October 29


Many people are under the impression that paid software is the only solution to have a seamless experience in completing tasks. Although this perception is justifiable, because 99% of the claimed free software on the internet is never really for free, or stuffed with malware and ads, the NVDA screen reading software is a huge exception. In this post I am going to explain why I am using NVDA, where to download it, and where to find add-ons for NVDA.

What is NVDA?

NVDA is a free, open source, globally accessible screen reader for the blind and vision impaired, created by NV Access, a registered charity and software development company.

Why I’m using NVDA

The most appealing reason why I am using the NVDA screen reader, is because it is for free. However, when downloading the software, you are asked if you want to donate towards the development of the software. Furthermore, NVDA delivers the same quality of accessibility experience than alternative, and sometimes very expensive, screen reading software on the market and even consumes less resources than those alternatives. You can also create a portable copy of the NVDA screen reader, with your user configuration settings, on an external USB device to use on another computer. Lastly, you can improve your accessibility experience with add-ons.
Interesting observation: On their website, they claimed to be trusted and supported by some of the technology giants, including Google, Microsoft and Adobe.

What is an NVDA Add-on?

The NVDA official add-on page explains it the best:

NVDA add-ons are additional packages that can be downloaded and installed into your copy of NVDA to enhance existing functionality or add additional features. These add-ons may include additional features and commands that can be used everywhere, enhancing support for a program, or add support for a new braille display or a speech synthesizer.

Download and addons links

You can download the NVDA screen reader directly from the NV Access Download page. watch my video on how to download and install the NVDA screen reader.

You can download free add-ons from the official NVDA add-ons page. I will advice that you stick to the stable versions of the add-ons. Check out the extra voices for NVDA page for additional speech synthesizers. Not all of them are for free. Jeff Rutkowski's NVDA add-ons page also have some interesting add-ons which are not on the official NVDA add-on page.

Check out the NV Access Home page for more interesting content and information.

In conclusion, I see no reason to bankrupt yourself in buying an expensive screen reader to make your technological life accessible, if a free alternative is available.


Screen reader, Windows

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