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NonVisual Desktop Access - Rebecca Ballard
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

NonVisual Desktop Access (NVDA) is a free, open source, portable screen reader for Microsoft Windows. The project was begun by Michael Curran in 2006. The current version is 2010.2 (see release notes at

NVDA is programmed in Python. It currently eschews video intercept techniques in favour of working with accessibility APIs such as Microsoft Active Accessibility, IAccessible2 and the Java Access Bridge. It is licensed under the GNU General Public License.

NVDA uses eSpeak as its integrated speech synthesizer. Additionally it supports SAPI synthesizers. Output to Braille displays is supported officially from Version 0.6p3.


Besides general Windows functionality, NVDA works with WordPad, Notepad and Internet Explorer. It supports the basic functions of Outlook Express, Microsoft Word 2000/XP/2003 and Microsoft Excel 2000/XP/2003 . The free office suite is supported to a limited extent. NVDA also supports Mozilla Firefox (version 3 or higher). Firefox is the recommended web browser for maximum barrier-free web browsing by the NVDA developers.

Since early 2009, NVDA supports the WAI-ARIA standard for Accessible Rich Internet Applications, so that in the future, web applications can be better used by blind persons .

Support for email is provided with Mozilla Thunderbird version 3 or higher.

In release 2010.1, NVDA supports 64-bit editions of Windows, the login screen and User Account Control (UAC) screens, and has full support for Internet Explorer. It also has a newer version of the E-speak speech synthesizer, and in the newest snapshots, video hooks are being worked on.

The current release is 2010.2, released in early October, 2010. Notable features of NVDA 2010.2 include greatly simplified object navigation; virtual buffers for Adobe Flash content; access to many previously inaccessible controls by retrieving text written to the screen; flat review of screen text; support for IBM Lotus Symphony documents; reporting of table row and column headers in Mozilla Firefox; and significantly improved user documentation.

See for a more complete list of new 2010.2 features.


  1. ^ a b NVDA Project: About NVDA.
  2. ^ Marco Zehe: NVDA 2009.1 beta, what’s in it for Firefox users?, Tuesday, October 27th, 2009.
  3. ^ What's New in NVDA (2009.1)

External links

  • NVDA homepage
  • NVDA 2010.2 Release Notes
  • Webpage of Michael Curran