Today, most tasks can be completed with the click of a mouse. Nearly all of us are glued to our electronic devices, particularly smartphones, laptops, and tablets. We rely on them for education, entertainment, productivity, information consumption, and social interaction.
But suppose you can’t see anything. Can you function in today’s highly technological society?
Absolutely! It is possible and common for the blind and visually handicapped to use all the features of modern electronic devices. Blind people use alternative methods to access these technologies. People who can’t see need “assistive technology,” which comes in many forms, to use modern electronics.
People with impairments can use computers, smartphones, tablets, and printed documents with the help of assistive technology. Different impairments call for the use of specific forms of assistive technology.
If you couldn’t see the computer screen or the pointer, how would you use it?
Accessible computers, such as desktops and laptops, use screen readers. Users who are blind or visually handicapped can still utilize a computer with the help of specialized software. People who are blind use a different set of key commands than those used by sighted people to move around the screen and access different menus and functions.
Depending on the setup, screen readers can either produce audible feedback or be linked to refreshable braille displays. In order to read braille, refreshable braille uses an electronic method. A device features braille-like pins that can be read with a finger.
When a person finishes reading a line, the pins disappear until the next line is read. People who are deaf or hard of hearing and cannot use text-to-speech output can benefit greatly from refreshable braille displays.
Consider the horror of being unable to read your phone’s display. The way you would text your friends. Do you employ the app? Need to make a phone call? Screen readers are software programs that allow the visually impaired to utilize smartphones and tablets.
This software reads aloud everything on the screen, including the menus and links. The Talkback application is available for Android devices. VoiceOver is incorporated into iOS devices and converts text to speech for the visually impaired. What you see on the screen can be read aloud by a computer-generated voice using text-to-speech technology.
Several “gestures” perform numerous actions on a mobile device. To get an audio indication of where you are on a page, for instance, you can tap the screen three times with VoiceOver. You can choose if you tap the highlighted link or object twice anywhere on the screen.
Blind students are able to participate in class and complete assignments with the help of assistive technology. Students who are legally blind but still have some usable vision can utilize an electronic magnifying device to read what the teacher writes on the board.
Blind students can read an e-book in silence using refreshable braille screens. An electronic notetaker might be helpful in class or when conducting online research for a project. Students can get course materials in different ways, such as braille, big print, refreshable braille, and audio. Students and adults who are blind or visually challenged utilize computers, phones, tablets, and other devices in many other ways as well.
People who are blind or visually impaired now have greater opportunities than ever to access education, employment, and social interactions on par with their sighted colleagues, thanks to developments in assistive technology. Due to the convenience of using electronic devices, many blind people are more dependent on them than their sighted counterparts.