For those of you who use the JAWS screen reader, it’s that time again. The next version of JAWS is right around the corner, and this is my friendly reminder to check JAWS to make sure you can get the latest and greatest from Freedom Scientific. While JAWS has several updates throughout the year that are considered minor updates, they are not considered full upgrades. Those you must pay for by renewing your service maintenance agreement (SMA), or by renewing your Annual license. I’m going to walk you through this process so that you can understand the differences here.
Two Ways to Get Authorized
Up until very recently, JAWS was authorized to run using a software maintenance agreement, or SMA. This uses an internet license manager (ILM) to connect to Freedom Scientific servers to make sure that your authorization code is valid. This license is good for two versions of JAWS, say, from 2019 to 2020. Once you reach 2020, you must renew this SMA to keep getting the updated JAWS. Currently you can do this for $150. Be aware that if you wait and do this after the next version of JAWS is released, you will need to pay around $210. Note: It looks like Freedom Scientific is only allowing the SMA to be renewed by calling Freedom Scientific at: 800-444-4443. Currently, the SMA is a better by, because with it you get two JAWS upgrades for $150 rather than just one upgrade for $90.
The annual license is the new form of license that JAWS is moving to. You pay $90 per year and you get the current version of JAWS. You can opt to pay for one year, three years, or five years. The three-year option is $270, while the five-year option is $450. You do not get a bulk discount for buying for more than one year at a time. The good thing about this license is it doesn’t matter how old your JAWS is at the time.
If you would like to renew JAWS for the next year, you can do so at that link. If you already have an account with Freedom Scientific, you can use the new licensing portal for JAWS and ZoomText. With the new portal, you can either register so that your email address is used to authorize your JAWS, or renew your annual license here.
If you are not sure what license you have, you can check your JAWS status here. Just type your JAWS serial number and press Enter. The resulting page will notify you if you need a new SMA or annual upgrade. Of course you can always call FS and they will be able to help you over the phone as well.
Going to School?
If you’re in higher education, you can enter your university email address to find out if your university allows for free JAWS home access on your home computer. If your university allows this, then you can use the portal linked to above, download JAWS, and be up and running. If your university doesn’t offer this, you can contact Freedom Scientific and hopefully they can make this happen.
Are You Ready?
I hope this helps you get ready for the next version of JAWS. Betas of JAWS are already available for download, so it’s not too late to save some money with the old stile SMA licenses, but only if you haven’t already switched your license. For those of you who have made the switch to the annual license, not to worry. Just make sure your annual license is paid up, and you’re good. With that, I wish you a hardy Qapla!