Technology for the Blind

People who are sight-impaired or blind often want to learn to use computers. Here is what Networklearning has learnt about the process…

The Hadley School for the Blind in New York offers on-line courses that will help you follow this process.

First step is to learn to use a normal qwertyuiop keyboard. The Hadley School has on-line exercises. Learn this, and learn how the email works on your computer, and you can start sending messages all over the world.

Second Step is “reading” the replies, or any text that comes in. For this you need a screen reader. A popular model is one made by Dolphin called Hal. It will either read text out loud or turn the text into Braille. It will still cost you, even with special prices for those registered blind – the software (July08) is 495 pounds Sterling or in the small pen format that can be moved from computer to computer, 560 pounds. A package for schools and registered NGOs is 890 pounds. Dolphin has an outlet agency in South Africa

> Newspaper story of a Blind School in Nairobi using Dolphin equipment
> Example of use in South Africa

However a lot of people are trying to develop more affordable or free software that sooner or later you will be able to download. Start with these:
> Serotek
> Freedom Scientific.

Other interesting products:
> Sensory Solutions (Southern Africa)
> Optelec

If anyone out there gets an affordable system going, please let us know – we can Spread the Word!


Help us to develop this field!

—Do you have a good link or resource you can recommend?

—Are you making a difference locally that could inspire others elsewhere?

All feedback is welcome!
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nicolien 2015
Nicolien Wassenaar
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