JAWS in Education

The last worldwide survey of screen readers was conducted by the organisation WebAim in 2011. It found that JAWS was used by around 70% of blind people making it the predominant screen reader by far.

JAWS is a professionally supported software program that has a range of advantages over its freeware counterparts, particularly in the area of Braille support.

Increasingly we are seeing State Education systems use freeware programs like NVDA as an alternative to JAWS, not because they are better, but only because they are free. This is a short sighted and cynical saving.

There is nothing wrong with NVDA, however JAWS is better, and it is what students will encounter in higher education and employment. It’s also a matter of equity and will remain so until all students are using freeware for all their vital educational goals.