Re: edit user guide


I haven't looked at screen-reader user guides for a long time. My recollection is that in the past, they described Windows enough to allow someone to use it in basic ways such as describing how to work with files and folders. This was a long time ago when Windows 95 and 98 were being used and most blind people hadn't used Windows. That's how I learned enough about Windows to use it and to start adding to my knowledge in different ways.

You can discuss or debate whether it would be better to have a section in the guide before the guide starts about learning something about Windows or whether such a section should be its own separate document, but it might be a good idea to have something.


-----Original Message-----
From: Luke Davis
Sent: Wednesday, April 07, 2021 6:07 PM
Subject: Re: [nvda] edit user guide

On Wed, 7 Apr 2021, Brian Vogel wrote:

-And even though this is absolutely true, NVDA documentation should not focus on Windows commands, either.
I don't disagree, but I am curious about:

But it should be presumed that someone coming to NVDA is and has already been a Windows user and already
knows the keyboard shortcuts used to do things like cut, copy, paste, save, save as, and the list goes on and on.
Why should that be presumed?

As I understand it, one of the core intents for NVDA is second or third world
use, where other screen readers are either not available, or are prohibitively
expensive. (Obviously, this does not take into account Narrator's increasing

In such circumstances, a blind user likely has no Windows experience at all, and
shouldn't be expected to have it. Additionally, it doesn't seem reasonable to
assume that such users have good access to trainers of any kind beyond basic

Therefore, what am I missing that makes it logical to expect them to have prior
Windows experience?

It is important, critically important, to be able to separate out "who controls what," and by that I mean knowing what commands are Windows commands and work pretty much everywhere under Windows, what are screen reader commands, and what are commands specific to the application being accessed.
Absolutely true. In my experience, trainers for Window-eyes and Jaws, have
rarely taught that difference. People I have worked with to try to teach them
to use NVDA, have often been completely ignorant, and surprised by the
fact, that some of the shortcuts they knew were actually Windows commands. They
tend to assume that nothing they already know is applicable, because they think
it is all screen reader commands; and are afraid to try things because they
think it will make something happen that they won't be able to come back from.
Worse, as I understand it, sometimes Jaws, et al have created their own versions
of Windows shortcut commands, which just muddies the waters.


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