Re: WebAim Screen Reader User Survey #7: Getting The Word Out About NVDA
erik burggraaf <erik@...>
On October 2, 2017 8:15:35 PM "Gene"
I specifically said powerful screen-reader. the Serotek (spelling) screen-reader is not a powerful screen-reader and, though it does what it does well, it isn't intended for advanced or tailored uses.
the Apple screen-reader demonstrates my point concerning mass production. It is intended for a very small base of users but every person or institution who buys an Apple device helps pay for it. It is, therefore, able to be provided at a very cheap price because the entire Apple customer base pays for it.
Microsoft tried to do this in 2000, but was lobbied down by commercial screen reader manufacturers with the help of advocacy groups such as the NFV. Linux had built in screen access since the mid 90's. Apple didn't invent the idea. They were only able to do what they did because of their position in the market which was low but on the rise at the time, and because of the level of control they had over the development and distrobution of their product. Nowadays, anyone can and should design accessibly, as in the case of new NFB legislation which will force auto manufacturers to build accessibility into the keoscs of self-driving vehicles. Microsoft was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, but that didn't in and of itself make the idea or microsoft's take on it bad. It was entrenched commercial and political interests who ensured the implementation would never have the teeth to bite them, and look where we are now.
Havbe you studied economics? I'm asking because I suspect that many of the arguments you see constantly repeated concerning JAWS as a predator and their alleged gouging are repeated by people who haven't studied it. I'm not assuming anything in your case. But I'm going to start asking people when such subjects come up to see if my hypothesis is correct. Also, I don't just mean formally studied economics. What I know about economics comes from discussing the subject with knowledgeable people and reading books that discuss economics for the layman.
I'm not a recognized economist; However, I am an entrepreneur. I ran a successful and internationally recognized access technology practice for four years between 2010 and 2013. I worked mainly on training, but I used sidelines as a solutions and funding consultant to generate future training work. I definitely understand a fare bit about the access technology market in North America. I suspect quite a bit more based on my experience, as well as research that I regularly conduct on technology markets. It's no secret that access technology venders and manufacturers are downsizing heavily and closing up shop altogether, and it seems obvious why. Government funding slashed. Built in access all over the place. Tickets on items like braille displays slashed in half over 10 years. The so called leading experts in the field coming up for retirement and protecting their RRSP's. The market trending away from traditional computing. It's kind'a like how adobe released their half-baked adobe DC accessibility so blind could read adobe documents on IOS and android. So, they bio'ed the technologist who wrote the release and look out! He's been an access technologist for 25 years. No wonder adobe still does accessibility the way they did it 25 years ago.
Anyhow, this Back to work for me.
From: erik burggraaf
Sent: Monday, October 02, 2017 4:50 PM
Subject: Re: [nvda] WebAim Screen Reader User Survey #7: Getting The Word Out About NVDA
Lots of for proffit companies made free or low cost screen readers. Serotek for one. Apple for another. I'd say both companies were successful to one degree or another. So, why didn't we see governments lining up to pay for system access? Well, to a lesser extent some did, but if screen readers cost less, then the funding becomes less and the portfoleos of nondisabled people making big money from accessibility legislation shrink. We certainly don't want that. But even at that, system access and the system access network lasted for a very long time, largely on consumer driven support.
NVDA didn't succeed because it was not for proffit. It succeded because of the dedication of the people who started it, and the following those founders were able to inspire. It's sustainable because of the people who work on it. The fact that it is non for proffit gives it certain advantages such as the fact that it can't be subsumed by a for proffit. Lots of free windows screen readers entered and left the market in the past 10 years. NVDA is the only one to thrive, much less survive, and it's because of the talendt, and the management.
Then again, the fact that NVDA itself is non for proffit hasn't prevented the organization from accepting grants and sponsorships from for proffit companies, and whatever I may think of those companies individually, the output from those grants contributed to the general effectiveness of NVDA, which lead to more adoption which lead to donation revinue, which lead to more improvements until we have the body of work which now is viable enough to stand up to a commercial product in the vast majority of situations.
So, we'll have to agree to disagree on this. I've heard all the arguments for nearly as long as you have. I'll allow there was a time when they may have made sense to one degree or another. Certainly the first opticon and kurzweil reading machine costed enormously more in terms of research and development than say the knfb reader mobile app. In fact, vast commercial uses for scanning, ocr, text to speech, dictation, and other technologies developed for disability communities are prevailant and highly intergrated into modern society. Accessibility legislation is between 25 and 50 years old. Commercial standards for developing things to be accessible are well established and supported by legislation. Time and talent still cost money, but we stand on the shoulders of giants. It's not what it was in the late 70's and early 80's. Completely different situation.
On October 2, 2017 5:25:39 PM "Gene" <gsasner@...> wrote:
That is not correct and I've seen that argument many times. JAWS is expensive because it is a specialized product with a tiny market. If Windows had the number of users JAWS has, it would be exorbitantly expensive as well. It's mass production with enormous customer bases that makes most manufactured products we use inexpensive. You can argue about whether institutions could cause the price of JAWS to be lower by negotiating, I don't know if the owners of JAWS charge more than they need to to make a product. But anyone on this list who purchases or has purchased a sophisticated computer program that sells to a very small audience will confirm that such products are very expensive. Institutions may be bureaucratic but they aren't fools. Entrepreneurs are creative and inventive. If it were possible to have a screen-reader with the power and sophistication of JAWS for significantly less, someone would have entered the market at a cheaper price. They've had more than two decades to do so in the case of Windows screen-readers. Where are they, or even one?
The only way a powerful screen-reader has been developed that is within the reach of a lot of blind people is to completely work outside of the for profit model. NVDA is free because it is not a for profit product and relies on people working for about minimum wage, grants, and volunteers to develop and create add ons. Which proves my point. Someone else did fill the need for a screen-reader for people who can't afford a for profit screen--reader but it was outside of the for profit model. Entrepreneurs are creative and motivated enough that, as I said, if a for profit screen-reader could be developed for a significantly cheaper price, it would have been long ago.
From: erik burggraaf
Accessibility laws change the game. The market for jaws is different from the market of most other products. The primary target market doesn't actually use the product. The reason commercial screen readers are sustainable is that governments in developed countrys have legislated that the government must accept the financial cost of communication aids for people with print disabilities as a means of leveling the playing field. That is why the cost of the tecchnologies has always been out of reach for most blind consumers, and very little to do with the development cost and comparitive small size of the market as most commercial access technologists claim.
So, there's no evidence to suggest that vfo or any company is planning to jack up prices even higher than they already are, but there are legislative hooks that might allow them to if they wanted.
I really think though that they are battoning down and preparing to ride out the end times with what they have. The consolidation has pretty much taken place. A few straglers haven't bought in or bowed out, but they have unique markets of their own.
The government funding that constitutes the primary support for products like jaws is on the severe decline as the use cases for the products over cheeper less specialized alternatives growes less and less by the day. If the size of the market dictated the price as they always claimed, then considering the dwindling share of the market controlled by commercial AT, it makes sense that the price would go up, especially in the case of VFO's new exclusivity agreements in geographic regions that were either not controlled or controlled by companies that are no more. The odd thing is, with NVDA distributed free as a noncommercial product, I doubt it falls under the commercial exclusivity agreements anyhow.
On October 2, 2017 4:24:22 PM "Gene" <gsasner@...> wrote:
Why would the owners of JAWS commit suicide or strongly encourage purchasers not to use their product by doing something ridiculous, as you suggest? They won't. I don't know if they will try different prices as time goes on to get the most profit from the most or optimum number of sales, but that is different from behaving irrationally. Is this part of the JAWS is greedy and can charge anything it wants argument? It doesn't matter in the context of this argument, that I've heard for two decades with no meaningful proof given, whether JAWS is greedy or not. What matters is that JAWS doesn't exist in a vacuum. It may charge what the market will bear but it still operates in a market. If institutions are willing to pay a price, JAWS may decide to charge it. But that doesn't mean that institutions are irrational. They aren't going to accept a thousand percent price rise of a product just because JAWS owners decide to try to charge it.
From: Sky Mundell
I totally agree with you Erick. The education institutions that deliver equipment to students in Vancouver and around BC and here in Victoria haven’t really embraced NVDA but I can see them embracing NVDA sooner rather than later. Remember, FS always saw its main competition, Window-Eyes as a threat. Since the main competition is now gone, , eventually VFO could raise the price of JAWS a lot higher, say, to $10000 or so, and that would force educational institutions to go with NVDA.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of erik
The sample size is very small in these surveys, but they definitely show the paradigm shift and I won't be surprised at all to see mobile, mac voiceover, and nvda useage up, and jaws useage down. Window-eyes use should fall right off the charts since the product is discontinued. This will help slow the skid of jaws, but I think at least as many window-eyes switchers made it to NVDA as to jaws, despite the fact that jaws 18 was a free upgrade for Many window-eyes users.
Since the new paradigm puts the blind more or less on an equal playing field, and social, legal and economic trends all support moving in that direction it shouldn't be too surprising that blind users want it more and more. I have thought for years that 2021 is about the final stopping point for old paradigm designs, particularly the personal computer, but I can see a lot of tradition going by the board by then. This is all good for us, and it's nice to have something concreet to demonstrate the trend we can all see happening around us.
On October 2, 2017 12:57:37 AM "Sarah k Alawami" <marrie12@...> wrote:
Wow, interesting. I'm not surprised. I wonder what we'll see this year now that a lot of us are switching to nvda and or android and or voiceover.
On Oct 1, 2017, at 9:34 PM, Gene New Zealand <hurrikennyandopo@...> wrote:
I have been following the surveys after they survey has finished.
I have also been noticing that the number of jaws users have been dropping along with a few of the commercial screen users and magnifiers etc.
Also the use of mobile units starting to rise as in the use of android and apple devices that can go portable.
For me mostly home use is nvda 100 percent of the time and if mobile a android device.
On 10/1/2017 2:20 AM, Bhavya shah wrote:
all,Since almost a decade, WebAim, a non-profit web
Check out my website for NVDA tutorials and other blindness related material at http://www.accessibilitycentral.net Regardless of where you are in New Zealand if you are near one of the APNK sites you can use a copy of the NVDA screen reader on one of their computers. To find out which locations (or location) is near to you please visit http://www.aotearoapeoplesnetwork.org/content/partner-libraries (Aotearoa People's Network Kaharoa). To find an NVDA certified expert near you, please visit the following link https://certification.nvaccess.org/. The certification page contains the official list of NVDA certified individuals from around the world, who have sat and successfully passed the NVDA expert exam.