How do you use a computer and phone? This is a question that I get asked all the time, before I lost my sight I was able to use my computer and phone like a regular person would by using the computer’s or phone display. Now I use something call ScreenReader. What is a screen reader? you might asked.
A screen reader is a software application for blind or visually impaired people that enables the user to access a computer or a phone.
Screen readers work closely with the computer’s Operating System to provide information displayed on the screen such as; icons, menus, dialogue boxes, files and folders.
The screen reader provides feedback by speech, they use something called (TTS) Text-To-Speech engine to translate on-screen information into speech, which can be heard through earphones or speakers.
On the computer a screen reader use a wide variety of keyboard commands to carry out different tasks. Tasks include reading part or whole of a document, navigating web pages, opening and closing files, editing and listening to music.
A screen reader on a phone works pretty much the same way as with the computer but instead of using a keyboard you use your finger or a Brail display which I will talk about later on a different post.
Here is a list of the most popular screen readers today:
Mac OS X – Voice Over
Voice Over comes inside every Apple device all that you have to do is enable it and it will be ready for you to use it.
Jaws for Windows
Jaws is developed by Freedom Scientific, market leaders in screen reader technology. Jaws is primarily designed for desktop and laptop computers.
runner up in the global market share, is developed by GW Micro. It is only available in a desktop computer version.
the Windows based screen readers are separate applications and do not come bundled with the OS, which means that a substantial price tag is attached.
NVDA (By NV Access)
NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access) is a free “screen reader” which enables blind and vision impaired people to use computers.
As I mentioned before V.O. comes in every Apple device therefore the iPhone uses Voice Over as a screen reader.
Talk Back and Spiel
Many Android phones come with Talkback, Google’s free screen reading solution. If it is not installed on your handset, it can be easily downloaded from the Android Market. It provides basic access to many of the phone’s functions including contacts, the call log, phone settings, and many third-party apps. If it’s already on your phone, it can be activated by going to Android Settings and selecting Accessibility.
Spiel is another free screen reader available for Android. Both Spiel and Talkback provide similar functionality and work with a wide variety of applications. Spiel comes with a bit more customization, and also includes a way to write scripts for your applications to improve speech, if you are an advanced user. Several text-to-speech voices in a variety of languages are available either for free or close to free from the Android Market including Loquendo and Svox.
I’ve been blind for two an a half years and a lot of people have asked me what is it like to be blind One thing that I can say is that blindness is pretty scary specially if you do not know how to deal with it.
Imagine your self having your eyes closed or wearing a blindfold the whole time you are awake. Every single task, even the simplest ones, turned to be real challenges. Some of your independency goes out of the window, and if you don’t occupy yourself on something it could be pretty boring as well.
Blindness its not fun for sure but even if you are blind life keeps moving forward. In my personal experience as a blind person it has been a learning process full of complications and challenges but like the old saying, that I am sure we all have heard before, says “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” A blind person can pretty much do all the things that a sighted person would, it might be in a different way and i might would take longer to do them but we get them done also.
I can only thank God for giving me the strength to overcome and handle this test in my life also for my family, friends and church because they have helped me along the way.
This post’s name is some what accurate, maybe, because that is how I feel right about now. Today is the first time I post anything in this blog since 2011, I’ve almost forgot what it feels like. If you are asking yourself, what is this guy talking about? I’m going to share with you a little bit about what happened to me these past years, the reason that I haven’t post anything in such a very long time and why is it that I decided to start again.
I started this blog in 2007, when I was in college, back then all I did was chilin and going to class. This gave me lots of free time to research and post things here. After I graduated in 2011, immediately, I started working in the IT department at the college I’ve just graduated from. I worked there for almost two and a half years and had to stop because of health reasons. In 2008 I was diagnose with a brain tumor for which I was taking medicine to try to shrink it but it was abnormal and never worked. In March 11th 2013 my whole life was turned upside down. I had to have surgery to remove it because other wise it could have killed me but, unfortunately, in the process I lost my sight.
So are you completely blind? Yes, but thank God that I am alive, being blind is a disability like many other out there that prevents you from doing certain things you used to do in the past and the ones that you are able to do they become a real challenge but nevertheless they are not impossible.
In this blog I am going to share many different things on a variety of topics such as technology, music, life experiences among other things so I hope you guys will stick around for whats coming next. Please, if you have any questions, suggestions, opinions or wonders what ever they may be don’t be afraid to let me know I am all ears. Thanks, Cheers!