Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology Manufacturers

NV Access makes a free, high quality screenreader for Windows called NVDA. It works well for personal use and can easily handle browsing the web, reading email, writing letters, and chatting with friends via Skype.

Apple makes a free screenreader called Voiceover that comes with every computer, iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Many people who are blind find the iPhone to be the most accessible and easiest to use phone on the market right now. The same is true of the iPad and iPad Mini tablets. People who are Vision Impaired are increasingly adopting the Mac computer as well.

SpeedDots sells a one-of-a-kind series of tactile screen protectors for iPhones and iPads that speeds up typing and makes finding commonly used icons fast and easy. The SpeedDots protectors are designed by a developer who is blind and uses touch screens on a daily basis and wanted to make them easier to use. These protectors improve the touch screen experience for many people who are blind around the world.

Dolphin Computer Access makes software called Dolphin Guide for people who are newly blind or who need a simplified computing experience. This software may also appeal to senior citizens who are computer novices. Dolphin also makes a screenreader and magnification suite called Supernova.

Freedom Scientific makes Braille notetakers, reading solutions, and professional grade screenreader and magnification software that works well in a home, small business, or corporate setting. They sell portable magnifyers as well. Freedom Scientific are best known for the screenreader called JAWS and their Magic® magnification software. Both products support Microsoft Office, let you browse the web, chat on Skype, and support scripting for professional and call center application needs.

HandyTech is an international supplier of Braille displays, notetakers, magnifyers, and screenreaders. They also provide training and consulting services.

Humanware supply a number of blindness and low vision products; such as the Braillenote, Victor Reader and a range of magnification solutions.

Serotek is a company that specializes in products that are easy to use and written for home users. System Access, their flagship product, is a good fit for people who are newly blind or who are new to using a computer.

Gw Micro is the creator of the popular Window Eyes screenreader as well as several reading appliances. They also sell GWConnect, a simplified Skype interface, and GWSocialEyes, a simplified way to access Facebook.

The American Printing House For the Blind has many products for educational use including the Book Port Plus daisy reading machine. They also produce Braille materials and textbooks.

Code Factory makes screenreaders and magnification products for cell phones and tablets. They specialize in supporting Android, Nokia, and Windows Phone 8.

Hims is a company that specializes in reading devices for daisy books, e-books, and audio books. They also offer a range of notetakers and Braille displays.

Quantum Technology For over 25 years, Quantum has been providing products and services to people with a print disability (low vision, blindness or a learning difficulty). they are the largest supplier of adaptive technology to the education, corporate and government sectors in Australia.

Pacific Vision International Since 2002 has been one of the fastest growing companies in the field, they have a wide range of assistive technology products for people with low vision and blindness. Products include a range of hand magnifiers, CCTV magnifiers, both desk top and portable as well as OCR and Braille notetakers and Daisy readers.

Accessible Applications

Applevis is a great site for finding accessible application for iOS and/or the Mac. App reviews are categorized, and each app listed is rated on its accessibility. Applevis has a podcast about various applications as well as tons of guides and how-to articles. There is also an active forum where you can ask questions and talk with other users.

Voice Dream Reader is a versatile, high quality general purpose voice reader for the iPhone and iPad that is fully integrated with Bookshare. It can also be used to read PDF, MS Word, HTML, ePub, and text files. Files can be downloaded, copied from the clipboard, synced through Dropbox and Google Drive, or synced using iTunes file sharing. In addition to an included female American English voice, it offers 78 voices in 20 languages from NeoSpeech and Acapela as in-app purchases for $1.99 or $2.99. You can purchase Voice Dream Reader for $9.99 from the Apple App Store or try a free demo version called Voice Dream Reader Lite to see if this product meets your needs.

Looktel is a company that provides several innovative products for people who are vision impaired. Their Money Recognizer app for iOS and the Mac makes identifying money easy.

Go Read for Android is a free, fully accessible, e-book reader for people with print disabilities. Optimized for readers who are Vision-impaired and usable by anyone, Go Read allows you to download and listen to Bookshare books on Android smartphones and tablets. Go Read is based on the open source FBReader project and is available for free.

AMIS DAISY Playback Software runs on Windows and is a software program that you can use to read DAISY books, including Bookshare books. It is self-voicing, meaning that no specialized screen-reading software is needed in order for it to be used by people who are vision impaired . AMIS is open source software and is provided free of charge.

Doug Lee has written some excellent scripts for JAWS that make Skype, Teamtalk, and Teamspeak work better. If you have never heard of these programs, they are free voice/text chatting software that many people who are blind use. You can get these programs as well as the necessary scripts from the following links. You can Download the Skype scripts here or download the Teamtalk scripts here. He also has new Teamspeak scripts for JAWS 14 and up as well.

Continuum provides several fun, accessible, and very affordable programs that make life easier for a person who is blind. Each program has been written with users who are blind as its focus, and accessibility is guaranteed.