2006 Conference General Sessions

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DOES YOUR READING MACHINE REALLY WORK FOR YOUR LOW VISION CLIENTS?

 

Presenter(s)
Dusty Voorhees
Freedom Scientific
11800 31st Court North
St. Petersburg
FL 33716-1805

Day Phone: 727-803-8000
Email: DustyV@FreedomScientific.com

This presentation will demonstrate the suite of low vision features as well as the many other powerful features of the SARA Scanning and Reading Appliance.

Does your reading machine really work for your low vision clients?

This presentation will demonstrate the suite of low vision features as well as the many other powerful features of the SARA Scanning and Reading Appliance.

Typically when someone mentions a reading machine we automatically think of our blind clients and rarely consider the reading machine as a solution for low vision users. The SARA Scanning and Reading Appliance was designed from the beginning as a solution for both low vision and blind users. The SARA features a set of powerful low vision functions to compliment its wide range of auditory functions.

By plugging a monitor into the SARA you reveal a set of features designed specifically for low vision users. Low vision users begin by adjusting their font and font size. They can choose a foreground and background color combination that gives them the contrast they need while eliminating glare colors.  Some users will also take advantage of the spacing feature to increase the amount of white space between characters, words, lines and sentences to eliminate characters running together.

Once the low vision preferences are set, they blend nicely with the auditory features developed for blind users. During reading, word highlighting is synchronized with the text being spoken. When speech is paused, the last spoken word remains highlighted to aid the user in tracking their reading position.

SARA’s the low vision features are complimented, by a powerful set of scanning and reading features. Auditory feedback starts with the natural sounding RealSpeak Solo voices providing clear, understandable speech in 18 languages and dialects.

The simple user interface allows even the most basic user to easily scan and read textual information. A single button push will initiate the scan and automatically read the recognized text. Another button allows the user to pause and resume the reading of the text. The navigational keypad allows the user to quickly navigate the document and to clarify words.

The user can choose between scanning modes for different needs or simply use the one that works best for them. Scanning modes include Scan and Read, Scan in Background, and Scan and Replace.

SARA comes with a selection of public domain books already installed and ready to read, providing hours of reading enjoyment. The CD slot on the front of the machine allows users to access books saved on CD from other sources by using the Open from CD function. SARA will open a wide variety of text formats including TXT, DOC and PDF, to name a few.

In addition, SARA is not limited to scanning in text or accessing electronic text. Users can use their SARA to read a wide range of audio books including formats such as Daisy, MP3 and Redbook Audio.

SARA provides a full featured scanning and reading appliance for blind and low vision user. Users attending this session will understand the many powerful features and will be able to connect the features with the needs of their individual clients.


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