Software apps

NVDA: A completely free screen reader

Non-visual Desktop Access (NVDA) is a free and open source screen reader for the Microsoft Windows operating system. Providing feedback via synthetic speech and Braille, it enables blind or vision impaired people to access computers running Windows for no more cost than a sighted person. NVDA is developed by NV Access, with contributions from the community.

NVDA allows blind and vision impaired people to access and interact with the Windows operating system and many third party applications.

Major highlights include:

  • Support for popular applications including web browsers, email clients, internet chat programs and office suites;
  • Built-in speech synthesizer supporting over 80 languages;
  • Reporting of textual formatting where available such as font name and size, style and spelling errors;
  • Automatic announcement of text under the mouse and optional audible indication of the mouse position;
  • Support for many refresh-able Braille displays, including the ability to detect many of them automatically as well as Braille input on Braille displays with a Braille keyboard
  • Ability to run entirely from a USB flash drive or other portable media without the need for installation;
  • Easy to use talking installer;
  • Translated into 54 languages;
  • Support for modern Windows Operating Systems including both 32 and 64 bit variants;
  • Ability to run on Windows logon and other secure screens;
  • Announcing controls and text while using touch gestures;
  • Support for common accessibility interfaces such as Microsoft Active Accessibility, Java Access Bridge, IAccessible2 and UI Automation;
  • Support for Windows Command Prompt and console applications;
  • The ability to highlight the system focus.

The NVDA application can be downloaded from here.

The user manual can be accessed from here.