Way Beyond GlassesBy Kotz, Deborah; U.S. News and World Report , Vol. 142, No. 8, pp. 69-70
Publication Date: March 2007
Article focuses on assistive technology (AT) designed for people with disabilities that affect their sight, such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy. People with low vision can use word processing software and surf the web with programs such as ZoomText and MAGic, both of which can magnify print and read it out loud. Screen reading programs such as JAWS and Window-Eyes not only read text out loud, but they also read labeled icons and web links. A number of AT application also make it easier to navigate through the real world, as many cities have WALK signs that announce when it is safe to cross out loud at the push of a button. San Francisco’s model talking transportation system allows people with visual disabilities to point a handheld device at an approaching train or bus to hear which one it is. Devices that utilize global positioning system technology are also available, as the Trekker from Humanware can pinpoint the address where the user is standing in any United States city or town. The Trekker can also report the number of blocks remaining until the user’s destination, and can warn the user if he or she makes a wrong turn. Another AT application called the Ultracane transmits sound waves in order to detect approaching objects. The closer an object gets, the more vigorously the device vibrates. The reluctance by Medicare and most insurance companies to pay for these devices is discussed.
Assistive Products Discussed: MAGIC STANDARD EDITION & MAGIC PROFESSIONAL EDITION
JAWS FOR WINDOWS
ZOOMTEXT MAGNIFIER / SCREEN READER
Published by: U.S. News and World Report (Website:http://www.usnews.com)
Link to text: http://www.usnews.com/usnews/health/articles/070225/5gadget_print.htm