Windows 8 introduces several improvements to Narrator, its built in speech capability. Like VoiceOver in the early days, there is much that Narrator doesn’t do, but it already has many of the characteristics you’d expect to find in a screen reader.
Windows 8 is a big change from Windows 7. With features like the Metro start screen and charm bar, the interface has been completely reworked and the focus is on touch screen devices. That also means a whole new set of shortcut keys for keyboard devices too.
This post was updated on 8th July 2012, to reflect changes in the Windows 8 release edition. Windows 8 has several accessibility improvements. One of the most noticeable is Narrator, Windows’ built in speech capability. Narrator has grown up in Windows 8, and now comes with a lot more to offer.
NVDA is one of a new generation of access technologies for blind and partially sighted people. It’s given thousands of blind people a chance to use a computer, and it’s the darling of the open standards community, but on 19th January NVDA’s developers sent out an urgent SOS.
Windows 7 has an Ease of Access Center, which was originally introduced in Windows Vista. It’s a single place where all of the accessibility features and settings can be found. Windows 7 includes some new accessibility tools, and improvements to existing ones.
Vinux is a Linux distribution optimised for blind and partially sighted people. Originally based on Ubuntu, Vinux 2.0 beta was released earlier this month based on the Debian distribution. Vinux boots with screen reader and Braille support fully loaded, and with screen magnification available at a simple keystroke.