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Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Among Top Resources for the Blind are Audio Books and Text to Speech Software

Both audio books and text-to-speech software have proven to be invaluable tools for the blind, with audio books allowing the visually impaired to listen to full-length books on any subject imaginable, and text-to-speech software turning written words into spoken words in a flash

Audio Books

While audiobooks can be listened to from a desktop or laptop, as well as an MP3 player, such as an iPod or even an equipped cell phone, text-to-speech software is best relied on from your computer, turning written words into spoken words and helping you to compose emails, review web pages, even lengthy documents and notes.

Adding to the convenience, you can now download any audio book or have it sent directly to your doorstep through the postal service, keeping it as long as you need to hear it from beginning-to-end and then placing it in the provided return envelope for routing back – all for free.

There are inexpensive audio book clubs you can now join through the Internet that allow you to download audio books for free once you are a paying member and enjoying other adult audio books on tape.

For the young at heart, the Harry Potter audio book remains a top choice, although both children and adults enjoy a wide range of MP3 audio books, including self help audio books, Spanish audio books, German audio books – audio books in just about every language you can think of, and on every topic imaginable.

Of course, the audio book Bible remains one of the top audio books – both as a downloadable audio book and as purchased from an audio book sale.

Text to Speech Software

If you spend any amount of time on a computer, you may find it highly beneficial to add text to speech software to your desktop or laptop, allowing you to take written words anywhere on the Internet or even your inbox and instantly transform these into spoken words.

Best of all, advances in technology make for a wonderful natural voice text to speech experience, with users even able to choose from a very large variety of voices.

You can use text to speech capabilities to add converted text to your MP3 player or iPod, just as you would an audio book, and listen any time it is convenient for you – from any room in your home, while outside or while commuting.

Because you can now give a free text to speech converter a test drive, if you will, listening to a free text to speech demo, you can decide for yourself if this robust software solution will work for you.

Keep in mind that text to speech technology has greatly increased over the years, so you can expect almost any text to speech generator to produce top-notch results.

Using Reliable Voice Recognition Software Allows You to Produce Nearly 100% Accurate Documents

As a blind person, getting your thoughts or spoken words onto paper can be a daunting challenge and until recently, voice recognition software, although helpful, was not always reliable.

In fact, today’s voice recognition software uses digital voice recognition to ensure a higher level of accuracy every time, allowing you to produce precise notes, documents, correspondences and more, all of which truly reflect your spoken words.

When used in conjunction with a laptop or desktop, you can simply give voice commands to your computer, bypassing the need to use a keyboard or mouse. Additionally, for web users who may be unable to use their hands, voice recognition dictation software can even navigate through the World Wide Web and onto a specific web page, performing any tasks needed on that page or anywhere else, turning your computer into a comprehensive voice recognition system.

You can even count on voice recognition computer software to simplify your life on-the-go, allowing you to better control your BlackBerry, Treo, or WindowsMobile devices using simple and easy-to-remember voice commands.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking (also referred to as dragon voice recognition) remains the best-selling speech recognition and xml software on the market today, with special editions for home and personal users and for business and professional users – all starting for less than $100.

Best of all you can experience a free demonstration, listen-in on free “webinars” that introduce you to speech recognition capabilities, and download any of the dragon voice recognition program products immediately and start using them within the hour.

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