Re: Article on Screen Reader History (including NVDA)


I used both ASAP and ASAW and they were very interesting screen-readers. 

I have no idea how well using AI as ASAW did would have worked as Windows and Windows programs continued to develop.  It gave pretty good access in Windows 95 and it was an interesting approach.  . 

On 7/24/2022 4:16 PM, David Goldfield wrote:

Brett, as the focus of the article seemed to be on Windows screen readers it’s somewhat understandable that Larry Skutchan’s contributions to the field weren’t mentioned. He did develop a Windows screen reader called ASAW which I did use but it never lasted past the Windows 95 era.


David Goldfield,

Blindness Assistive Technology Specialist

NVDA Certified Expert


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From: <> On Behalf Of Brett Boyer
Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2022 10:13 AM
Subject: Re: [nvda] Article on Screen Reader History (including NVDA)


If an article on screen leader history doesn’t include window eyes or ASAP, as well as some of the international screen readers we’re hearing about from some of your great folks, this article cannot be that great. I know, I need to go read it. I will. But, just looking at this thread, I’m feeling already that this article is not as good as it could be. I will go read it now and shut up.



On Jul 19, 2022, at 6:13 AM, Pamela Dominguez <pammygirl99@...> wrote:

Because it doesn’t work anywhere near as well as window eyes, and it keeps crapping out.  I’ll be in the middle of something, and it will shut up like somebody pulled the plug.  Part of it is because I’m used to window eyes, and the rest of it is just because it keeps malfunctioning.  Pam.


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From: Gene
Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2022 8:08 AM
Subject: Re: [nvda] Article on Screen Reader History (including NVDA)


Is that because you are used to doing some things another way such as use the WE cursor?  Most of what you do with any screen-reader is to issue program and Windows commands and certain screen-reader commands such as read to end, read title bar, and quick navigation keys on web pages.

In short, since most of what is done with a screen-reader doesn't involve screen-reader commands, why do you dislike it so much?


On 7/19/2022 7:02 AM, Pamela Dominguez wrote:

I used window eyes from about 2002 until a couple of months ago.  I still have the windows seven computer that has it on it.  I like that screenreader.  I have jaws on this windows ten box, and I hate jaws with a passion!  Pam.


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From: Michael Munn
Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2022 7:26 AM
Subject: Re: [nvda] Article on Screen Reader History (including NVDA)


I was a user of Window-eyes for several years before they sentenced that screen reader to death. Window-eyes is one the only screen reader is far I know of ever made a deal with Microsoft so this way it’s user can use Office for free. Heck, that was the screen reader my school taught me to use when I was in seventh grade because they have the latest version of Office. Right now I’m a heavy user of Jaws in Windows, and I just recently getting in to Voice Over on the Mac. I do use NVDA but I’m not a full time user of it.  It is good for an operating system to be open sourced so this way the end user with vision problem can have multiple choice to what screen reader they choose to install on their machine.

Best regards

Michael H> Munn

From: <> On Behalf Of Shawn via
Sent: Monday, July 18, 2022 9:57 PM
Subject: Re: [nvda] Article on Screen Reader History (including NVDA)


Yeah, I couldn't get that because you have to have a Brazilian bank account in a certain bank to get it. I thought it would be cool to try it. I did have DosVox though for a while and played around with it some years ago. There were some cool games, I especially liked the one where you have to try to land on the moon. But I had to use a different voice, the native voice was incomprehensible to me as it was just made up of a bunch of syllables in wav files. Sounded like an alien robot. For native speakers it wasn't a problem, but for me I hated it. Luckily you could use a Sapi voice with it. It was basically a screen reader for people who didn't want to have to learn windows. It had loads of parts like a word processor, dictionaries, a telnet type client, and a file manager and I forget what else. Lots of people say it makes its users lazy for that reason, and they don't bother learning how to do things with windows and other programs.

Shawn Klein

On 7/18/2022 6:35 PM, Rui Fontes wrote:

And everybody have forgoten a screen reader developed in Brasil, named Virtual Vision...


Rui Fontes


Às 00:28 de 19/07/2022, Gene escreveu:

the article is interesting and it has good information about JAWS and NVDA.  But it has problems.  It should have said something about Window-eyes because a lot of people used it and it was a good screen-reader.  It helped in development of screen-reader innovations in ways that should have been noted.

But a serious problem in the article is that it gives the reader the impression that there shouldn't need to be independently developed screen-readers if developers of software built accessibility into them.  This is erroneous for two reasons.

First, yes, accessibility should be built into programs and operating systems but we have been better served by screen-readers being developed outside of operating system programmers.  We are much better off having choices when it  comes  to Windows screen-readers.  It is a constantly stated truism that some screen-readers work better with some programs than others.  If Microsoft had developed a good screen-reader from the outset, we would probably only have one screen-reader and even if we would benefit from having more, we wouldn't. 

The article doesn't discuss this at all and the author is evidently completely unaware of the arguments about which is better, one screen-reader developed by the developers of an operating system or what exists regarding Windows.

I think we are much better off as things are. 


On 7/14/2022 10:06 PM, Laurie Mehta via wrote:


I came across this today and am sharing it here because I think that many here will find it interesting. (Link below my name…)



The hidden history of screen readers







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