With all of today’s technology it is becoming easier and easier for low – vision users to have full functionality in the office. From monitors, to keyboards, to screen readers, the possibilities are endless.
Here is a helpful guide to products that help today’s low-vision users complete daily work tasks:
Dragon- Programs like Dragon allow users to dictate into a microphone and the program then transcribes the spoken word into written word using Microsoft Word. https://usm.channelonline.com/cadan/cadanat/Products/index.co?id=M015593351
Two programs that work very well for people who need help with screen reading are JAWS (Job Access With Speech) and the Kurzweil 1000.
JAWS- “is the world’s most popular screen reader, developed for computer users whose vision loss prevents them from seeing screen content or navigating with a mouse. JAWS provides speech and Braille output for the most popular computer applications on your PC. You will be able to navigate the Internet, write a document, read an email and create presentations from your office, remote desktop, or from home.”
Kurzweil 1000– “Quality text-to-speech matters, especially for persons with blindness and visual impairments. Modify Kurzweil 1000 so that listening is comfortable, and enjoyable. Then march on to independence with additional features for writing, editing, and on-to-go access.”
When it comes to keyboards, one very important factor for low-vision users is contrast and sometimes braille.
Keys-U-See– This is a great low-vision high contrast keyboard. With yellow keys, a black background, and large print, this keyboard is a great option for those who need some help visually identifying the keys.
Braille Overlays for Computer Keyboards- These are stickers that can be placed on any keyboard that corresponds between the letter and the 6 dot braille letters.
Other helpful tips:
Good lighting and a large computer monitor can both be helpful as a low vision person in an office setting. Another important item is having the ability to adjust contrast and brightness of a computer monitor to optimize visibility.
With these products, low vision users are sure to have a more successful time completing tasks that may have prevented them in the past.