Software for the Blind

  Border View 23:18 02 Jul 2009

I have been helping a friend with her new laptop. She is almost blind. Uses Vista. We have discovered the Narrator and Magnifior in Vistor.

Today when I went round she said a advisor for the blind had given her information about Software Express "Guide". She had a 30 day free trial demo disc. We installed this disc (which it turned out was from 2007). The software seemed impressive.

However, what absolutely floored me, was when I suggested she find out what the whole package would cost, and I googled the company and clicked on "Guide" click here Do you see how much they want for this software £395. Now I am prepared to pay for specialist software but for goodness sake, this can only surely be viewed as taking advantage of the blind and hard of seeing.

I told my friend she would be better off buying a huge monitor and connecting it to her laptop.

Dont know what but somebody should do something about companies like this.

At the end of the day I told my friend to uninstall the free demo and stick with Vista Magnifior and Narrator.

Would welcime your comments and advice.

  Forum Editor 23:25 02 Jul 2009

about companies like this."

Why? They have created a pretty impressive software application, and that's the price they sell it for. Why on earth you see it as "..taking advantage of the blind and hard of seeing." is beyond me. Just because someone's almost blind it doesn't mean that businesses have to sell them software at low prices, any more than a hearing aid company has to sell their products cheaply to deaf people.

  Border View 23:34 02 Jul 2009

Never in my time on PCA have I disagreed with you FE but I really do think on this occasion thatyour are off track. I truly believe that "companies like this" are taking advantage of the disabled. Come on, can you really defend that they can justify charging almost £400 for software. Sorry but the disabled deserve some sort of discount to compensate for the problems they suffer.

To say the least, I am gob smacked at your response.

  Border View 23:38 02 Jul 2009

PS Is FE still the Peter (China) I have known for years or has he been replaced by a younger more intollerant chappy?

  Forum Editor 23:47 02 Jul 2009

you interpret the selling price of a software application as "..taking advantage of the disabled".

Lots of software applications cost a good deal more than £400, and yes, I can defend the fact that a company might charge that kind of money. Specialised software - and that's what this is - requires a great deal of investment of both time and money during its development, and those costs must be recovered via the selling price - it's simple business sense.

If this application was going to sell five million copies no doubt the seller would be asking a lower price, but that's not going to happen - it will sell a hundred thousand or so copies at best, and probably far fewer. The developers know this, hence the price point.

It's very important to take time to think about all aspects of something like this before jumping into print with a sweeping allegation like yours. Saying that " the disabled deserve some sort of discount to compensate for the problems they suffer." indicates your lack of understanding of the business world. People who run software companies are in it to make a profit, and this application is specifically developed for people with sight difficulties - there's no reason at all why the company should discount prices. If it did, nobody would be paying the full price, would they?

  Forum Editor 23:48 02 Jul 2009

I'm the same intolerant chappy that you've known for years.

  UK Sub 23:49 02 Jul 2009

'Today when I went round she said a advisor for the blind had given her information about Software Express "Guide'.

If this advisor is unconnected to the company then they obviously think that the software worth it.

If they are unconnected, ask the advisor if it can be obtained cheaper elsewhere (through a charity or other online shop maybe). Software is often full price from the makers but reduced elsewhere.

  Border View 23:52 02 Jul 2009

I accept your comments and await the comments of others on this forum.

At the end of the day though I stand by my opinion that consumers be they abled or disabled are being ripped off by "software developers".

  UK Sub 23:56 02 Jul 2009

Just a thought, but you say the software was from 2007, is that an earlier version and therefore cheaper?

  Border View 00:01 03 Jul 2009

My friend had the disc for a free 30 day demo version of the software from 2007. I googled the name of the software to find out what it would cost now - hence the £395.

I appreciate it is specialist software but £395 for the full version still sticks in the craw.

  hastelloy 08:34 03 Jul 2009

Welcome to the world of disability. The Guide software you are talking about has limited function and doesn't work with other applications. There is software that will do this - Zoomtext and JAWS are 2 examples. If you can find either for under £800 please let me know.

A bog standard high visibility keyboard costs £36 or you can buy high visibility labels for £12 per set. A keyboard for someone who can only use 1 hand is £400.

Have a look at click here lots of useful information and links to FREE software - not as useful as the paid for ones though. Look for a local contact for the Switched on Local Communities or, if you're in Leicestershire, use the yellow envelope to contact me directly - I have a colleague who can help.

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