NVDA -OATS Forge
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From the Authors:
NonVisual Desktop Access (NVDA) is a free and open-source screen reader for the Windows Operating System, enabling blind and vision impaired people to use their computers for no more cost than the computer and Operating System itself. Started in April 2006, it has grown to become quite usable as a day-to-day screen reader, enabling the user to do most tasks they would need to. It is not as stable or as bug-free as some of the commercial screen readers, but since December 2006 the creator of NVDA has been able to use NVDA full-time as his primary screen reader, finally giving up his original commercial product.
Providing feedback by synthetic speech, NVDA allows the user to access and interact with all parts of the Windows operating system, such as:
- Browsing the web (with Internet Explorer)
- Reading and writing documents with programs such as Wordpad or Microsoft Word
- Sending and receiving email with Outlook Express
- Using command-line programs in Dos windows
- Producing basic spreadsheets in Microsoft Excel
- General computer management through My Computer / Windows Explorer, Control Panel applets, and other generic Windows tasks
This seems to work well once installed and provides some screen reading functions that you would expect in a paid-for product. It is a bit tricky to install - you have to extract the ZIP file and then find the 'NVDA' file to run the screen reader.