What Screen Reader Shall I Install On My Dad's Computer?


Episode 1817

Richard from Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

Richard's 94-year-old dad is losing his vision, and he's lost the ability to remote access his dad's Mac. He's going to be there at Thanksgiving and wants to install a screen reader so he can read the Wall Street Journal online. JAWS is a good option, now that it's more affordable. But he'll have to learn how to use it, and that could be problematic in the long run. Leo says he has a much better idea. The Wall Street Journal offers an audiobook version of the WSJ. It's not the whole thing, but it's curated for the most important stories, briefings, and even podcasts.

Here's some resources for blind computing.


Episode 1643

Jim from Las Vegas, NV

Jim is blind and he uses JAWS as a screen reader for his computer. It's not cheap, but your state may have an occupational therapy program that will underwrite the cost. Rich says that there's a home edition for $90 a year. JAWS will read the entire screen and tell you where things are. He says he can do just about anything. There's also ORCA, which is an open-source option.

What should I get in a new laptop?

Lenovo ThinkPad T470s

Episode 1445

Jason from Richmond, VA

Jason is looking to get a new laptop and he's thinking of getting a Lenovo. Leo says that it'll be tempting to get a consumer grade model, but Leo advises going with the business-grade ThinkPad line. The keyboards are better, and they are more repairable. Dell is another great option. They have a laptop with a bezel-less screen that is gorgeous. But Jason uses the JAWS screenreader because he's visually impaired, so the screen is not all that important.

Why is Apple the only company taking accessibility seriously?

Episode 1280

Tyrell from White House, TN

Tryell says that Apple has done an outstanding job with accessibility while Google and Microsoft have a lot of work to do. Leo says that Apple is the gold standard on accessibility. The screen reader is great, and it doesn't cost any extra either. So many of those tools are so expensive.

There is an open source screen reader called Orca. He should check out NDVP.org.

What screen reader should I get for my computer?

Episode 1215

Ed from Upland, CA

Ed is suffering from macular degeneration. He's color blind and using a computer is getting harder. Leo says making the characters bigger and bigger on the resolution settings. But Ed says he also has Retinitus Pigmentosa, which is like looking through a milky glass, so making the characters larger doesn't help much. At some point, screen readers like JAWS can help. But they're very costly.