Freedom Scientific, a provider of accessibility tools for people who are blind or have low vision, is offering free licenses for the JAWS screen reader, ZoomText magnifier and reader, and Fusion, which combines JAWS and ZoomText, through June 30, 2020. This is intended to help students and workers who are unexpectedly home due to the spread of COVID-19.
According to their page where people can get their Free Home License, "Educational institutions in the United States with up-to-date multi-user licenses of JAWS, ZoomText, or Fusion, are qualified. All students, faculty, and staff with an active email address are entitled to receive free home annual licenses for their personally owned equipment."
Additionally, anybody in the US or Canada with a personal email address can receive a free short-term Home Annual License of these products, expiring June 30.
This means that at least through the end of the June, all households have access to some of the leading and most robust assistive technology without worrying about the cost.
JAWS is long-trusted screen reader that allows users to read and navigate digital content through speech or Braille output. ZoomText Magnifier/Reader is a magnification and reading program, used most often by people with low vision, which offers magnification levels up to 60x. A Fusion license provides access to both JAWS and ZoomText.
All households can use an email address to get a Free Home License. The programs work on Windows 10 or 7.
For more timely information on digital accessibility in education, read:
- Websites of Nation's Top Elementary Schools Have Major Accessibility Barriers During Coronavirus Crisis
- Inaccessible School Materials and Parents with Disabilities: What's the Impact?
For more information about assistive technology, read:
- Assistive Technology 101: What You Need to Know
- Free Accessibility Tools and Assistive Technology You Can Use Today