NON VISUAL DESKTOP ACCESS
Motivation / Need
Screen reader is an application software for computer accessibility for people with visual impairment. It interprets what is being displayed on screen and outputs textual, graphical and spatial information in the form of text-to-speech or a Braille output device. It is vital for the visually impaired because in many cases, like news, digital media is the only means of consuming and creating information. The most popular commercial screen readers for Windows, like JAWS, are prohibitively expensive, costing around $900 for a personal user license and more for updates and support. NVDA, supported by the NV Access community, is the free and open source alternative.
- Written primarily in Python
- Uses accessibility APIs IAccessible2, Microsoft UI Automation and Java Access Bridge
- eSpeak text-to-speak engine
NVDA was created by two Australian programmers and has since been made available in over 40 languages. However, compatibility with Indian languages remains minimal and vast majority of the employed visually impaired populace in India work exclusively in Indian languages. The India development team addresses this issue. The project aims to develop the following.
- Compatibility with Indian language text to speech engine.
- Complete compatibility with all popular versions of key application software like Microsoft Office suite of applications.
- Support for Indian languages keyboard layouts
- Development of NVDA application modules for some popular software for banking and ERP like Finacle and Tally.
- Keyboard layouts for Hindi do not conform to a universal standard and there are a variety of layouts like InSript, Remington, Phonetic etc. NVDA is now compatible with all these layouts, making it easier for blind persons to type in Hindi.
- Improving the accessibility of list structures (bullets, numbered lists) in Microsoft Office PowerPoint.
- Improving accessibility of web links across applications.
- Addition of sentence-level navigation of editable documents (Microsoft Office Word).
- Fixed issues while editing PowerPoint files.
Patch Fix : Before and Now
Descriptions for Unicode Characters like Mathematical Operators, Emoticons,etc.
Posted on : 31 October 2014
While navigating text in editors, symbols like Mathematical Operators, superscript and subscript characters, Emoticons and other Unicode Characters were not described. Instead, their Unicode codepoint value was
While navigating text in editors, Unicode Characters are described properly. For example, ∀ is properly read as 'For All'.
Character Descriptions for Indian Languages
Improving the accessibility of list structures in Microsoft Office PowerPoint, problem in deleted characters and the addition of sentence-level navigation.
Posted on : 31 October 2014
No character descriptions for Hindi, Gujarati, Bengali, Malayalam and Punjabi languages were available. Thus, there was no way to unambiguously understand the constituent characters of a word, if it's not spoken clearly by the speech synthesizer. For example, 'WORD' can be described as: 'W' William , 'O' Orange , 'R' Russia , 'D' Denmark. Such a feature was not available for Indian Languages.
Now, character descriptions for Hindi, Gujarati, Bengali, Malayalam and Punjabi languages are available. So, one can easily describe any word in these languages and, thereby, reduce ambiguity to a large extent.
Posted on : 18 March 2014
The playlist has three videos, each of which demonstrate the improvement in functionality by the patch contributed to NVDA repository. Each video has two parts; first part illustrates the missing functionality before the fix and the second shows how the patch fixes it. The first video is about improving the accessibility of list structures (bullets, numbered lists) in Microsoft Office PowerPoint. The second video shows the problem of deleted characters still getting announced by NVDA in Microsoft Office PowerPoint and how the patch fixes it. The third video demonstrates an enhancement to NVDA - the addition of sentence-level navigation of editable documents (Microsoft Office Word).
How it works ?
Follow the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOQ7zELFmLE
to check the video created by people who started the project (NV Access).