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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Bend, OR
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    Software for the blind

    A dear friend has recently gone totally blind. It happened overnight and she will never recover her sight. She went for 'computer training' for the blind and -- what else -- they required the users to have some sight. This woman cannot see ANYthing including the largest possible single letter on the screen. She can't touch the screen in any particular place because she can only find the screen by touch.

    I have been looking for an affordable piece of software that uses speech to control the computer and write emails (a'la Dragon) AND converts text to speech.

    She is reasonably computer literate. Her system is Windows 8. She wants to manage her bills and checking and to do her email.

    Someone must make this software but I can't find it. It has to be out there but searches just find screen readers, dictation software, and software to enlarge print for those with some sight. I also need something that trains her without speech or a printed set of instructions.

    WHAT am I looking for and WHERE do I buy it?
    Last edited by Magna; 2014-08-21 at 17:00.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Durham UK
    Thanked 1,048 Times in 996 Posts
    I'm very sorry to hear about your friend and wish her well in overcoming this affliction.

    I know someone who is blind and goes to a sort of Community Centre computer sessions and will try to catch him to see how he does it and post back, although I'm not sure when that will be.

    There may be a similar centre where your friend lives.

    There is an application called JAWS which isn't a freebie although has a trial version and while I don't know how effective it is, any centre for the Blind would know more about software like this.

    From some tuition would seem to be required, but with sudden loss of sight - everything is going to be a learning curve.

    The Download tab gives the links for what the company has.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    A cultural area in SW England
    Thanked 212 Times in 189 Posts
    Consult your national Blind Society website in the first instance.
    For example, in the UK we have the Royal Institute for the Blind, and I've linked to their technology section.

    You will probably end up finding Jaws (as sudo13 says), a screen reader which speaks the text. Again I've linked to the UK website. The better versions cost úlots/$lots, but those who use it speak highly of it...

    Mission: identify what we do best and find more ways of doing less of it better

  4. #4
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    And a free screen reader which is gaining more and more supporters

  5. #5
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    I supported ADA users that were blind in a fortune 500 company and the primary software used was JAWS with braille keyboards. Many of these were paid for by The Lighthouse For The Blind. We did have some users with just vision difficulties using screen magnifiers and one using Dragon Naturally Speaking dictation software.

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