3 people collaborating on a coding project.

Behind the scenes of accessible open source software: NVDA and OSARA

Learn more about the blind coders and users behind the crowd-sourced screen reader software and accessible audio production software.

People with blindness and low vision have been creating accessible open-sourced software for decades. Learn more about the people behind the development of NVDA, a highly popular, free screen reader software for Windows computers and the development of OSARA, an open-sourced extension that makes REAPER (a digital audio production application) accessible to screen readers.

Students, are you interested in writing code or producing music? Learn more about these accessible applications and how the blind community has worked together to initially develop and continues to enhance NVDA and OSARA. Learn. Connect. Network. Create. What can you contribute?


NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access) is a free and open-source, portable screen reader for Microsoft Windows.

REAPER (Rapid Environment for Audio Production, Engineering and Recording) is a complete digital audio production application for computers, offering a full multitrack audio and MIDI recording, editing, processing audio workstation.

OSARA (Open Source Accessibility for the REAPER Application) is a piece of software sits between between a screen reader like NVDA (screen reader) REAPER digital audio production application. OSARA makes digital audio production accessible to create things like music, podcasts and audio books. (OSARA is available for both Windows and Apple computers.)

Open-source software is computer software that is released under a license in which the copyright holder grants users the rights to use, study, change and distribute the software and its source code to anyone and for any purpose. Open-source software may be developed in a collaborative, public manner.” (Wikipedia)

GitHub is a developer platform that allows developers to create, store, manage and share their code.” (Wikipedia) NVDA and OSARA are crowd-sourced through the GitHub platform.


How NVDA and OSARA are empowering blind people globally video:

To see the YouTube video with audio descriptions, please visit this link: How NVDA and OSARA are empowering blind people globally (with audio described version).

Want to learn more? Read the full Coding accessibility: Software by the blind, for the blind article on Github.com

by Diane Brauner

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