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You are in: Home > Articles > Writing for People with Visual Impairments

Writing for People with Visual Impairments


The standard computer with its back-lit display can be easier to read than material on paper. The facility to change the type of letters used, the size and the screen and text colour can make the screen easier to read. These facilities are available when using many common word-processing programs, although finding them can require a careful search through many menus.

A good working position is important, taking into consideration the amount of light falling on the screen, lighting for any books being used and for the keyboard. High contrast key stickers can help with learning the keyboard layout.

Access utilities that allow the contrast, colour and size of the display to be adjusted to an individual's preferences can be found on most computer systems. These have the advantage of affecting all software that is being used. Specialist access software will give a greater degree of control over enlargement and help with screen navigation.

Speech feedback is becoming common, with most educational word-processors now offering choices including echo key presses, read words, sentences etc.. If speech feedback is required from all software specialist speech software will be required. Using these packages a totally blind user can be given computer access.

Speech input systems are becoming a more realistic option and are capable, after training, of turning speech directly into text. A feedback system will still be required to allow the user to confirm the accuracy of the speech to text translation. Speech input systems can also be useful for system navigation.


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