2000 Conference Proceedings

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Window-Eyes Through the Eyes, Ears, and Now Fingers with Braille Displays

Clarence Whaley
GW Micro, Inc.
Phone: 615-383-6248
Fax 615-269-5288
Clarence@gwmicro.com 

In the past as new software and operating systems were released to the general public, blind and visually impaired persons had to traditionally wait several months if not years before they had equal access. Thankfully, this trend is slowing and in many cases not even an issue.

Window-Eyes is a Windows based screen reader that has grown to be one of the top screen readers on the market. Window-Eyes started by supporting Windows 3.1x followed by Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, Windows Millennium, and finally Windows 2000.

Window-Eyes has a strong reputation for being extremely reliable, stable, and responsive. With the addition of Braille support, visually impaired persons can now experience Windows as never before. Braille allows the visually impaired person to obtain a tactile layout of the desktop, applications, and windows in general.

Window-Eyes will be demonstrated running under Windows in many facets.

  1. Windows will be shown with both speech and Braille, to show how they can co-exist for even broader access than before.
  2. Several of the accessories supplied with Windows will be demonstrated. It will be shown, using both speech and Braille, how easily a visually impaired person can get a tactile image of what is really occurring.
  3. Microsoft Office will be demonstrated and shown it is just as compatible as was previously true using speech, and now even more so with the addition of Braille. With Braille displays, actual document formatting and other features come alive as never before.
  4. Internet Explorer and the power of the Internet will be demonstrated. And with Braille, it is now possible to see how a page is actually formatted.
  5. General questions will be accepted from the audience for the last five minutes.

The basic reason for this session is to demonstrate how Braille displays now enable visually impaired persons to gain a true perspective of what their sighted co-workers and friends are seeing on the screen, understand the physical layout of Windows and its applications, and eliminate the misunderstandings of the concepts of Windows in general often experienced by speech user.


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