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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Monday, November 21, 2011

Technology Becoming More Difficult

by Donna J. Jodhan

Two steps forward for mainstream technology, but unfortunately, just one for access technology. What I mean is this; the evolution of technology is like a runaway freight train. It changes literally by the minute and we all have to find ways to keep up with it in our own way. For the blind, the challenge to keep up with it is made even more difficult because of having to wait for access technology to catch up and when it does; mainstream technology has already left the building so to speak.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with what access technology is; it is the technology that is used by people with disibilities to help them access software, the Internet, plus more. Access technology includes such products as: screen reading software, magnifying software, and specially adapted keyboards. There are other types of access technology of course. Access technology is also very expensive in comparison to mainstream technology and often time, it is financially out of the reach of many disabled people.

Access technology has come a long way in its development but there is much more to be done and it does not help when mainstream technology continues to change so rapidly. This can't be helped. We need specially developed devices to enable us to scan and read books. We need talking GPS devices to help us navigate streets in unfamiliar areas. We need clocks and watches that talk to help us tell the time. We need appliances that have been designed with voice output so that we can use them. In short, for a blind person, we need to have devices that talk and devices with large print displays so that we can use them.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a terrific day. If you'd like to learn more about me, then you can visit some of my blog spots at:
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all:
Weekly Saturday postings on issues of accessibility:
blogs on various issues and answers to consumers concerns:

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