Computing For The Blind

  Mr Mistoffelees 17:47 29 Sep 2011

My partner volunteers with an organisation called IT [email protected] helping, mainly older, disabled people gain basic computer skills at home.

Her latest client is a younger woman who is completely blind. She has a program called Guide, supplied by the RNIB, which is very useful as it can read all text on the screen and help identify images, as well as some special hardware.

The client wants to be able use social networking sites, especially Facebook. Guide can read all the content on the site but, she cannot type in Facebook because she has no way of knowing where the cursor is and so cannot select the text input box.

Has anyone come across a program that can help or a mouse, perhaps a haptic mouse, that can help a blind user locate the cursor and so where to type?

  wiz-king 18:13 29 Sep 2011

Try to get hold of a copy of Dragon Naturally speaking or the old IBM ViaVoice and have a play with them.Earlier versions were often given away. Viavoice was sold to Dragon some years ago and you only have to speak into it and it will type the text - takes awhile and some help to set up but it may do the trick.

  Aitchbee 18:49 29 Sep 2011

Tell her facebook is rubbish and point her towards this website...we will all give her a warm welcome... no kidding.

  Woolwell 18:52 29 Sep 2011

AitchBEE - another useless post which doesn't help at all.

  Aitchbee 18:58 29 Sep 2011

Woolwell - your last post was helpful to me....

  wiz-king 19:00 29 Sep 2011

Also have a read of the options

  Aitchbee 19:22 29 Sep 2011

Mr M. I have not used facebook So,I should not say anybody else should not use it.But, if you are a blind person, then, some of the visual features of that website might not be an attraction. Although, if you know other people who are using that social networking website, then facebook might be a good way of communicating for you.

  Woolwell 20:14 29 Sep 2011

This is an interesting site Blind and Technologyand it seems that using facebook's mobile version may work

  morddwyd 20:25 29 Sep 2011

"I have not used facebook"

So how do you know it is "rubbish"?

It is not for me, but like these forums, it gives a lot of pleasure to a lot of people.

Good luck to them.

Mr M

Sorry, another unhelpful post.

  Mr Mistoffelees 23:38 29 Sep 2011

wiz-king, the problem is not the typing, she has a special keyboard, the problem lies with finding the text-box to type in. She has no way of knowing where the cursor is so cannot highlight the box in order to type in it.

I have passed on to my partner the suggestion of trying the mobile version.

BTW, I'm another stick-in-the-mud who never has and, probably, never will use Facebook!

  spuds 00:15 30 Sep 2011

If I could make a suggestion, get in touch with the RNIB or your local blind persons outlet or association. Our local outlet VISTA have a very good IT section for daily use by their clients, which covers a whole range of products and ideas.

I would also mention that a registered blind person might be able to claim vat back or have special exemptions/needs on some of the products and equipments that they might require. This might also apply to other people with certain disabilities.

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