Re: NVDA in Employment

erik burggraaf <erik@...>

Hi Jene,

On August 25, 2019 5:39:25 PM "Gene" <gsasner@...> wrote:

It appears to me that you are trying much too hard from what looks to me to be a defend NVDA position rather than a what is in the real world position.

The world is changing.  15 years ago we couldn't have this conversation at all.  Now it's a hot debate.  I'm successfully using NVDA in a variety of real world situations every day for work and school.  If it isn't perfect, it has risen to every challenge, and I have certainly not taken the time to master advanced features or experiment with official add-ons that would greatly enhance my productivity.  Interest I have, time not so much.  I'm also substantially envolved in suing companies for discrimination and creating employment programs for employers and blind employees in Canada.  I also handle some high level accessibility testing and quality analysis.  I'm just about to start a contract with Nelson Publishing for example to do various types of software quality control and accessibility evaluation.  I've also done significant paid training on jaws, and I assure you, my jaws training customers are not so happy campers.  I hate unhappy customers, especially when there in't a damn thing I can do about it.  I think my experience makes my opinion count for something, but unless supported by fact, it remains just that, an opinion.

NVDA has no way for the user to designate frames and have things happen in those frames.  There may be technical reasons why NVDA can't have that feature.  But it is a significant deficiency for some, perhaps many, work situations and other settings where customization is necessary. 

Frames are a neat feature.  I used them a fair bit and often set them up for training customers to do various things.  Frames aren't exactly the most stable solution though.  If the size or position of the program window changes your frames start doing very funny things.  If your software gets an upgrade the position of features can be reset in the interface, or jaws can fail to recognize the new version as the same software altogether.  The script files that generate the frames can get corupted.  All kinds of things can happen.  Even with voiceover hotspots which are a lot easier to implement than frames, you get most of these issues.  It's infinitely more reliable to expose all UI elements to a standard API, and let a screen reader interact with them directly.  The elements can go anywhere on the screen, you get more events, and standard keyboard shortcuts can be used.  All in theory of course, but significant development work has proven the theory and this is the direction the market is headed.

Can NVDA be made to indicate a capital letter when using read to end or up and down arrowing, reading by line?  This is important in the workplace and anywhere else where people proof materials such as reports or papers, as in schools and colleges. 

I don't know the answer to this.  Though it could potentially be useful to me in my programming I get so much information from speech that I haven't missed this piece.  However, my word processor and various code editors will point out misuse of capitals, and find and replace will let me quickly match case on any instance of a variable or proper noun.

Also, it is my recollection, that JAWS can be made to indicate extra spaces in a document.  I suspect it can indicate other things such as two periods, etc, when reading or moving line by line.  Can NVDA do that?

NVDA does have support for repeated text, but I have never had a use for anything as fine tuned as what you're describing.  I leave two spaces between sentences as a matter of course, and so having that announced might not be as usefull as all that.

While it may be that standards are being implemented more in software, I doubt the implementation is anywhere near adequate in the wide range of programs used by businesses.

Of course not.  It may take another decade or two before the trend is fully actualized.  Ontario for example has a barrier free target of 2025.  They'll never make it, even though efforts are ramping up. 

It's a trend powered by massive legal precedent and legislation around the world and backed by a groundswell of social innovation in which NV Access is a world leader.  It's benefits to us are unparalelled.  why would we bary our heads in the sand and hope the change never comes?  In this case, I believe it's better to embrace the change and, in as much as possible and desireable, direct the change so that we get the maximum benefit from it.

----- Original Message -----

From: erik burggraaf
Sent: Sunday, August 25, 2019 1:27 PM
Subject: Re: [nvda] NVDA in Emploandenp

Hi Kelby
On August 25, 2019 7:39:31 AM "kelby carlson" <kelbycarlson@...> wrote:

I hope this isn't too off-topic. I recently heard an argument that NVDA is
bad for blind prospect's in employment because it is the "dumbed down"

That sounds like the blather of some one who recommended commercial screen
readers for 20 years and is now having their apple cart upset.  I've seen
this time and time again and will keep seeing it as long as accessibility
is a thing.  When some one has to use dirision rather than fact to steer
you away from one product and ttowards another, an alarm bell should shreek
in your head.

The person arguing this elaborated, saying that NVDA is not
customizable/flexible enough (too chatty"),

This is a matter of personal preference, but I can make NVDA do the common
things such as punctuation level that I sometimes need to configure.

that it was not able to be scripted as easily,

Now, I have heard argued the other point that NVDA is easier to scrypt than
jaws and I subscribe to this view.  Consider, there are many more python
programmers in the world than jaws scripters.  A company can script NVDA in
house using their own IT department.  Otherwise, the company needs to
outsource jaws scripting to an access technology professional.  The prices
I have seen quoted range from $500 per hour to $150 per line.
it didn't work well with as much proprietary software,

An argument that shows no understanding of access technology trends.  It is
no longer the purview of a screen reader to work with particular software.
In the current and emerging model, an operating system creates
accessibility API's that comply with recognized standards.  Screen readers
provide access using the API's and standards.  Software manufacturers are
increasingly  legally and socially obligated to comply with accessibility
standards and implement API's and ffeatures for accessibility provided by
the system.  Employers are increasingly legally and socially obligated to
procure technology hardware and software that complies with accessibility
standards so that it can work with access technologies.  NVDA has been
considered the most standards compliant screen rreader for several years as
far as I know,.

and that it wouldn't be allowed on secure environments due to being open

Extrordinarily foolish.  If open source software is insecure, why is it
powering the commercial internet?  If commercial software is inherantly
secure, why do we need to spend billians of dollars protecting windows
against viruses?  NVD'S licencing makes it time and cost efficient to
install across large networks such as call centre floors holding thousands
of computer workstations.  If your corporate network is secure, than
running NVDA can't possibly be less secure  than running say adobe reader,
which is a known constantly volnerable commercial product.

So my question is this: how many people here use NVDA for work,

I do.  I'm a compuuter programming student working as a web application
developer for wholenote media in Toronto.  I've experienced some of the
things members are saying about programming tools such as long delays using
intelisense.  Not 30 seconds but finger-chompingly long lag.  This is the
fault of software developers such as Microsoft for not complying with
standards or even properly implementing their own API's.  At least, if you
want me to consider that there might be something in NVDA causing severe
lag in microsoft intelisense, how about giving us full access to xaml
designer, rad tools, and unit testing among other things.  If ms could say
their product was up to snuff, then I'd consider that there's an
ineficiency in NVDA.  Otherwise, autocomplete works well for me in browsers
and in VSCode though I haven't tried in notepadplusplus with the add on.
We can talk about it when visual studio becomes truly viable for accessibility.

and is there a notable dilerence in level of usability with JAWS?

I couldn't speak to this.  I haven't used jaws since the days of 4.5.  I
have provided some computer training on jaws systems though and have
experienced significant frustration using google chrome, excel 2016,
windows 10 mail, and other things.  In helping jaws users the last year or
so, I've seen an issue where displaying web content poops out.  Jaws
scripts still have a bent for corrupting themselves and needing to be
re-installed.  And they still haven't figured out how to deal with issues
such as laptops switching video cards for various power profiles and
ditching the authorization.

I was at the college last week getting set up for my fall semester classes.
When I sat down with my access technologist, a nondisabled college
employee, he imediately expressed frustration to me over use of jaws in the
college.  He told me that in general nvda was working much better on
college systems than jaws, nvda is superior at the maths I have to do this
semester compared to jaws, and he thought for it's effectiveness, jaws was
way over priced.  This is a complete turnaround from 2.5 years ago when I
was registering for courses.  At that time, jaws was everything according
to this guy.  He was extremely skeptical of NVDA and only implemented it
for me because I insisted.  He was also dead set against mac and has had to
rethink that position too.  :-)

I've told the story many times about going into the interview at the call
centre back in 16.  It looked like they were gung hoe to hire me.  Their IT
guy that I was working with said, "thank god you really wanted NVDA.  Jaws
won't even load up on our systems for testing."  He also told me they would
script NVDA in house using their python programmers.  I didn't get hired,
but I don't think it had anything to do with  equipment and resources.

Hope this helps,

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