National Federation of the Blind Commends Microsoft and GW Micro for Groundbreaking Accessibility Partnership

Jan 14, 2014, 14:30 ET from National Federation of the Blind

Window-Eyes Screen Reader Now Available for Free to Many Microsoft Office Users

BALTIMORE, Jan.14, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Federation of the Blind, the nation's leading advocate for equal access to technology by the blind, today commended Microsoft Corporation and GW Micro for their announcement of a partnership that makes GW Micro's Window-Eyes screen reader available for free to users of Microsoft Office 2010 or higher.  More details about this groundbreaking offer are available at


Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: "The announcement of this historic partnership between Microsoft and GW Micro is truly revolutionary.  For the first time, users of Microsoft Office 2010 or later will not have to pay hundreds of dollars in order to obtain an accessibility solution that will allow them to take advantage of the features of Office and Windows. This partnership has the potential to make access to employment, education, and other opportunities more readily available to blind people everywhere.

"The usefulness of any screen reader product, of course, is limited by the degree to which other products are compatible with it," Dr. Maurer continued.  "The National Federation of the Blind seeks collaboration with software manufacturers, Web developers, and other technology innovators in order to ensure that blind users have full and equal access to their products and services. icrosoft and GW Micro are removing a significant barrier to obtaining screen access technology. Developers of mainstream technology, as well as the businesses, institutions, and governmental entities that use it, must continue to do their part by making sure that screen reader users have full access to what they produce, procure, and deploy."

About the National Federation of the Blind
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) is the oldest, largest, and most influential nationwide membership organization of blind people in the United States.  Founded in 1940, the NFB advocates for the civil rights and equality of blind Americans, and develops innovative education, technology, and training programs to provide the blind and those who are losing vision with the tools they need to become independent and successful. 

SOURCE National Federation of the Blind