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In the world of adaptive technology, it is always a question of compatibility when it comes to upgrading, especially when people who are blind have to contend with a brand new operating system that’s just been released to the masses.

The question always surfaces when choosing a computer and setup. Has adaptive technology caught up to the recent changes and upgrades?

Freedom Scientific, the manufacturer most known for it’s screen reader called JAWS, Job Access With Speech, has announced that JAWS has a compatible update for Windows 10.

They made an official announcement on their website about the update, stating the compatibility of the latest updates of the JAWS® 16 screen reader and MAGic® 13 screen magnification software with Windows® 10.

“Over the past few months we have worked with Microsoft to ensure compatibility with Windows 10. The newest versions of JAWS and MAGic are ready for Windows 10, without the need for paid upgrades,” said Eric Damery, Vice President of Software Management at Freedom Scientific in an official statement on their website and in their press release.

The upgrade process is very simple for folks who already have JAWS16. They just need to hit check for updates in the help menu and then install the 16.0.4350 patch. Windows 8 users need only perform three steps, including running the utility tool to help remove older versions.

Windows 7 users should be aware of a few things, however. For one, it’s recommended that both MAGic and OpenBook be uninstalled, because your Freedom Scientific products will not run until you reinstall the latest versions of JAWS 16, MAGic 13, or OpenBook 9. They suggest you not run the utility until you are ready to start the Windows 10 upgrade.

Just because JAWS is ready for Windows 10 that does not mean the native applications are ready for JAWS. Microsoft says that Edge, the new browser, is not accessible yet. For email, Microsoft recommends users of assistive technology not use the built-in email client at this time. Lastly, for PDF documents, they suggest users install a third-party reader such as Adobe Acrobat Reader 11 or Adobe Acrobat DC.

With the new release of Windows 10 and the JAWS patch, Windows 10 will become more accessible to JAWS users. For those who use NVDA, however, work is already in progress with the latest NVDA snapshots. The community is already working to make Edge likewise accessible.

Robert Kingett

Robert Kingett is a blind journalist in Chicago who is the author of Off the Grid, living blindly without the Internet. He has been gaming ever since he picked up his first Atari back in 1990. he actively makes a living writing for various blogs and websites with the occasional guest post. He is also an advocate, encouraging education about video game accessibility on mainstream gaming publications

  • BlueLight

    Thanks for the interesting read.

  • BurntToShreds

    It’s always great to read about people working to ensure that all of the latest technology is accessible to those who have various disabilities.

  • Thanks! I debated on even publishing this, since I am an expert in adaptive technology and the majority of the readers have never even heard of JAWS, but it’s worked out well, the AT folks can have a place to ublish their news, and people can learn a different side of the computer.

    I want to do an editorial on AT, but I think I will sit on it for a while. I have to figure out how to explain everything I use to people who have not heard about it before, which is challenging

  • Thanks! More will come, for sure, as that is my experties. The challenge will be to make techraptor give me cookies every time I publish an article. LOL.

  • BlueLight

    Robert… That’s not how a skinner box works.

  • Brenna Gordon

    Thanks for posting, Robert. It’s great to know that huge companies are realizing the need for compatibility. I work for McGraw-Hill Education, and we are also working to make some of our software compatible with JAWS! It’s an exciting project. I am a user researcher, but am having difficulty finding people to work with who are blind and visually impaired and use JAWS. We want to actually figure out where we can improve our program rather than just program something we think works then release it without testing with participants. Do you have any suggestions on how to find people? (Or, if by some chance there is anyone out there reading this using JAWS in the Southern California area, let me know!)

  • I use NVDA myself, which is a better program to test with because it is more up to date with web compliance… email me when you have a chance. My email is in my twitter bio