Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

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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Thursday, August 30, 2007

IBM Home Page Reader

Home Page Reader speaks information as it is presented on the computer screen. Users hear everything from a description of graphics, to forms, frames and tables. Enhanced navigation features provide additional help in understanding complex tables and data input fields, and a simple search function provides the capability to look for descriptive text on a page or the entire Web.

In addition to being a Web browser, Home Page Reader includes a new desktop reader with keyboard navigation and speech output for the Microsoft Windows desktop and selected system applications. Compatible applications include Windows Explorer, Control Panel, Notepad, Media Player, WordPad and more.

Home Page Reader includes many features for users with low vision. Now those features and dialogs are on Home Page Reader menus so they are easier to access. Users with low vision can quickly change font size, type and color to customize the way information is presented to them. Windows and panes can also be resized to make the information easier to see, and a moving cursor that is synchronized with Home Page Reader's voice can help users maintain their focus while reading Web pages.

The View Zoom feature for Web page magnification enlarges everything on a Web page by a designated percentage to assist users with low vision to read information. Home Page Reader can also highlight words and characters on the Web page as they are spoken.

Text and links are read by different voices - a male voice speaks plain text while a female voice speaks links. Users may customize this and other speech and text settings according to preference.

Click this link to visit the IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center.

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