RE Using NVDA To Create a Digital Signature

David Russell

Hi Again,

I am the editor and publisher of a forthcoming anthology. Eight
authors need to grant permission by signing a publisher's agreement
once they receive it by email. This grants permission to publish their
story in an anthology. They will also date their signature and have a
30-day period to do so. Then, they will return the signed agreement to
me by email attachment.

My questions are these:
1. My research shows this can be done with MS Word or with online
aids like Docusign. However, as a blind user, accessibility is an
issue from what I read by a Blind Lawyer Advocacy Group in California.
The contributing authors are sighted; I am not.
2. I can send the authors the agreement as a doc file attached to
email. They will then scan, sign and return it to me. How would I as
the publisher and a blind person, scan and sign my portion of the
'Or, can I just fill in the information on MS Word and leave a disclaimer?

I hope this is clearer than my original question.

David Russell
Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries.
James A. Michener

Pranav Lal

Hi David,

We are dealing with 2 ways to sign documents.
1. A digital signature.
In this case, the author would use a digital certificate to sign the document. Ideally, this certificate should be one issued by a government authority. A self-signed digital signature may not do. You will need to check the laws. This is accessible because you will be able to read if the document is signed or not and can verify the validity of the certificate. Alternatively, authors could buy certificates from certification authorities and have them signed that way. I do not know if they would be valid for signing contracts but this is how the current security infrastructure of the Internet works. You could also use a digital signature and sign the document the same way as the authors do. This is the most accessible approach.
2. Inserting the image of a signature into a document
You could also ask authors to insert an image of the signature into the word document. This too is called a digital signature which is what makes things confusing. There is no easy way for you to verify this. I could say that you could perhaps extract the image from each contract and run it through the vOICe for windows at This would give you the shape of the signature but then you may not have anything to compare it with. Best get sighted assistance. If you can't then you could get very fancy and write an image comparison program. However, once again, you would need reference data.
If you go with the scanned documents approach, keep the e-mail from the author where he has sent the signed copy. I think this may be valid in a court of law but once again, please check with a lawyer.
As for you, you could draw your signature on paper, scan it and insert it as an image into the word document. Your authors would do things the same way.