Hardware/Software for the Blind

  Sparkly 19:57 24 Aug 2011

Hi i have been asked if "or" is it possible to find a scanner that when you scan a document or personal letter that the scanner can use software to read out aloud the document/letter? This gents eyesight is all but gone and has relied on his wife to read things out to him but she is not in good health and he is reluctant to bother her with this now. Many thanks

  lotvic 22:32 24 Aug 2011

http://www.afb.org/seniorsite.asp?DocumentID=3286&SectionID=67 lists a few devices (it's American but gives you an idea of what's available)

  Taff™ 00:03 25 Aug 2011

Just bookmarking this for tomorrow. My partner is partially sighted and although out of work temporarily has had a lot of help and assistance from various sources to keep her employable. I'll pose the question to her in the morning and she's sure to know an answer or where to find one.

For example, our local centre, Beacon Centre for the Blind near Wolverhampton, has a marvellous resource centre and Dudley Council, her former employer, also provided her with assistance including magnifying equipment, Zoomtext software and large screen monitors and Keyboards for her computer.

One amazing piece of kit she was shown but doesn't yet require, scans shopping such as cans, packets of food etc and using the bar codes as they are put into cupboards or fridges can talk back when they are brought out to use. The products are placed back against the scanner and the product description read out loud with sell by date. Very useful with cans that are all the same size and similar colours. Unfortunately it is only subsidised because of government cut backs .....

Watch this space and no pun intended!

  Sparkly 07:36 25 Aug 2011

Hi lotvic many thanks for the link makes very interesting reading i will certinaly pass this on to him and hopefully something can be sorted for him, its difficult trying to give him help as he is of the "Old school of thinking" wont ask for help unless he really cant cope been retired for about 10 years and never drawn any state benifits, im hopeing now its got to a point where he will be happy to accept help and allow more people to do thing for him. Taff™ will be watching this space, thanks.

  Covergirl 07:45 25 Aug 2011

Later Windows versions (from XP at least) have a "Narrator" function built in. I'm not sure exactly how it works, but say a document was scanned using OCR and displayed on the screen, perhaps Narrator might read it for you - unrecognised characters and all!

Narrator will be under Programs, Accessories, Accessibility. Perhaps someone else can advise how to get it working - or pooh pooh the idea, as it only appears to read the dialogue boxes for me.

  northumbria61 08:32 25 Aug 2011

In Windows 7 it is in Control Panel - Ease of Access Center

  Taff™ 09:17 25 Aug 2011

Action for Blind People (Part of RNIB) Technology Services was the service that visited my partner. She was referred to them by Access To Work and they apparently told of such a device. It was hooked up to a printer with OCR software.

They offer all sorts of gadgets Talking Clock, Liquid Level Indicator and many more are available than those mentioned on this site.

You can contact a Regional Centre Here

  hastelloy 10:27 25 Aug 2011

Action for Blind People are an excellent choice. If they have a PC then Abilitynet are also worth a call. What you are looking for is certainly possible in a variety of ways - most of them expensive. Abilitynet will assess and recommend. They also have a loan system so that things can be tried and before committing to any expense.

  Sparkly 11:45 25 Aug 2011

Hi everyone and many thanks for the help and links, plenty to be getting on with now so i will show him all the links and see where we go from there.

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