Do you have an older, outdated version of JAWS or ZoomText you neglected, or found difficult to afford, to upgrade through the years? Or perhaps you'd like to use the Freedom Scientific screen reader or magnifier, but find the initial price difficult to afford and you are not currently agency sponsored? The company, now called Vispero, has begun offering a new way to obtain the home versions of JAWS and ZoomText—via yearly subscriptions.

The Freedom Scientific Annual License works the same as an Office 365 subscription. You can install MS Office on several different computers, and use it for a full year; afterwhich you must renew your license. During the license period, you will receive all upgrades and new versions of Office. You can still purchase the latest version of Office, but you are not eligible for version upgrades—you need to purchase a new copy for each version.

JAWS and ZoomText offer Software maintenance Agreements (SMAs) which entitle you to receive all version updates for two years, and if you own a recent copy of JAWS or ZoomText, purchasing an SMA is still likely the best way to go. However, if you haven't kept your screen access software up to date, you may wish to consider a JAWS or ZoomText annual license, because, in effect, you are starting over with a fresh, new copy of the latest software versions.

(Note: currently, JAWS and ZoomText Annual Licenses are only available in the United States.)

Here's how to purchase a JAWS or ZoomText yearly license:

  1. Visit the Freedom Scientific eStore.
  2. Choose your desired product: JAWS Annual License or ZoomText Annual License.
  3. Select your license period: one, three, or five years.
  4. Add your desired license to your shopping cart and complete the purchase.
  5. You will receive an e-mail from the Freedom Scientific Software Licensing Team containing your product serial number and a link with instructions to guide you through downloading, installing, and activating your new license and software. Select the "Register and activate your software here" link.
  6. Sign in or register as a new user by entering the same e-mail address you used to purchase your license, then complete the remaining fields, and create and confirm a password.
  7. Press the Register button. Then, return to your inbox and select the link in your verification e-mail.
  8. Selecting this link will return you to the Freedom Scientific Licensing Portal. Sign into your account and press the Activate This Computer button.

A special activation file will be downloaded to your computer.

When the download completes, open your downloads folder. The activation file will begin with your name.

  1. Press Enter on this file and you will be guided through the installation process for your licensed Freedom Scientific product.
  2. Follow the prompt to restart your computer.
  3. You are finished. Your licensed Freedom Scientific software is now installed and running.

You can install your new software on up to three computers. If you swap out a computer or need to use a friend or relative's computer you can use the license portal to deactivate one of your three installations and authorize another.


JAWS Annual License is $90 for one year, $270 for three years, and $450 for five years.

ZoomText with Speech license is $80 for one year $240 for three years, and $400 for five years.

As a bonus, the end date for all licenses purchased on or before January 31, 2019 will be extended until the end of January, 2020.

This article is made possible in part by generous funding from the James H. and Alice Teubert Charitable Trust, Huntington, West Virginia.

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Bill Holton
Article Topic
Access Issues