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Computers and Laptops for the Blind and Visually Impaired

 
Losing your sight or a severe decrease in the quality of your sight does not mean the use of computers and laptops is out of the question. In fact technology has made some fantastic leaps forward over the past 10 years providing us with intelligent software, specifically designed to facilitate the use of computers and laptops for the blind and partially sighted.
As a company we are passionate about everything technological for the blind and partially sighted. That’s why we have created this useful guide to give you some valuable information to consider when buying a computer or laptop.
 

What now?

To begin with you will need to establish how strong your sight is.
–          If you can read what is on the computer screen, but in order to do so you need to get very close or view one thing at a time in isolation. Or perhaps the clarity on the screen is not there for you, which could be down to the colour of the text.
–          It may be that with some adjustment to the setting within the Windows operating system that this will be enough magnification to meet with your needs, however if this is not the case.
–          Then Screen Magnifying software is what you would need for your computer or laptop, this will also give you the option to change the text colour, foreground and background colour of web pages and the like to assist you in the use of the PC.
–          If in fact you cannot make out anything on the computer screen clearly whatsoever, with or without magnification – then Screen Reading software is what you would require for your computer or laptop.
 

What is best for you?

Screen Readers
Screen Reading software is for those with very little or no sight. Essentially the software works audibly, a synthesised voice will read out anything which the computer user navigates to on the screen, so instead of seeing where they are on a screen, the user can hear where they are. Naturally with all screen readers some training is needed before hand to learn how to interact with the software – this would involve learning a number of different commands or keyboard shortcuts.
 
We would recommend the most popular screen reading software, JAWS. You can get a demo version of JAWS to try it for yourself by giving us a call on 01604 798070.
 
Screen Magnifiers
Screen Magnification software, as previously mentioned, is for those with some useable sight. The software will magnify everything on the screen of the computer or laptop to a size of the users choosing – whilst ensuring the quality of the magnified text or image is not compromised. Many screen magnifiers also have options to alter the colour of the mouse pointer and screen colours, allowing you to choose the screen to be displayed in the colours which are the easiest for you to see.
 
The market leading Screen Magnification software is ZoomText from AI Squared, and this is what we would recommend. Once again, a trial version of the software is available if you would like to test this software out. Please either give us a call on 01604 798070 or visit the website to download here: https://www.sightandsound.co.uk/shop/products.php?product=ZoomText-Free-Trial-Software
 

The Full Package

Here at Sight and Sound, we are not only able to offer you the Screen Reading and Screen Magnifying software but also the entire computer system and training as well. We are one of the only companies in the UK which is able to offer such a complete service for the blind and partially sighted.

 1. All you would need to do is start by telling us if you would like to purchase a desktop computer (something a bit more permanent that stays in one place), or a laptop computer (a completely portable computer).

2. From there we will guide you through the different options of computers and discuss which software options would be best for you and your level of sight.

3. Once we are certain that you have all of the specialist assistive software and hardware you need with your computer – we will then go about installing all of it onto the computer for you so that when your computer system is delivered all you need to do is plug it in and turn it on.

4. Finally, we have our own team of highly experienced trainers. The trainers can either come to your house and train you there, meet you at a local place of your choosing, or provide training online through the use of the internet.

5. Once you feel confident enough to go alone, we will leave you to it. Although if you ever run into any problems, we are the only UK supplier to offer a free telephone support service to all of our customers – so help and assistance is always just one call away.

If you would like to arrange a demo in any of the aforementioned software or computers systems then you have a couple of options at your disposal.

Either give us a call on 01604 798070, or get in contact.

Visit us at one of our many exhibitions we hold all over the country (the details of which can be viewed here: https://www.sightandsound.co.uk/p/category/events/)

 

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