As a totally blind person, Michael Curran focuses on software development in the area of accessibility, and also is very passionate about helping the blindness community in several ways. Michael has been able to merge both of these passions by creating NVDA, the first and only free and open source Screen Reader for The Windows Operating System which allows blind and vision impaired people to use Windows for no more cost than their sighted peers. Michael continues to play a leading role in the NVDA screen Reader, both as a core developer, and as the president of NV Access Inc, a non-profit organization he and others set up to promote and develop this now very well known Screen Reader.
Through Michael's work with NVDA and NV Access, he has gained extensive experience in the field of accessibility, including vast knowledge of key accessibility standards, software APIs and best practices. He has fostered relationships with companies such as Mozilla, Microsoft, IBM and Adobe, and has contributed to the accessibility of their respective products.
Michael's passion for advocacy and helping the blind also lead him to partisipate in Blind Citizens Australia (BCA) for several years. This included holding the role of Young Blind Citizens Victoria president for three years, and also the role of Victorian representitive for the BCA National Policy and Development Cancel for another year.
From a very young age, Michael has also loved singing and acting. He was a member of the Victorian Youth Theatre for several years and with them performed in several musicals such as Salad Days, Godspell and Man of La Mancha. When not working or spending time with his family, Michael enjoys recording songs (including covers and compositions of various styles).
Michael lives with his wife and two children on the Gold Coast, Australia, along with two cats.
Awards and achievements
- 2007 Australian National Disability Award (Young Community Contribution category)
- 2009 Vision Australia Youth Services award
- 2010 ABC Television's New Inventors Les is More award, along side James Teh
- 2001, AMEB classical singing exam level 4
- 2002, Victorian Certificate of Education, Upwey High School
- 2002, VET Certificate 3 in Information Technology, Upwey High School