Engineering New Products for the BlindBy Pillischer, David; Braille Monitor, Vol. 43, No. 11
Publication Date: November 2000
Article advocates the mainstreaming of adaptive products that enable blind computer users to use off-the-shelf software and hardware. Examples of adaptive software that effectively interfaces with mainstream application programs given are JAWS, Window Bridge 2000, and Window-Eyes, which work with the word-processing program Microsoft Word, Internet Explorer for accessing the Internet, and Omni Page Professional, an optical character recognition software. A two-dimensional Braille display combined with Jaws or Window Bridge 2000 enables a blind user to print a document much the way a sighted user does using a mouse. In light of statistics showing that 93 percent of blind people who are employed use Braille, the author argues for accessible Braille for the Internet and other computer applications. For example, a Swedish company, Index Braille, provides the option of selecting the names of its embossers from the printer-selection list of any Windows application, enabling the blind user to use the command “Control ‘P’” to emboss without leaving the application running. The company’s Everest Braille Embosser allows the use of any office supply for its paper. The author concludes that future technology for the blind must be mainstream in order for the blind to survive in the job market.
Assistive Products Discussed: EVEREST BRAILLE EMBOSSER (MODEL 70010)
JAWS FOR WINDOWS
WINDOW BRIDGE 2000
Published by: National Federation of the Blind (Website:http://www.nfb.org)
Link to text: http://nfb.org/legacy/bm/bm00/bm0011/bm001105.htm