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Screenreaders. Digital Tools

Welcome. One Blind Guy

Screenreaders. The heart of the vision impaired experience is the interpretation of visual items found on the desktop/screen/monitor of the computer. In my case, that interpretation is through an audio playback of (for the most part) all computer operations (icons and windows plus all the operations associated with keyboard strokes and mouse movements) plus the writing of text and interpretaition of your favorite internet browser while surfing the web! All of this is accomplished through special keystrokes with a keyboard. This is how the computer/software/monitor was accessed by a user prior to the melding of the Graphical User Interface (GUI), with a keyboard/mouse combination which popularized the computer and made the keyboard along with the mouse a tight combination. For the blind user, those mouse clicks are accomplished with the keyboard instead! screenreaders have been in development for many years and the current generation of these programs are quite good. There are paid and free versions of the software, which, often, are a marked improvement over OS bundled screenreaders.

Operating system bundled screenreaders? For instance, 1 - Windows has a built-in screenreader called Narrator. Other operating systems (OS) do as well. 2. Apple - VoiceOver. 3 - Android - TalkBack. 4 - Google - ChromeVox. 5 - Amazon Kindle E-reader and Fire - VoiceView. 6 - Linux - ORCA on many distributions. Including specific distributions vision-impaired accessible by design such as Arch Linux.
Today, we have many more digital devices to choose from. We are not tied down by a large footprint PC or even a Laptop. We can go mobile with Tablets and Phones! With my Kindle Fire, I manage navigation through touch. However, because the Kindle Fire also has bluetooth integrated, I am able to use a bluetooth keyboard! I find that easier to use than the integrated virtual keyboard, especially for long posts and writings. Furthermore, in certain cases (excluding touch), one might come to the conclusion that those in the visual-impaired community may well get along without a screen altogether. Good question. When the device is set-up for that user, well, one does not need a screen! And, there are options in offered devices that can make this a reality. I am experimenting with them.

William Brandes the owner of William Brandes Consulting, Tiffin, Ohio with twenty years experience in website design, server-hosting, online marketing, and, lives with his wife Pam and two adult children. William is a power user of adative technology, enjoying reading (Kindle/Windows tablet/VR Stream), playing guitar and golf in his spare time. How does your website rate, especially when it comes to accessibility? For William digital technology isn't an option, it's an essential part of the accessible world!

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