I recently purchased an El Braille from Freedom Scientific, and over
all, I think it is an amazing product. Hardware specs aren't much to
speak on, but for what it does, not a bad product at all. However, there
is one major issue I have run in to. That is, the lack of Spanish
Braille entry support in JAWS. Called up VFO, only to be told that if I
wanted to use JAWS in another language, I would have to buy another
license from a distributor in Latin America. I informed them that no, I
was able to get Spanish JAWS to activate here in the U.S, (by keeping
format options set to English-US, and in almost every way, it works.
However, even in the Spanish version of JAWS, the only Braille entry
offered is computer Braille. While I am used to, and much prefer having
my OS in Spanish, and can read Spanish Braille, I have no idea how to
type certain things in eight dot, aka computer, Braille. And it seems
that VFO just didn't want to deal with it. Even contacted a distributor
in Argentina, only to be told that since I didn't buy the license from
them, that they could not offer support.
So, that got me thinking. I have used NVDA for years. the commands are
already more familiar to me. Granted, I had never used it with a Braille
display before, bbut I thought... this thing runs Windows. What can stop
me from putting NVDA on it and doing things that way? I detached the
focus 14 and took NVDA with the focus 14 for a quick test drive. Spanish
input and output work perfectly so far as I could tell..
So, here are a few things I have noticed.
1. There doesn't seem to be any support for simulating a press of a
function key from the Braille display.
2. It does not seem possible to do keystrokes which require several
modifiers at once, (alt + tab, alt + f4, ctrl + C, etc. Am I missing
something, or is my assesment correct? Does anyone else on this list
have an El Braille? I wonder if an NVDA addon could be produced to make
it play nicer with this particular device.
There are several reasons one might wish to do this. I already explained
my reasoning, but being that there are only 2 gb of ram on the device,
NVDA is a much lighter program, not so much of a resource hog. Also, a
lot of the NVDA commands seem to be much more intuitive. A W-chord (for
Windows makes lots more sense than right shift + dot 4. E-chord for
escape, makes a lot more sense than the Z-chord used by Jaws.