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The Emergence Of Non Visual Desktop Access (NVDA) Technology


The Emergence Of Non Visual Desktop Access (NVDA) Technology

By Yahuza Yahaya

The 21st Century comes with significant change in technological advancement, especially in information and communication technology. This development carries different categories of people, without emphasis on sex or classification. This trend necessitates all people to adopt ICT as a solution to numerous problems.

However, this development paves the way for all categories of people to take part by contributing meaningfully in the development of ICT which is seen as a deriving factor in the 21st century and regarded as a rapid developing sector world over.

Information and communication technology’s importance is enormous in all aspects of human endeavors, to the extent that some are of the opinion that ICT addicts hardly survive without the facilities. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why a times it’s reported that ICT replaces partners.

Moreover, at this time where professions made by scholars from both information and communication technology as well as Mass Communication like Marshall Mc Lohan who prophesied that one day Mass Communication would gather the whole world into a small village where there will be easy access of information and communication as well as quick accessibility.

Like any other person, visually impaired also join the trend also by developing a software that can help them get access to Computer and other digital devices, although different version of softwares were developed by different software developers but due to high cost of obtaining the software limit, their accessibility for instance softwares like Jaws, Thunderstone, windows eye and Apple accessor are very expensive to obtain and install by many visually impaired especially in Africa and Asia where virtually all of them are poor. For example Jaws costs at least ₦100,000 to obtain the license.

Furthermore, the Emergence of Non-visual Desktop Access (NVDA) which was developed by NV access, a non-profit organization committed to helping and promoting free and open source solutions for blind and impaired people. The software which is used with the aid of speech synthesizer makes provision for visually impaired to not only access materials that are on their PC`s but even Support for popular applications including web browsers, email clients, internet chat programs and office suites, built-in speech synthesizer supporting over 80 languages, reporting of textual formatting where available such as font name and size, style and spelling errors, automatic announcement of text under the mouse and optional audible indication of the mouse position, support for many refreshable braille displays, including input of computer braille for braille displays which have a braille keyboard, ability to run entirely from a USB stick or other portable media without the need for installation, easy to use talking installer, translated into 51 languages, support for modern Windows Operating Systems including both 32 and 64 bit variants, ability to run on Windows logon and other secure screens, support for common accessibility interfaces such as Microsoft active Accessibility, Java Access Bridge, IAccessible2 and UI Automation (UI Automation only supported in Windows 7 and later) and Support for Windows Command Prompt and console applications.

Similarly, the software helps in making professional tasks easy. For instance, Journalists in the broadcast field use the software to perform some of their tasks, for a Journalist that is either a reporter or program producer can use the software to produce his program because it supports some voice editing software, such as audacity and adobe audition, using short cut to manipulate the software. it enhances effective editing of voices. It makes production easy for blind journalists. In years back, visually impaired students were using typewriters in carrying out their academic and office activities such as assignments, tests and examinations in schools. But today the emergence of software that can be used to manipulate computers has opened a new dimension in carrying out their academic activities.

This development provides a ground or an avenue where a student can interface with his computer, in the days of typewriters many students faced a series of challenges ranging from clarity of text, inability to erase errors, at some point there were reported cases of student writing exams that cannot be read. But the emergence of computers enables them to know what they are writing.

Regarding employment, in the years back visually impaired persons had limitations on job to be doing, they were only limited to teaching in special education or social work, craft in the blind workshops, but today with the advent of computers one can work anywhere in the world.

In conclusion, to recommend how to make what was discussed above accessible to whom the write up may concern, the following recommendations are important: visual impaired persons should adopt the use of ICT in order to have a smooth and easy education pursuit.

Due to the high cost of the software’s wealth, individuals, Government and non-governmental organizations support VIPS with such devices and soft wires as demonstrated by Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic ATAP where the institution provides Laptop to all final year VIPS in the Polytechnic.

Government as well as private schools should be teaching VIPS computers instead of typewriters. More persons with specialization in handily computers who can train VIPS should be employed.

Providing scholarships for Visual Impaired persons to have advance training on ICT is required. Finally, academic institutions should accept the use of computers as a medium of communication between students and lecturers in writing assignments, tests and exams; this is with the view to have clear and communication flow.

Yahuza Yahaya,

Writes from the Mass Communication Department, Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic Bauchi.


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