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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Wednesday, May 09, 2012

The Problem with Printing

by Donna J. Jodhan

For those of us who do not have enough vision to see whether or not there is printed text on a page, here are some daily challenges that we face as blind people.

We need to ensure that when we print a page, it does contain text. When the page comes out of the printer, there is no way to tell if the page does indeed contain text or if it is blank. So for me, I use my scanner to help me out. I scan the page and then I use my access software to tell me what is going on. I can hear what is on the page through voice output. However, there is more for me to be concerned about. I have to ensure that all of the text is there and often enough, I have to ask for sighted assistance to ensure that everything is okay an that it looks okay.

When it comes to the printing of labels and envelopes, I have to be very meticulous. In my case, I have learned how to line up my envelope in the printer so that the text is well centered when it is printed but to be safe, I almost always ask for sighted assistance. The other day for example, mom told me that the text on the envelope was not centered and I had to make two efforts before I got it right.

Nothing could be worse for me than to have missing text on a page, or an envelope with an address that is not properly centered. So I have to use a combination of patience, my trusty scanner, and sighted assistance. If you'd like to learn more about software that enables blind people to use mainstream scanners, visit

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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