Tech

Have you ever been confused by all the tech options or just wonder what is available for a child who is blind or low vision? I will post blogs on the different kinds of technology available to schools and families for students who are blind or low vision.

Braille+18

Braille+18 available at www.aph.org

5/8/13

I think I have found it! The perfect stand for the iPad so that students can use it hands free as a magnification device. The Hover Bar in the Apple Store for $79.95! It has a gooseneck that moves in any direction and attaches to the student’s desk, lap top, or table. You can aim the iPad camera at a wall and pick up the images on the iPad using a magnification app and the student can see it magnified on the iPad screen. You can aim the iPad camera at a page or book that is on the student’s desk and magnify the page on the iPad screen using the same magnification app. There are many magnification apps available. Some common ones are EyeSight and BigMagnify.

Hover Bar iPad Stand Back

11/19/12

I have been doing a lot of research into iPad apps for students who have low vision. Especially in the area of using the iPad as a magnification device. I came across this really useful list of apps, along with a review of the apps. I thought my readers would find this very helpful just as much as I have. This site is put together by colleagues in New Zealand. Please take a look at this handy list: iPhone/iPad Apps

Here is a review of the EyeSight app for magnification. It works best with the iPad3. EyeSight by SightTech.  Another app available is Vision Assist. It is less expensive than the $29.99 EyeSight app as it costs $5.99. However, the resolution is not as nice and it takes a little more learning to navigate it. Check out the review on Vision Assist. AFB Access World publishers have written an extensive review of the EyeSight app that sheds light on the types of stands/mounts necessary to use when using the iPad as a magnification device. These were questions I had when experimenting with the various apps. This review has very helpful information. Here is a demonstration of several iPad apps that will benefit the blind/low vision population including magnifiers, a money reader, a quick recorder, and more!

Dr. Denise Robinson shares the features of Zoom, Large Text, and White on Black contrast that is already built into the iPad for accessiblity in the iPad and Low Vision Tricks:

Another question I had was how do you use the iPad as a distance magnification device…or is it even possible? So far, I have discovered that you can take a photo of what you are trying to read and save it in your picture file. Then with the Zoom feature on, you can enlarge it. However, the quality of the photo is not the greatest when it is enlarged. It is very pixelated.

11/18/12

If you really want help with learning how to use technology made for blind and low vision users, then you will have to visit this site with all of Dr. Denise Robinson’s “How To” videos. On her website www.techvision.com she also has curriculum and lessons for sale at minimal costs. http://www.youtube.com/user/yourtechvision. The video below demonstrates Jaw’s Commands.

11/17/12

NVDA Free Screenreader

Have you ever wondered how you could ever afford a screenreader when the most popular screenreader is $895? That is not a price that the average person can easily afford. Yet having a screenreader is so very necessary to a blind or low vision student. That is why I am so thankful for NVDA. NVDA is a free screenreader that works just as well as the most popular screenreader available on the market. NVDA does ask for a modest $20.00 donation so that the company can continue offering it for free. That is a more reasonable price that is easily affordable. TVI’s can save their districts $$$ by using and teaching NVDA instead of buying expensive screenreaders. During these economic times it makes more sense to try and find a quality program that will save dollars. NVDA is family affordable and can be downloaded easily on any PC desktop or laptop. If you are using an Apple computer, then you will be using their built-in screenreader called VoiceOver. But that is another blog!

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