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.
Mike is blind and wants to know what computers he can use that will speak to him. Leo says all of them have accessibility features, but most use screen readers to read what's on the computer screen. The programs aren't cheap, however. JAWS is the best known.
But there are open source options like ORCA. If you're fluent in braille, a braille screen reader reads your screen and displays them on a refreshable terminal with dots that go up and down.
Ed uses an iPhone and can control his phone using SIRI. JAWS is definitely the best screen reader however. There's also Zoom Text: it's a screen reader.
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.
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.
William is blind and uses a screen reader for his computing, He uses JAWS, but has also used NDVA. But he's having issues subscribing to TWIT's audio feed. Leo says that he'll have his web guy fix the header levels for subscribing.
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.
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.
Joseph is blind and he uses a screen reader. He wants to customize his Windows sounds, but he is having trouble doing it. Leo says to create day to day limited/standard user accounts to run. If his screen reader needs an administrator level, then that's OK.
Chuck is blind and he wants to get a laptop with a screen reader. Leo says that there are many blind users who are fully functional on a computer. There are braile screens. JAWS is a screen reader, but it's expensive. There's an open source version as well.