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NVDA Remote has landed!

Contributed by Joel Zimba, Special Projects Coordinator, MDTAP

Remote access to another computer has been commonplace for years–that is if a screen reader is not required. In an office environment, this means trouble shooting another machine or system administration duties are impossible if assistive technology is required.

Now there is a simple, reliable, and free solution to this significant accessibility barrier. The fine developers of open-source screen reader NVDA have coordinated a crowd-funding campaign to develop NVVDA Remote. This add-on to NVDA has now been released and it delivers on its promise.

After obtaining the NVDA Remote package from nvdaremote.com, I quickly installed the software and restarted NVDA. A new option under the “Tools” menu called “Remote”, is now available. The simple directions accompanying the NVDA Remote plug-in had me connected to another computer in just about 3 minutes. I was startled when the synthetic speech on both machines started responding to my keystrokes–it was just slightly out of sync, which produced a spine-tingling chill. That’s an undocumented feature.

A few additional features are also available, like the ability to “push” the contents of the clipboard to the remote machine or issue a “Ctrl-Alt-Del” key sequence remotely. As the code is freely available, I expect many future improvements.

Editors Note: A previous version of this post attributed the development of this product to NVAccess; however, this is an independent project, separate from NVAccess.

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