Best computer for the Blind

  nevahendz 08:54 17 Sep 2006

Any suggestions? $800 to $1500 Planning to use with JAWS program. Any help appreciated. Thanks

  cycoze 11:08 17 Sep 2006

Tough one.

Main suggestion would be to contact the relevant groups, UK - RNIB click here , assuming your in the States as you used $`s, US- NFB homepage click here and products page click here .

Again for the UK AtoZ of specialist computer companies click here .

Top of the range graphics card isnt needed so you can save some money there, a reasonable sound card is needed for JAWS, if no sound card (potty not to have one) a refreshable Braille reader or hardware speech synthesizer would be needed.

If the user has any sight at all, a Large Monitor, Many Keyboards out there for the Blind including large keys, bright coloured keys etc, might not be required if they can touch type.

Fast CPU and a decent amount of memory (are probably the most important things to look at, most new machines are more than capable of running JAWS.

But as above the best thing is to get intouch with the Blind associations and/or talk to Blind people who are using computers to find out the pitfalls etc, some purpose built products are very expensive and may not suit all individuals.

Hope thats some help.

  Arthur Scrimshaw 11:15 17 Sep 2006

click here

Not knowing the extent of your vision loss - it's hard to recommend, the performance is going to depend on what you intend to uses it for - probably more important is size so the actual case (so it can be placed on the desk next to the screen for easy access) and having things like lots of usb connectivity on the front panel rather than having to grope around the back.
Apple's new os seems to have built in accessibility functions including a screen reader so that's another possible route.

  cycoze 11:27 17 Sep 2006

Adding to what Arthur Scrimshaw said regarding front ports, might also pay to look for audio ports on the front too, to allow easy access for a headset.

Totally forgot about speakers and mic, i know a lot of people prefer a headset, so either or.

  nevahendz 12:14 17 Sep 2006

Your suggestions have been very much appreciated. I am trying to help my friend buy her first computer and have little knowledge re: needs of the blind user. Again, thank you.

  carolineann 12:25 17 Sep 2006

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