Monday, December 26, 2011

Free 3 Application Screen Reader for the Blind

Screen reader applications (screen reader) is the software used to operate the computer with visual impairment. Unfortunately, the average price is exorbitant commercial screen readers, so many blind people who can only feel the demo version only. Well, this time the author wants to share information about some free screen readers that blind people can be utilized without the need to pay a dime!

If I may say, a screen reader is the "eye" for the blind in operating computers. With these applications, the blind can get information about the text shown on the monitor screen. Text is converted into sound using a speech synthesizer technology, so the results can be heard by blind people.

Thus, it can be ascertained if the access to information for blind people became more open. Thanks to the help screen reader, they can browse, work, making presentations, and even enjoy entertainment on a PC or Notebook.

However, it turns out to obtain a screen reader cost is quite expensive. The cheapest price is around $ 399, and the most used price can exceed $ 1,000. For the value of it, perhaps only large institutions or certain circles who can afford it, while individuals with visual impairments may have to sacrifice ten or twenty months' salary to be able to buy it.

As an alternative, usually blind people use screen reader demo versions of commercial. The demo version allows the visually impaired use a screen reader for 30 or 40 minutes. After that, the screen reader will be non-active and to reactivate the computer must be restarted. Of course this is a practice which is less practical.

Here are some free screen reader that can be used as a solution to the above problems. Although its features can not complete commercial screen readers, but it was enough to be used as a tool for everyday computing activities.

However, the author will not discuss in detail since it would lengthen this article. The author just wanted to introduce it, so that people can share this information to the needy.

The criteria that I use in choosing a free screen reader is as follows:

- Always update. Some screen readers have fallen free, so it is no longer updated, and certainly can not be used on the current operating system.

- Stable. This free screen reader running smoothly, at least for computers with the latest specifications.

- Supports the general computing activity (Jump to the operating system, Office applications, and internet). The author ensures visually impaired can enjoy the entertainment or working in the office by utilizing this free screen reader.

1. Voice Over

Voice Over screen reader is made to the default output of Apple products, both Mac and iDevice. Screen reader can be directly used as a Mac or iDevice enabled.

For first-party applications such as the program default operating system, Voice Over run smoothly without a hitch. In other words, blind people will not encounter difficulty in accessing basic features of the device.

Mac (iMac, Macbook): Press the shortcut Command + F5 or switch from the setup menu (accessibility).

iDevice (iPod, iPhone, iPad): Enable the option Settings> General> Accessibility. Can also be activated from iTunes through the Universal Access option (after the iDevice is connected to a PC or Notebook).

2. System Access To Go

System Access To Go is a screen reader for free from the commercial version, System Access. To be able to use the internet connection is required, because the screen reader is not installed, it goes online.

To run it, please go to the site It will be a voice that will guide the visually impaired user in installing the System Access To Go.

System Access To Go can deal with both the existing Windows applications, and some common applications like Microsoft Office, WinAmp, and Skype.

Well, the screen reader is very useful when blind people traveling public facilities such as a library or Internet cafe. System Access To Go does not require installation, then the computer is used as the host does not need to be tampered.

However, perhaps be a little difficult when the host computer does not give permissions to execute the EXE file, because the System Access To Go need to download and execute the main application file (size 3MB).

Weaknesses of the System Access To Go, of course, lies in the matter of the Internet connection itself. If the connection is slow or broken, then the System Access To Go will silence a thousand languages, and it certainly makes blind people lose contact with his computer.

3. NVDA (Non Visual Desktop Access)

NVDA is a licensed open source screen reader made by NV Access. To get it, please access its website at

Although free, the ability of NVDA should thumbs up. In addition to having functions similar to the System Access To Go, NVDA also provides features that allow blind people to operate the mouse (if mouse is moved will sound indicating the position of the mouse).

NVDA is available in two flavors, the installer and portable. The installer can be installed on a PC, a portable and can be copy to the flash disk and can be run without installation.

Again this is very useful when traveling to a common means of visually impaired computer is not equipped with a screen reader, because NVDA can be directly executed (EXE executable requires administrative privileges).

Opinion writer

With this article, Indonesia is expected to more and more people who know how to give blind people access to the world of information through a computer at a cost of 0000. At least this applies to the procurement of a screen reader as a means of visually impaired and computer interaction.

Thus, blind people who live in remote or disadvantaged even been able to computing. Simply provide computer netbook specs and attach a screen reader for free, and blind even been able to use it.

In the world of education, the opportunity to participate in learning with visual impairments use computers became more open. The school does not have to spend the excess funds to provide a screen reader, because the applications that the authors mentioned above already can handle applications that are commonly used to complete school assignments.

This information can also be disseminated to the managers of public facilities such as a library or Internet cafe. Surely not too difficult to install a free screen reader that its size is relatively small. So, if there are visually impaired visitors who come, the manager can turn on the screen and visually impaired readers can take advantage of these public facilities.

The biggest thing that writers and other visually impaired colleagues dreamed, of course, is the creation of opportunities greater information access for the visually impaired. Free screen reader is expected to be one solution in realizing that dream.

Note: This article was written in Microsoft Word 2010 by using NVDA version 2011-3.

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