Screen readers

Here's some resources for blind computing.

Jaws

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 is a Good Screen Reader for PC?

Dragon

Episode 1642

Mark from Mission Viejo, CA

Mark is losing his vision and would like to find a screen reader for his Windows 10 PC. He can't even read it with the text zoomed in. So he needs something that will do voice dictation and screen reading. Rich says that iOS13 will now speak almost everything on your phone screen. It's called "Voice Control." So now you can control your entire phone with just your voice. So go into the accessibility features and try that out.

The best software for voice dictation is Dragon Naturally Speaking. 

 

What can I Do if Google Breaks my Screen Reader Software?

 ZoomText

Episode 1576

Laura from Beaumont, TX

Laura is vision impaired and uses Google's screen reader on her browser and a recent update to Chrome has broken it. But there doesn't seem to be a legacy version of Chrome. What can she do? Leo says that with the latest version of Chrome, she needs to install the ZoomText extension and install it. She can download it here.

Can I create a screen reader with Raspberry Pi?

Raspberry Pi

Episode 1417

Todd from Indianapolis, IN

Todd wants to try and create an affordable screen reader using a Raspberry Pi. Leo says that NVDA is a free one, and Orca will run on Debian. If he can get Debian to run on the Raspberry Pi, then he's in good shape. The chatroom says it can work, but he'll probably need more RAM. If he can, that would be a great open source project for the blind.

Will the Windows 10 free update expire for those using screen readers?

Episode 1304

Ben from Fresno, CA

Ben says that Windows 10 has extended the free update for accessibility users who need screen readers to use Windows because Microsoft is still having trouble adapting screen readers to it. Leo says that's great news. Eventually they'll work out the bugs and it's a great thing that Microsoft knows they have to keep offering the free update to screen readers until they do.

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.