Since you can read this article right now, you are one of the fortunate ones. Because of the 3 million people around the world, more than three billion people are completely deprived of the light of the world. They can’t go on a trip just like you, or plan to watch a movie at night on weekends.
Although it may not be possible to give back to the visually impaired, the researchers and technicians are making relentless efforts to make their lives easier. Since the discovery of the breakthrough ‘Braille’ many more gadgets have been created to help the visually impaired. Apart from this, some application software is being created to facilitate their access to information and technical fields. Today we will share some of the essential applications, which are very helpful for the visually impaired.
Specialized Services For The Visually Impaired
Symptoms such as glaucoma, cataract, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, etc. can cause a person to have vision problems. Under the influence of some of these, one can become completely blind. Apart from this, a person can suffer from various types of eye problems, including color blindness, vision, loss of sight. Again the person suffering from night-sickness does not look good in the dark.
But here we have to keep one thing in mind, the ‘sight problem’ and the ‘blindness’ are not two completely one. For those who have vision problems, the “eye” organ does not go away. Some visual aids can be used to carry out any viewing task. But for those who are completely blind, that is, nothing is completely different. They do not see even after having the organ called ‘eye’. They worked with the rest of the four senses. Different computer and mobile applications are built with their words in mind.
Software designed for the visually impaired is different depending on the device and type of work. These include operating system, audio book, screen reader, accessibility application, online based app and job assistant app. Although the software is different in its approach, its core functionality is almost the same. These software designed for people with visual impairments usually work in two parts. First, they convert the screen’s text into a digital signal transformed into words according to the type of pronunciation, and subsequently use it to read the text to the blind.
Audio Services and Digital Content Based Services
This service is available free of charge through their software or website provided by a company called ‘Audio Internet Reader Service of Los Angeles’. However, there is no reason to be confused by the name. Residents outside of Los Angeles can also get this service by registering. In this system, any blind person can read any internet based digital content. Again, volunteers read some magazines, books, recent newspapers and various articles and they are recorded. Then, through the app or website, blind people hear about it. The application service is for Android and i-OS.
Download ‘Braille and Audio Reading’ in full. It is a free app and website based service provided by the US National Library Service. This is in line with AIRS-LA’s service. It is also supported on Android and i-OS.
This is a smartphone app created by ‘Sirotech’ Corporation. It provides similar services as described above. But one of the special aspects of this is that it stores educational audio-like tutorials for the visually impaired, and any user can send a request for audio to a new book, magazine, magazine or anything else. The app is available for use on Android and i-OS.
This is Amazon’s software and website-based service, which will allow you to read numerous audio books. Its audio bookstore is quite rich. However, this service will be available for free for only 7 days. Then you have to pay for continuous service. Its app version can be used on Android, IOS and Windows powered phones.
Desktop & Job Assistant (Screen Reader)
On Windows operating systems this program is provided as a built-in. This is a screen reader application. In its latest version, cursor movements are presented to the user through a series of words. As a result, the user can easily guess where he or she is now on the screen and how quickly the mouse cursor is moving.
Non Visual Desktop Access
Michael Curran and James Tay, two software engineers, found that there is no effective application that can help blind people access a computer, which is free to use. They both set up their own initiative, a non-profit organization called NV Access, whose goal is to create free software for the visually impaired that allows them to easily access a computer. Note that they were both vision impaired! The software they created helps interactively access a blind person with a computer, as well as a screen reader app.
The computer user will move the mouse cursor or pointer to the part of the computer screen, the software will read the text of that part, or tell them if there is a menu, dialog box or any other digital information. Again, the user can select different parts of the screen or enter a particular part using different keyboard shortcuts. This is only for Microsoft Windows operating system users.
Orca is an app for Linux-based operating system users. It’s also a screen reader. It works much like the aforementioned software.
This is an application used in Linux that controls ‘refreshable braille display’. With a refreshable braille display, a visually impaired person can understand what’s written on the screen with the touch of a hand. If the refreshable braille display can be compared to the printer and the BRLTTY application to the camera, then the BRLTTY is a good camera. No matter how good the printer is, if the picture is not taken on a good camera, the printer will not be able to print good pictures. New versions of this application have also been used as screen readers.
JAWS (Job Access With Speech)
JAWS will definitely be on top of all the software that helps people with vision impairments in their daily life as well as in the workplace. Much of the kind of virtual assistance a blind person might need is included in this software. This software has a special emphasis on word processing. As a result, it is a very popular software for office-court or professional use. It is only supported on Windows operating systems. Although this software is fairly expensive, it is at the top of the list of popular software used by people with vision impairments.
If you want to use Commercial Screen Reader at a lower cost, this application made by ‘Serotech’ Corporation is a good option. The System Access app can be used legally at a lower cost than other similar commercial apps. One of the advantages of this is that it takes the feedback and suggestions from users very seriously and makes the app more useful in subsequent updates. Updates are available for free.
App-based this service is supported on the Linux operating system. It is designed to provide visually impaired online activities, especially for browsing, email exchanges and text messages.
Note that screen reader applications can be used to read various documents, including books, using eBook readers. Some screen readers have ‘natural text-to-speech’ features. As a result when the instrument reads the writing, it does not seem to have a very mechanical tone. As a result, the ebook can be easily enjoyed.
Google Talk Back
Almost all Android operating system smartphones have this app provided by Google. However, this is not an application itself. It works with Google’s ‘text-to-speech’ software. ‘Text-to-Speech’ is software that converts text on the screen into an audio signal. And ‘Talk-Back’ helps users read different parts of the screen. The user then selects one of the options or the app, confirming the ‘talk-back’ which app or option has been selected. The user can then access the particular option or application by touching twice anywhere on the screen.
In keeping with the visually impaired, Apple first added the voiceover service to the Mac OS-X operating system. Later it was added to iOS as well. It can be used very efficiently on an iPhone or iPad touchscreen. Its working style is very similar to Google’s ‘talk-back’. However, with many applications, one of the major differences with VoiceOver is that it provides users with different suggestions and options.
This app guides the user to know what else can be done by selecting a particular application or a folder by touching it on the screen and how to do the next step. According to many users, Apple’s service is superior to many other similar applications. This can be made more useful by the appropriate setting.
This is an operating system based on Linux Ubuntu. It is designed primarily for the visually impaired. Its menus and applications are especially useful for people with visual impairments.
Russian developer Mikhail Pozhdev himself is a vision impaired. So he understands the problem of other blind people well. He thinks that traditional software designed for the visually impaired is designed to work with the users intentionally, very slowly. So he created the operating system called ‘Luren’ with only vision impairments in mind.
The funny thing is that it can be used as an operating system, but can also be installed as an application inside other operating systems like Linux, Windows, Mac OS. Its functions are very basic and fast.
Online based service apps
Be My Eyes
One of the best examples of information and communication technology that can truly be utilized is the idea of an app called ‘My My Eyes’. Anyone can use this app. After installing it, the user is asked if he is able to see. If he is able, he can join the system as a volunteer, he is the one who mainly plays the service of the blind. On the other hand, the person who is visually impaired takes service. For this, he made a video call to an online volunteer who connected on the Internet and looked at the phone camera in the direction he wanted to see.
At the same time, earphones or headphones are placed in his ear. The volunteer on the other side of the phone listens to the blind person to hear what is in front of him, to see how he or she supports the blind person in some other way. From this point the meaning of this application’s name can be understood. This great initiative was awarded by the United States’ National Federation of the Blind. This app is free to use.
It is an Online Accessibility Assistant software. However, it can also be used offline. Lazas uses Google Maps as well as other online maps and other online services to help users navigate to a location without any help. If the smartphone has sophisticated sensors, then this app can use other directions. But to get this service, you have to pay. It can only be used for the first few days for free. The above two apps can be used on Android and i-OS.
People are for people
In order to use the software that is designed or provided with the vision impaired, the service must be properly connected to their device. They usually can’t do this on their own, needing help from someone else. By receiving these services, a person deprived of the light of the world does not become self-sufficient; The long habits only made him a link with technology. Which makes his daily life a little easier.