Alex and others,

Despite Freedom Scientific's claims, JAWS appears not to fully support 64-bit Windows, either Windows 7 or Vista.

Our company encountered this in 2010 specific to programs written in Java, but I suspect the problem is wider.

We did extensive research on this when JAWS stopped speaking our games when running under 64-bit Windows 7.

FS tech support told us in March of 2010, " The issue currently is the accessibility bridge not loading as it should in the Windows 64 bit environment."

John Oliviera, a colleague who runs the Mass. Council for the Blind, told me: "FS is well aware of the problem but they only do what they can. They would like major companies to pay them to solve the specific problems but most have refused to pay because it can be costly."

Another colleague said that he'd notified FS of this problem in June of 2009 re 64-bit Vista.

The general problem seems to be JAWS not looking in the 64-bit systems directory for stuff it needs.

The symptom can be either JAWS speaking just the Windows title bars and keystrokes, or being totally silent.

BTW. Our tests showed that NVDA works just fine on 64-bit Windows.

Again, I suspect their bug affects more than just Java.

However, there's a bigger implication than just for games.
Say you rely on a software tool for your job.
And you rely on JAWS.
Then I.T. comes in and upgrades you to 64-bit Windows 7.
You can't do your job.

In any event, for our own stuff we're relying on SAPI voices and just using what remains of JAWS as a nice-to-have.

I personally think that FS is shooting themselves in the foot. Based on the evidence, and my 30+ years of software engineering experience, this does not look like a tough problem to fix.

John Bannick
7-128 Software

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