by Andrew Kirkpatrick

 Comments (15)


May 20, 2012

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

Content in this blog post is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Example code provided is licensed under Adobe’s Creative Commons Plus License.

Adobe continues our support for NVAccess development of the NVDA screen reader in 2012, and with that funding we are supporting a number of priorities designed to help NVAccess developers continue to offer an up-to-date tool for end users as well as developers seeking to provide accessible applications and web sites. Included in the list of priorities is support for ongoing improvements to NVDA’s ability to interact with PDF documents, AIR applications, and ebooks read in Adobe Digital Editions, and for general HTML and ARIA improvements.

For PDF specifically, we recognize the value of NVDA supporting the upcoming PDF/UA standard (ISO 14289) and have agreed with NVAccess that the PDF-focused portion of the work should be focused on enabling NVDA to become a PDF/UA compliant assistive technology.

Past improvements to NVDA’s support for PDF have brought significant benefits for NVDA users reading PDF documents. These past improvements were not designed to focus on PDF/UA compliance, but most of the improvements serve to accomplish compliance and dovetail nicely with current efforts focused on the new standard. The work to make NVDA compliant with PDF/UA will not be able to be completed in the current year, as the scope of work is beyond what can be completed within the current year’s funding, but we expect to be able to provide details about progress in the coming months. As support for PDF/UA is an important goal, we will seek ways to offer support to NVAccess in future years also.

We are almost halfway through the year for this funding and NVAccess developers have made continual improvements – we encourage screen reader users and accessibility-interested developers to download the latest release of NVDA to read ebooks, test web pages, read PDF documents, and more. NVDA is a great tool and Adobe is pleased to help support its development.

Update: We should also clarify that our support for NVDA does not come at the expense of support for other assistive technologies. Tools such as Claro Read, JAWS, Supernova, Window-Eyes, ZoomText, and many more are important tools that users depend on and we will continue to work with the vendors of these great tools.


  • By steve faulkner - 5:06 AM on May 21, 2012  

    Link “download the latest release of NVDA” is broken should point to

    • By AWK - 6:07 AM on May 21, 2012  

      Thanks Steve. Fixed in the post also, issue caused by pasting from word processor and “smart quotes” not converting correctly. Ugh.

  • By Elena Brescacin - 6:04 AM on May 24, 2012  

    hi, I am a blind user. I have jaws and NVDA, but also voiceover
    I hope you will improve support for voiceover screen reader, mac and iOS
    and android too
    PS for example, adobe air iOS applications are not supported by voiceover at all
    please fix

  • By Denis Boudreau - 3:10 PM on May 30, 2012  

    NVDA’s survival is extremely important for accessibilty and open source assistive technologies and it can only happen with companies like Adobe deciding to support the project.

    Thank you very, very much for doing so.

  • By Jake Joehl - 11:42 AM on June 4, 2012  

    I got a Dell laptop for Christmas and installed NVDA on it, and I also use System Access and the System Access Mobile Network. I’ve only been using NVDA for a few years but I really like it, and thank you Adobe for supporting the NV Access Foundation. Although I am still trying to figure a few things out with NVDA such as the OCR feature, I hope development of this great screen reader can continue because more and more people are relying on it as their primary screen reader. Currently I can’t donate money on my own, but I’m really going to push for this to change.

  • By Duncan Edwards - 4:50 PM on July 21, 2012  

    I will be following your updates to add to my blog about new developments in communication aids and assistive technology.

  • By Charles Hudson - 7:41 PM on September 5, 2012  

    These types of technologies make things so much better for those that need them. Thank you for your efforts.

  • By sam - 11:45 AM on October 8, 2012  

    is there any way to use claroread on an adobe file?

    • By AWK - 11:50 AM on October 8, 2012  

      What kind of Adobe file?

  • By Rick - 6:04 PM on October 8, 2012  

    I work with students that use NVDA and Jaws. At times we have issues with ebooks, and command keys working properly. Does anyone have an references to this? NVDA has a lot of resources. I’m still searching for Jaws info. I notice the Control key allows me to navigate with Page Up key, as well the Page Down key… I couldn’t find that on NVDA’s site.. Anyone else have some input?


  • By David Imrie - 7:33 PM on March 2, 2013  

    I am creating interactive forms for visually impaired and otherwise print disabled students. I am using tool tips and the built in read out loud feature in acrobat. I have so far failed to use nvda to navigate the form. Can you refer me to relevant support for this screen reader?

  • By Charles Hill - 5:35 PM on April 19, 2013  

    When developing Air for iOS apps using Flash Professional CS6, VoiceOver support is not only lacking, but if the user has VoiceOver enabled, most of the touch and gesture events no longer work properly, thus completely breaking the app. Note that the alternative touch and gestures do not work properly either. This poses a serious problem for developing apps targeting iOS using Flash Professional CS6. Adobe should really put some effort into properly supporting accessibility on this important platform!

  • By Arnthor Helgason - 4:37 PM on May 1, 2013  

    I started using Adobe Digital Edition 5 months ago when my computer was updated to Windows 7. What a change! This dramatically changed my access to e-books drastically changing my situation in my office. I am now wondering if Digital Edition is accessible with Android tablets of phones.
    thanks for your excellent work.

    • By AWK - 4:43 PM on May 1, 2013  

      Digital Editions is just for Windows and Macintosh at present.