GTT New Westminster Meeting Summary Notes, JAWS and NVDA OCR, November 28, 2018 with Link to Podcast Episode

Get Together with Technology (GTT)

New Westminster Meeting

A Chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind

in partnership with

Blind Beginnings

Vancouver Community College


Canadian Assistive Technology

Summary Notes

November 28, 2018

Theme: JAWS and NVDA OCR Link to Podcast Recording

Presenters: Matthew Alvernaz, and Albert Ruel,

Apps Demonstrated and Discussed:

This is an older recording from November 2018 that we thought could still assist those who are struggling to access PDF and other graphical images from their PCs.

Matthew Alvernaz and Albert Ruel demonstrated the use of the JAWS Layered Keystrokes to scan and read printed documents, convert PDF files to text, and how to access some graphics on the computer screen.  These features have been available to JAWS users since version 14.

NVDA OCR features were also discussed and demonstrated by Matthew.  NVDA may work better at this task with the OCR Add-on installed in order to provide access to PDF files with the keystroke NVDA/Insert R.


NVDA Download Page:

NVDA OCR Download Page: Important: if you are using NVDA 2017.3 or later on Windows 10, please consider using buit-in Windows 10 OCR.

Performs optical character recognition (OCR) to extract text from an object which is inaccessible. The Tesseract OCR engine is used. To perform OCR, move to the object in question using object navigation and press NVDA+r. You can set the OCR recognition language by going to the NVDA settings panel and selecting

JAWS For Windows Download Page:

JAWS Layered Keystrokes for OCR: Layered keystrokes are keystrokes that require you to first press and release INSERT+SPACEBAR, and then press a different key to perform a function in JAWS. Layered keystrokes are easy to use and remember, and they do not interfere with native keystrokes within applications.

Kurzweil Scan and Read for PDF Conversion: Kurzweil 1000 combines traditional reading machine technologies such as scanning, image processing, and text-to-speech with communication and productivity tools.

Openbook Scan and Read for PDF Conversion: OpenBook converts printed documents or graphic-based text into an electronic text format on your PC, using high-quality speech and the latest optical character recognition (OCR) technology. OpenBook is innovative software designed to enhance success for people who are blind or have low vision who need access to printed and electronic materials. OpenBook and the PEARL document camera create a complete scanning and reading system for work, home, and school.

For more information please contact your GTT Coordinators:


Albert Ruel                   or                             Kim Kilpatrick

1-877-304-0968,550                                    1-877-304-0968,513         


CCB Backgrounder:


The CCB was founded in 1944 by a coalition of blind war veterans, schools of the blind and local chapters to create a national self-governing organization. The CCB was incorporated by Letters Patent on May 10, 1950 and is a registered charity under the provisions of the Income Tax Act (Canada).

The purpose of the CCB is to give people with vision loss a distinctive and unique perspective before governments.  CCB deals with the ongoing effects of vision loss by encouraging active living and rehabilitation through peer support and social and recreational activities.

CCB promotes measures to conserve sight, create a close relationship with the sighted community and provide employment opportunities.


The CCB recognizes that vision loss has no boundaries with respect to gender, income, ethnicity, culture, other disabilities or age.

The CCB understands in many instances vision loss is preventable and sometimes is symptomatic of other health issues.  For the 21st century, the CCB is committed to an integrated proactive health approach for early detection to improve the quality of life for all Canadians.

As the largest membership organization of the blind and partially sighted in Canada the CCB is the “Voice of the Blind™”.


CCB National Office

100-20 James Street Ottawa ON  K2P 0T6

Toll Free: 1-877-304-0968 Email: URL: