screen readers

About the screen readers

The screen readers are

  • Non Visuall Desktop Access (NVDA),
  • Job Access With speach (JAWS),
  • and

  • Voiceover

NVdA (Non Visual Desctop Access.

NVDA is a free, open-source screen reader created by two developers. Their names are Michael Curran and James Teh. They wanted to make a free screen reader because some screen readers cost more than some computers.
It was created in April 2006 by Michael Curran. James Teh was invited after he completed his degree in the IT field. NVDA has been translated into more than 43 languages by volunteers. If you want to learn more, or download NVDA go to the NVDA homepage

JAWS (Job access with Speach)

Jaws is a screen reader that was developed by FreedomScientific. It was released in 1989 by Ted Henter. Ted was a motorcycle racer who lost his sight in an accident. In 1985 he and Bill Joyce started a company called the Henter-Joyce Corporation in St. Petersburg, Florida. In 1990 Bill sold his share to Ted.

Then in 2000, the Henter-Joyce company joined up with two other companies: the Blazie Engineering and Arkenstone Inc. The group is now known as FreedomScientific. The Home Edition costs $900.00 and the Professional costs $1100.00. If you like to perches JAWS go to The jaws perches page

If you would like to check out their other products go to the freedom scientific main page


Voiceover is a screen reader that was built for the Mac then later it came out for the iPhone 3GS. When It came out for the Mac it started out as a preview on Mac OS X 10.3 Panther, and it was called “Spoken Interface Preview. Then It was brought to Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger and was called voiceover. It was made to be used for people who are blind. When Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard came out, Apple added the Alex voice. It sounded more human and had better quality in speech. The Alex voice also has breathing for example if your reading a long paragraph it will pauz and take a breath before continuing.

After voiceover was successful it was added to the iPod Sshuffle. It helped people control the playback of songs by reading them out the titles. When the 2010 version of the iPod came out, people could have voiceover read out their playlists. Unlike voiceover on Mac OS X where voiceover is retailed as an accessibility feature,, on the Ipod Shuffle voiceover was made to be used by everyone not just the people who are blind.

When the iPhone 3GS was released on July 10th, 2008 Voiceover was added to IOS. In the third generation of the iPod touch the iPod was upgrated to match the hardware of the 3GS. The upgrade also gave it voiceover capabilities. On the IOS platform Voiceover is controlled by using different gestures for example sliding one finger on the screen will have voiceover read out what your finger is passing over. To open the Item the user will double tap on the screen just like how a sighted person will tap once on the screen to open a app or folder. Voiceover can also shut off the screen but, still leave the touch screen active. It is called screen curtain. Its also available on Mac OS X. Under settings you can turn on voiceover by going to general and accessibility then voiceover. You can also press the home button three times or, ask Siri to turn on voiceover.