What is Assistive Technology?
Assistive technology describes any device that helps “assist” people with injuries or disabilities. Most typically, this label is applied to software that enhances one’s ability to use a computer. There are some wonderful tools available so that people who are visually impaired, or even blind, can take advantage of computers and technology.
Assistive Technology for the Blind and Visually Impaired
In the case of blind people and those who have “low vision” (or are visually impaired) it’s very common that they will take advantage of
JAWS® Screen Reader
JAWS® ,developed by Freedom Scientific, is the world’s most popular screen reader. JAWS® stands for Job Access With Speech. This software is voice activated in reads the screen out (on Windows devices) out loud to computer users whose vision loss prevents them from seeing screen content or navigating with a mouse.
JAWS provides speech and Braille output for the most popular computer applications on your PC. You will be able to navigate the Internet, write a document, read an e-mail, and create presentations from your office, remote desktop, or from home.
ZoomText and Fusion Professional
The company called ZoomText has developed its namesake software to magnify ‘on-screen’ text for those who have visual impairment (or “low vision” individuals).
A related product is “Fusion”, named such because it combines both the ZoomText, functionality with the JAWS® product discussed above. So users can get the magnified text as well as the screen reading functionality.
Accessible Feature Mobile Phones for People with Visual Impairments
At the time of this guide's publication, three feature phones stood out for their accessibility.
The Kyocera Kona and Kyocera Verve
Offered by Sprint/T-Mobile, the Kona is flip phone that includes a feature set that helps make it accessible to visually impaired individuals. The Verve is a candy-bar style phone is also available either with or without a contract. The Verve offers a slide out keyboard for those who wish to text frequently with accessibility. Read reviews for both the Verve and the Kona from AFB AccessWorld.
The Odin VI
The Odin VI from Odin Mobile, a third-party cell provider that specializes in serving those with visual impairments, is a candy-bar style phone with a slide-out keypad. Read a review of the Odin VI in AFB AccessWorld.
Get in Touch with an Expert at Northwest Ergonomics & Assistive Technology
Northwest Ergonomics and Assistive Technology is here to help with your assistive technology needs. Our trained experts will consult with you to understand your specific needs and provide solutions that really work. We help people of all ages who have experienced any kind of disability.
It is important to our caring specialists that you really get the benefit of these wonderful advancements in technology. For that reason we specialize in training and follow-up to make sure that everything is working as effectively as possible for you.
To contact us, use the form on our contact page, or call 206-707-8830