Re: WebAim Screen Reader User Survey #7: Getting The Word Out About NVDA

erik burggraaf <erik@...>

Hi Randy,

On October 3, 2017 11:54:34 PM "Randy Barnett" <randy@...> wrote:

Jaws has gone down in price over the years.

I'll give you this.  Looking at the freedom scientific website, I can see that the home edition stands at $900, and the professional stands at $1100.  These prices are about 2 or 3 hundred dollars cheeper than when I last had ocasion to keep track some four years ago.  I guess that's about a 20% nock off.  If it doesn't seem like much, that's because 9 c's is far out of reach of the home user.  IE, government is still the primary target market for this product and I believe all my former arguments to retain validity. 
FS has been fairly competative on hardware pricing I will give them that.  I don't like most of their hardware, but I know many people who do and the price points make it attractive to both those who use it and those who pay.  Of course, people who use fs hardware naturally tend to gravitate to fs software and vice versa.  This is certainly not always the case, but I see it often. 

Even more if you figure in
inflation. It has not gone up at all. Nor is it likely too.

No, I don't buy the inflation bit either, not considering the take home of the top brass at VFO.  The pricing includes all overhead including reasonable inflation, so no.  Plus, we're still debunking the research and development argument.  Each release of jaws does not require the scratch construction of a new speech synthesizer, video display chain driver, and accessibility api among other core functions.  Programmers are talented people who diserve to be paid accordingly, but the scale of the research required to maintain jaws now is nowhere near on the scale it would have been in the late 90's when there were no such things as accessibility standards.

Also, Gene touched on it and others may have too.  They're not just selling jaws.  They're selling training at a premium.  I've seen quotes for scripting ranging from $150 per work hour, to $150 per code line.  I'm working on a human rights employment case right now and just to get an audit of what needs to be fixed in this one company from an accessibility consultant is going to cost $15000.  Just to find out what's wrong.  Now, VFO owns one of the supposed leading consulting firms in this area, which means they can test with only jaws, and tout scripting at a premium.  Also, you notice, they don't tell you how much it costs for remote access anymore?  The ominous, "call for pricing".  Let's not waste any clean-x on VFO's proffit margin shall we.

I am not a

big fan of VFO and criticize it often but they are like any other
specialized software. Have you ever price CAD, Audio design, CNC
mapping  and other similar software? they far exceed the cost of Jaws.

Nop, Gene tried this one too, and I didn't have the time to address it but lets just say... No.  If I buy jaws,  it's money spent playing catch up.  There is no doubt the benefits of hiring blind employees.  It's the law, and I need to comply.  There are lots of perripheral benefits, but no direct cost recovery.  I mearly pay to supplement what I already have.  IE, I have a great employee and an inaccessible workplace and jaws glues the two together.  But I might be able to find another great employee who doesn't need jaws, and unless I'm planning to start a sideline in some area of accessibility work, I'm not seeing  a direct return on my jaws or ansilary services like scripting.

The argument holds less water in the case of retirees who go blind later in life or other home based use cases.  How many regular people have autocad in their house in case they want to doodle?

If I'm an engineer, I buy autocad.  It is crutial to my job.  It accellerates my workflow and directly earnes me money.  If I had a professional recording studio, I'd pay top dollar for protools.  Thousands or 10's of thousands of dollars for a licence is nothing, because knowledge and use of these tools generates direct return on investment in the millians or greater.  Jaws does not offer anything close to that, so there's no comparison to be made at all.

Do I want cheaper Jaws? Of course who wants to pay more for anything!
Dont forget Jaws was providing access long before anyone else and it was
very good access at that. It has taken over 20years for someone to
provide a no cost alternative for the PC.

On 10/3/2017 7:58 PM, Gene wrote:
> It should be pointed out that System Access isn't at all equivalent to
> JAWS or Window-eyes. It cost less because it was much less capable and
> didn't have to work with nearly as many programs.  And it was often
> purchased, not as a standalone product, but with the SAM Network.  I
> don't know if I have the name just right.  But it could be purchased
> either alone or as an integrated product and I wouldn't be surprised
> if a lot or most purchasers purchased the whole package, which may
> have further led to lowering costs.  Agencies wouldn't have purchased
> it in general because their thrust was employment and System Access
> wasn't intended as an employment product.
> It was intended to give Internet Access, access to certain e-mail
> programs and to simple word processing.  It cost about half as much as
> JAWS and Window-eyes and it was perhaps one-third as powerful.
> Around 2000, whoever owned JAWS at that time attempted to address the
> affordability problem by making a product, Connect Outloud.  I believe
> you could buy it and it also came, bundled for free with Openbook. 
> What I heard when it was discontinued after perhaps two or three years
> was that there wasn't enough demand to justify continuing it.
> It provided Internet access, access to Winamp, Outlook Express,
> Wordpad, and it may have provided access to one or two other programs.
> I'm not sure why it wasn't popular at the time, given the number of
> home users who didn't need a powerful screen-reader and the price of
> JAWS and Window-eyes and, as I recall, it was before System Access.
> But those who insist on viewing whoever owns JAWS throughout its
> history as predators, perhaps they should consider this information.
> As far as whether HJAWs developers do enough work to justify the price
> currently, I don't know.
> Gene
> ----- Original Message -----
> *From:* Lino Morales <mailto:linomorales001@...>
> *Sent:* Tuesday, October 03, 2017 6:08 PM
> *To:* <>
> *Subject:* Re: [nvda] WebAim Screen Reader User Survey #7: Getting The
> Word Out About NVDA
> Great post Eric. I wasn't around in the 70's or didn't know jack horse
> maneur about AT. Viva la NVDA!
> On 10/2/2017 5:50 PM, erik burggraaf wrote:
>> 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.
>> Best,
>> Erik
>> 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.
>>> Gene
>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>> *From:* erik burggraaf <mailto:erik@...>
>>> *Sent:* Monday, October 02, 2017 4:03 PM
>>> *To:* <>
>>> *Subject:* Re: [nvda] WebAim Screen Reader User Survey #7: Getting
>>> The Word Out About NVDA
>>> 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.
>>> Best,
>>> Erik
>>> 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.
>>>> Gene
>>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>>> *From:* Sky Mundell <mailto:skyt@...>
>>>> *Sent:* Monday, October 02, 2017 3:00 PM
>>>> *To:* <>
>>>> *Subject:* Re: [nvda] WebAim Screen Reader User Survey #7: Getting
>>>> The Word Out About NVDA
>>>> 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:* [] *On Behalf
>>>> Of *erik burggraaf
>>>> *Sent:* Monday, October 02, 2017 10:12 AM
>>>> *To:*
>>>> *Subject:* Re: [nvda] WebAim Screen Reader User Survey #7: Getting
>>>> The Word Out About NVDA
>>>> 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.
>>>> Have fun,
>>>> Erik
>>>> On October 2, 2017 12:57:37 AM "Sarah k Alawami"
>>>> <marrie12@... <mailto: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.
>>>>     Take care
>>>>     On Oct 1, 2017, at 9:34 PM, Gene New Zealand
>>>>     <hurrikennyandopo@...
>>>>     <mailto:hurrikennyandopo@...>> wrote:
>>>>     hi Bhavya
>>>>     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.
>>>>     Gene nz
>>>>     On 10/1/2017 2:20 AM, Bhavya shah wrote:
>>>>         Dear all,
>>>>         Since almost a decade, WebAim, a non-profit web accessibility
>>>>         consultancy organisation, has been conducting an annual
>>>>         (sometimes
>>>>         biennial) survey, which, as its name implies, attempts to
>>>>         gather
>>>>         statistics about the usage share of different screen readers,
>>>>         technology (particularly Internet) accessibility trends,
>>>>         etc. so as to
>>>>         aid analysts, researchers, accessibility consultants, sighted
>>>>         developers, and mainstream companies to get a quantified
>>>>         picture of
>>>>         the state of the AT industry.
>>>>         While this survey features participation from varied
>>>>         geographies,
>>>>         NVDA’s user base, at least in my personal view, has always been
>>>>         understated. While 8% respondents of the first December
>>>>         2008 WebAim
>>>>         survey reported to be NVDA users, this figure has only
>>>>         increased to
>>>>         14% of respondents in its 2015 counterpart claiming to use
>>>>         NVDA as
>>>>         their primary screen reader and 41% using it commonly, a
>>>>         usage share
>>>>         substantially lower than NVDA’s commercial and more
>>>>         expensive screen
>>>>         reading alternatives.
>>>>         I think it would be a great way of playing our tiny part in
>>>>         getting
>>>>         the word out about NVDA’s viability and competency  if all NVDA
>>>>         community members, users, testers and other related parties,
>>>>         particularly from second and third world developing regions
>>>>         which
>>>>         often remain silent for such surveys but where free and
>>>>         open source
>>>>         NVDA makes a prominent impact, take this survey and
>>>>         contribute to
>>>>         letting the world know about the size and standing of the
>>>>         NVDA user
>>>>         base.
>>>>         The URL of said survey is
>>>>         .
>>>>         It took me about ten minutes to fill this survey and the
>>>>         form was
>>>>         extremely accessible. Not only from an NVDA angle, but
>>>>         filling such
>>>>         surveys always brings out useful and reflective data,
>>>>         which, in turn,
>>>>         betters AT as a whole. Therefore, I urge everyone to take
>>>>         some time
>>>>         out for this survey so that we can make the data truly
>>>>         reflective of
>>>>         the actualities.
>>>>         Thanks.
>>>>         P.S. I am in no way affiliated to WebAim nor is my
>>>>         intention to merely
>>>>         promote this survey.
>>>>     --
>>>>     Image NVDA certified expert
>>>>     Check out my website for NVDA tutorials and other blindness
>>>>     related material at
>>>>     <> 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
>>>>     (Aotearoa People's Network Kaharoa). To find an NVDA certified
>>>>     expert near you, please visit the following link
>>>> 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.

Sincereley: Randy Barnett
Owner of Soundtique.
1897 SE Dr.
Grants Pass, Or. 97526

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