An individual with a visual disability is someone who has limited functional vision or no vision at all (blindness). Those who are visually impaired or blind can use some of the following assistive technology to assist in meeting their academic and personal goals:
Jaws for Windows
Jaws for Windows is a screen reading software designed for individuals who are blind. However, visually impaired users can utilize this software as well. Jaws allows the user to navigate the computer and can read text and information in various types of applications and documents. Users can also access and read web pages on the Internet.
Kurzweil 1000 is a software that uses a scanner to make printed materials accessible on the computer for individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Materials can be imported from other documents and the internet as well. Text scanned or imported from other sources can be converted to audio files to be listened to on mobile devices.
OpenBook is another software that allows the user to convert printed documents or graphic-based text into an electronic text format to be read aloud on the computer. Documents are often scanned to be read. Other files can be imported to be read as well.
Duxbury Braille Translator
The Duxbury Braille Translator software converts text into a Braille format to be embossed (printed) by a Braille printer.
ZoomText enlarges all aspects of the computer screen and can be used with many applications, including popular internet browsers. Text may be read aloud as well while magnified. Various magnifier views and speech options are available to cater to the users’ needs. In addition to the Internet browsers, ZoomText supports many applications including the Microsoft Office Suite.
Magic is another screen magnification software that can magnify the entire computer screen. There are many options to change color schemes. Mouse and keyboard focus can also be tracked with magnification. Magic works with many applications including web browsers.
Victor Reader Stream
The Victor Reader Stream is a device that plays audio and electronic text files. The unit enables individuals to use audio books to navigate by units, chapters, pages, etc.
The CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) is a desktop device used to increase the magnification of hard copy materials. This unit is designed to help students with visual impairments.
Portable Video Magnifiers
Small and used for on-the-go, this device is used to increase the magnification of hard copy material.
These are multiple types of low tech magnifiers that enable students to magnify work at various levels.
This printer outputs documents that have been translated into Braille.
Perkins Braille Writer
This typewriter-like device is used to create documents in Braille for blind individuals.
Thermo Form Machine
This machine is used to create simple raised line diagrams and drawings.
A standard keyboard with the equivalent keys in Braille.
Large Lettered Keyboard
A standard keyboard where the letters on each key is large and bold.
Large Numbered Calculator
A basic calculator where large numbers are displayed on the screen and on the keypad.
Franklin Language Master
The Franklin Language Master is a talking electronic dictionary, thesaurus and speller. This unit helps individuals with visual impairments and those who are blind.
Talking Digital Recorder
This device is used for recording class lectures for anyone who has difficulty taking notes by hand. It has audio feedback that would allow a visually impaired or blind person to use the unit without assistance.
The Livescribe pen is a smart pen that uses unique micro dot paper to record audio that is synced with handwritten notes. It allows the user to go back and review incomplete or missed notes.
In addition to general usage apps, tablets can be equipped with a variety of assistive technology apps to provide access to the blind and visually impaired as they utilize commercial apps on the device.