Change is good
For over 20 years, products such as JAWS (Job Access with Speech) have always been unaffordable for the general consumer and user of the product. JAWS is a screen reading solution which provides access to using Windows computers for those who are blind or for those who vision is extremely low. Someone who generally needs to use software that will magnify a screen 600% more then normal according to professionals in the Access Technology field should be using speech.
JAWS provides speech feedback while navigating and using the windows operating system.
JAWS was originally invented by a company in the 1990’s (henter-Joyce). Ted Henter, one of the original founders, was blind and wanted a way to use a computer. Freedom Scientific was then founded and Henter-Joyce, Arkenstone and Blazie Engineering was rolled in to the Freedom Scientific corporation.
From the early creation of JAWS, which was JAWS for DOS (Disk operating System) which was the way computers operated prior to Windows, cost in the neighborhood of about $400.00. In the early to mid 1990’s, this was an astronomical cost and yet to the regular consumer, an undefined solution for using computers.
Freedom Scientific which began in the year 2000, announced a price increase to allow for research and development and to account for the labor that went in to developing a product which now worked with Windows operating systems. The price increased to approximately $895.00. Yet again, a needed cost but for the ordinary consumer not affordable. As years went on, the price increase and the stability of the product decreased. This caused consumers to locate and use other affordable options.
Fast forward to November 2018. VISPERO, the company which now has taken Freedom Scientific, AI Squared, Optelec and others, and has rolled them all in to one large company, created potentially a company who might be seen as a monopoly in the access technology industry.
The positive which has come so far with VISPERO is that in place of the software maintenance agreement (SMA) many have come to know as users of JAWS and Zoomtext, are now being eliminated.
Read more about this and what you as a JAWS or Zoomtext user should know going forward.
JAWS and Zoomtext Licensing for the future.