Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Some talking devices

As a blind person, there are certain talking devices that I use in order to help me with certain tasks and for the purpose of this article, I am going to stick with just a few; those that I use in order to communicate with others.
 
First:  My talking cell phone.  At first glance, my cell phone appears to be like any other; can be used by anyone but with one major exception.  It talks.  There is special software that enables me to hear the keys that I press.  I can hear options in menus, and I can hear what I choose when I press the keys on the phone's keypad.  I can hear the names and addresses in my contact list, and I can then choose whichever name I desire and make my phone call or send an email. 
 
There is also another great feature to my talking cell phone.  There is special software that enables me to use my cell phone as a talking reader.  When used in this way, my cell phone can read printed text on a page but it is unable to read handwriting accurately.  My cell phone is equipped with a special camera that takes a picture of the page and then converts it to speech.
 
Second:  My talking PDA:  It is called the Icon and this handy little device was developed to enable a blind person to have access to a PDA type of device.  I can use the Icon to input information, record music, and play audio books.  I can also use the Icon as a voice recorder.  The recordings are of top quality and I can record either audio or music.  I can hear keys when they are pressed, options in menus, and there is a detailed help facility for me to use whenever I need it.
 
The Icon enables me to either use its keyboard or attach a wireless keyboard to it.  It can be used to interact with a computer and I can upload and download information and data to and from it.  I use the Icon extensively whenever I travel away from home.
 
Apple's iPhone and iPal are also quite accessible for blind persons and more companies are coming out with devices that enable blind persons to use them.  They are developing devices with built-in speech and VOIP software. 
 
Just but a few devices to tell you about and if you would like to know more than please visit www.aph.org.
 
I'm Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a terrific day.

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