Figure: The logo of NV Access, the creators of NVDA.

NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access) is a free and open source screen reader application for the Windows OS. It is developed by NV Access, a non-profit organization which was established in 2007 by two blind childhood friends, in order to develop and support free and open source software for visually impaired individuals. The founders of NV Access began developing NVDA when they realized that most of the available screenreader programs were prohibitively expensive, costing up to thousands of dollars. Thus, they set out to build a free and accessible solution in order to provide millions of visually impaired individuals a way of interacting with their computer. To this end, NVDA contains, among other features, a speech synthesizer supporting over 50 languages, automatic announcement of text under the mouse, and support for refreshable Braille displays.


Gedeon d' Abreu de Paulo

I am a first-year Msc Computer Science student at TU Delft, currently specializing in bioinformatics.

Robin Cromjongh

I am a second year Msc Computer Science student at the TU Delft, specialising in Artificial Intelligence and Human-Computer interaction.

Ricardo Jongerius

First-year Msc Computer Science. Interested in AI. Love film and cinema. Want to use data to improve people's life.

Hang Ji

I am a Msc Embedded Systems student at TU Delft, currently specializing in software & networking.

NVDA, Variability for Usability

In the previous three articles, we presented various insightful analyses of NVDA by exploring the codebase. In the last article of this series, we will focus on the variability of the great screenreader software NVDA, which aims to make the computer freely accessible for blind and visually impaired individuals. In the software architecture lecture, the variability is explained as the following1: the ability of a software system to be efficiently extended, changed, customized or configured for use in a particular context.
March 29, 2021

NVDA, Promise of Quality

As mentioned in our previous articles, NVDA screen reader is an open source project with the primary goal of making computers accessible for blind and visually impaired people. In this article, we will look at the steps that the NVDA community takes to ensure the system quality, so that NVDA can achieve its primary goal and be stable and reliable for users. Overview of System Quality Processes In this section, we give an overview of how NVDA maintains the system quality throughout the development processes.
March 22, 2021

The Building Blocks of NVDA

In our previous blog NVDA’s vision, we gave an overview of the screen reading application NVDA, which aims to help visually impaired people access their computer. In this blog, we dive into the source code of NVDA and analyze the project from a developer’s point of view. Architectural View In Cesare Pautasso’s book Software Architecture: Visual Lecture Notes1, he gives two viewpoints of analyzing software architecture, the descriptive architectural view and the prescriptive architectural view.
March 15, 2021

NVDA's Vision

NVDA (Non-visual Desktop Access) is a free and open source Screen Reader for the Microsoft Windows operating system and many other windows-based third-party applications. It provides synthetic speech and Braille feedback of the computer screen, providing a way for blind and visually impaired individuals to freely and easily access their computers. The most exciting aspect of NVDA for the users is that it is completely free, with the founders strongly believing that: