GTT Vancouver Summary Notes, NVDA, April 20, 2016

GTT Vancouver Summary Notes


April 20, 2016

Present: John, Pat, Louise, Fay, Peg, Victor, Sean, Shawn, Monty, Carol, Mary

Note: Clement and Matthew were both unavailable to attend at the last minute so Monty gave the presentation on NVDA

NVDA is Open Source – so anybody who knows how to program you can make NVDA do anything that the computer will support.
Works on XP or above
Doesn’t work with Microsoft Edge but either does Jaws

The idea of Open Source is that anybody can use it but they hope they will donate.

Why might you want to switch:
– It is free but when you install it may work and it may not depending on the machine.
– If the system has high security it might not allow you to bring NVDA or Jaws on a USB and install. For example University campuses.
– Works with most versions of Windows
Can it replace Jaws by allowing you to access most things that most users will use?
– Probably yes
– Works with IE Firefox, Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, etc.
– Won’t work with Web-sites that Jaws won’t work with.
– Some Web-sites work better with NVDA and some work better with Jaws so many people have both on their computer and will switch screen readers depending on their needs.
Assistive Technology Specialists may suggest Jaws because it’s officially sanctioned and it’s the screen reader they have been using and are familiar with and are better able to teach others to use it.
When you pay for Jaws you pay for support.
There is a larger community of Jaws users on the Internet which is also a source of support
NVDA released a User Guide for about $30 that you can purchase
NVDA has been around for 10 years
What does it sound like:
– Very robotic
– This voice is used because it is also Open Source
There are 3rd party voices and text to speech available
For $85 you can buy an add on to make the eloquence voice available and they package some vocalizer voices
It is licensed to work on three machines is where you can download this voice package.

How is it for reading fonts, colours, underlining?
– Yes, it works well in Word and similar applications
– It does not use the same commands as Jaws
– Some people have remapped the keys
– If you are a Jaws user and you switch to NVDA the learning curve isn’t too big.
– It has a screen review cursor and an invisible cursor instead of the Jaws cursor
– There is a lot of informal support for NVDA including YouTube videos
– Jaws can support remote desktop so you can access your Jaws from another computer.
– NVDA will now do this too.
To slow down the speech look under Preferences, Insert N.

Had some discussion about Window Eyes
To purchase cables cheaply visit
Amazon Basics is a brand that makes very good iPhone cables that don’t break.

Date of next meeting May 18 from 10 AM until Noon
CNIB Tech Trade Show from Noon until 4 PM
Next GTT topic will be Facebook