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Assistive Technology for the Blind Sarah Crosbie, MS.Ed, OTR/L.

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Presentation on theme: "Assistive Technology for the Blind Sarah Crosbie, MS.Ed, OTR/L."— Presentation transcript:

1 Assistive Technology for the Blind Sarah Crosbie, MS.Ed, OTR/L

2 Technology has revolutionized daily life for all of us, but it has had particularly dramatic benefits for people who are blind or visually impaired. The power of computers has brought the world of print within reach for those unable to see.

3 Laws that protect the Visually Impaired Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity. 1998 Amendment to Section 508 of Rehabilitation Act: web accessibility guidelines, requires electronic text be available Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA-1997 & 2004): outlines school districts responsibility to provide AT services for students with disabilities Natl Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS): allows students with print disabilities access to accessible formats for free

4 Screen Readers There are screen readers available currently for use with the PC running Linux &Windows (ex: JAWS, Window-Eyes) There is also a screen reader for Macintosh computers running OS X. (VoiceOver) Each incorporates a different command structure and most support a variety of speech synthesizers. Prices range from free downloads from the web to $1100.

5 Video magnifier, or closed-circuit television (CCTV) system uses a stand-mounted or handheld video camera to project a magnified image onto a video monitor, a television (TV) screen, or a computer monitor. Video magnifiers that use a camera mounted on a fixed stand/ table are in the $1,800 to $4,000 price range. Lower cost video magnifiers that plug into a TV are in the $400 to $1,000 price range.

6 Braille Literacy Crisis Today in America only 10% of blind children are learning to read Braille in school. Studies have shown that 80% of all employed blind people read and write Braille fluently. These studies reinforce what the NFB has been advocating for years: Braille literacy is the key to employment and full participation in society.

7 Braille Display Technology These devices operate by raising and lowering different combinations of pins electronically to produce in braille what appears on a portion of the computer screen. The cost of braille displays is in the $3,500 to $15,000 price range, depending on number of characters displayed.

8 Braille Printers After being sent information to be brailled from computer devices, braille printers do the actual embossing of braille onto paper. Both one-sided and two-sided braille printers Between $1,800 and $5,000 for smaller volume production and between $10,000 and $80,000 for larger volume production. Video on braille transcribing software and braille embossers : ntID=1282 ntID=1282

9 The Perkins Brailler Braille typewriter" with a key corresponding to each of the six dots of the braille code. By simultaneously pressing different combinations of the six keys, users can create any of the characters in the Braille code.

10 Slate and Stylus Handwriting for individuals who are blind Allows for a quick, easy, convenient and constant method of making embossed printing for Braille Character encoding

11 Electronic Braille Notetakers Small, portable devices with braille keyboards for entering information. They use a speech synthesizer or braille display for output. The cost of a basic electronic braille notetaker is between $1000 and $3,000 with the option of products containing more sophisticated features that can cost up to $15,000.

12 Optical Character Recognition Systems Optical character recognition (OCR) technology offers blind and visually impaired persons the capacity to scan printed text and then speak it back in synthetic speech or save it to a computer. Little technology exists to interpret graphics such as line art, photographs, and graphs into a medium easily accessible to blind and visually impaired persons. It also is not yet possible to convert handwriting, whether script or block printing, into an accessible medium.

13 Cell Phone Accessibility Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 requires cell phones and phone services to be designed to be accessible for people with disabilities. There are two ways access to cell phones is currently provided for people with vision loss: or built-in accessibility, meaning access is incorporated directly into the phone 2.using third party access software. Currently, there are a limited selection of off-the shelf phones which include built-in access to many but not all cell phone features.

14 Verizon Announces the Availability of TALKS for Verizon Wireless March 12, 2009: Verizon announced today the availability of TALKS for Verizon Wirelessa new assistive technology that converts displayed text into highly intelligible speech for Verizon Wireless customers who are blind or visually impaired. Available initially on MOTO Q 9c smartphones beginning March 15, TALKS for Verizon Wireless supports audio feedback for writing and reading text messages, e-mail and notes.

15 S6Vss S6Vss

16 The Mobile Reader Product Line: Reads most printed documents, from letters and memos to pages in a book Reads address labels and package information and instructions Easily recognizes U.S. currency Displays each sentence visually and highlights each word as it is read Stores thousands of pages using easily obtainable flash memory Transfers text files to and from computers or Braille note takers

17 Braille Book Reader Uses an electroactive polymer to raise the braille dots when a charge is passed through certain areas of the screen.

18 Audiopoint At the heart of Voice Terminal Service is the ability to voice enable Internet access by using simple voice commands from any telephone.

19 A portable "all-in-one" talking bar code scanner. It allows an individual to identify items using the product's bar code or UPC. A database of over 2.7 million North American UPC's and descriptions. The user can also record, play, erase and organize messages in the memo mode.

20 ScripTalk Station: En-Vision America This device helps to scan and read the small print and look-alike packaging of medicine vials can lead to confusion, non- compliance, and mistakes. Ability to read: Drug Name, Dosage, & Instructions, Warnings & Contraindications, Pharmacy Information, Name, Prescription Number & Date

21 Movie: Write Tools for Angie

22 I Can Soar Video: Sean p/2007/03/05/vid-sean/ p/2007/03/05/vid-sean/

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