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Hi Alex,

At 18:53 6/12/2010, Alex Midence wrote:
(...)  I use Jaws and NVDA as my screen readers in
windows and Orca in Linux.

It is good to hear that there are screen reader users on this list!

(...)  I am relieved to see mention of
closed source, non-free screen readers in this thread.  Believe it or
not, very few people in government agencies (at least the ones here in
Texas) with whom I have spoken have heard of NVDA. (...)

Do you mean agencies that refund (in whole or in part) assistive technologies? It is true that these agencies are not always aware of free and open-source alternatives. This is also the case in Belgium, where I live. Informing these agencies about free and open-source assistive technologies is not without risk, unfortunately: they might just say, for example: "Now that free screen readers are available for Windows, we will stop refunding JAWS, Window-Eyes, Hal, Supernova, etctera", without checking if the free alternatives are good enough to replace the commercial ones. (I heard this from someone who provides technical advice to such an agency in Belgium.) For example, JAWS and Window-Eyes support language switching inside a document; free alternatives do not necessarily support this and require the user to switch the TTS language manually.

Best regards,


Christophe Strobbe
K.U.Leuven - Dept. of Electrical Engineering - SCD
Research Group on Document Architectures
Kasteelpark Arenberg 10 bus 2442
B-3001 Leuven-Heverlee
tel: +32 16 32 85 51
Twitter: @RabelaisA11y
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