk about the new, ZoomText Fusion.

ZoomText Fusion is a Magnifier/Reader with a complete Screen reader that is designed for users with advanced or progressive vision loss. It tailored for individual who, over time, want a smooth and safe transition from magnification to full screen reading.  

The popular screen reader NVDA has released its 2016.1 version adding new features and changes.

Supports Baum VarioUltra and Pronto! when connected via USB

New feature include:

  • New braille translation tables:
  • Polish 8 dot computer braille
  • Mongolian
  • Ability to turn off the braille curser and changes is shape is the Show Cursor and Cursor shape option in the Braille Setting Dialog
  • Bluetooth connection to a HIMS Smart Beetle braille display
  • Lower the volume of other sounds with Windows 8 and higher installs through the Audio ducking mode option in the Synthesizer dialog of by pressing NVDA+shift+d
  • Supports APH Refresabraille in HID mode
  • Support for HumanWare Brialliant BI/B braille displays when the protocol is set to OpenBraille.

Changes:

  • Emphasis reporting is disabled by default
  • The shortcut for Formulas in the Elements List Dialog in MS Excel has been change to alt+r
  • Liblouis braille translator updated to 2.6.5
  • Text objects no longer announce “text” when they have focus.

The WCAG 2.0 guidelines help in coding accessibly and help meet the requirements of the ADA

(St. Petersburg, Florida – October 29, 2015) – Freedom Scientific today announced the release of version 17 of JAWS® for Windows, the world's premier screen reading software. Significant new features include:

  • Smart Navigation™, a more efficient way to interact with complex web pages and web apps
  • Domain-specific scripting, bringing the power of JAWS scripting to the web
  • Liblouis Braille Translator enhancing usage with Unified English Braille

Navigating complex web content such as pages often found in banking, shopping, or corporate sites, is a challenge for anyone using access technology. Today, JAWS 17 introduces new techniques via the Smart Navigation feature to help users be more efficient as they access this content.

“The ability to move through tables using just the arrow keys, or to skip past an entire menu bar with a single down arrow, are just two examples of how this will benefit users,” says Eric Damery, Vice President of Software Product Management. “Add the capability to script for products such as SharePoint, and JAWS further expands the employment opportunities for visually impaired people worldwide.”

The JAWS 17 upgrade is an SMA release and can be downloaded as either a 32- or 64-bit version from the JAWS downloads web page. DVD shipments to SMA holders and new product customers will commence on November 2, 2015.

About Freedom Scientific

Freedom Scientific is the leading worldwide provider of assistive technology products for those with vision impairments. The Company sells its products worldwide and has offices in Florida and Switzerland. The Company's products have been translated into 24 languages and are available in 55 countries.

NVDA 2015.3rc1 Has Been Released

NVDA 2015.3rc1 has just been released. This is a release candidate so, unless critical issues are discovered, this will be the same as the final 2015.3 release.

This release includes:

  • initial support for Windows 10
  • the ability to disable single letter navigation in browse mode
  • IE improvements
  • Garbled text fixes when typing in certain application with braille enabled.

For more information visit the nvaccess website.

The 90-day license for the popular screen reader JAWS now includes MAGic Screen Magnification Software. When a timed licenses is purchased for JAWS the Magic 90-day license will be made available for download as well.  The 90 day period starts when the first product is authorized for use. Both JAWS and MAGic will use the same authorization.  

JAWS and MAGic can be purchased immediately from a freedom scientific representative.  For more information please visit the Freedom scientific website

Global assisteve technology leader and maker of the popular screen reader Jaws, Freedom Scientific, and ABiSee, the leader in scanning and reading solutions, announced their partnership today. The power team promises to bring an unprecedented portfolio of innovative hardware and software solutions for people who are blind and have low vision.

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