Screen readers

Blind Arabic speakers left out in iOS 7

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Blind Arabic speakers have identified that the quality of the screen reader has gone backwards in the latest update to the Apple iPad and iPhone software.

In the update to iOS 7, Apple removed the ‘Majed’ voice for the Arab language setting for VoiceOver and replaced it with the inferior ‘Tariq’ voice.

VoiceOver is the built in screen reader for all Apple devices which allows blind users to navigate their smartphone or tablet. VoiceOver can be controlled through a series of gestures useful for blind users who cannot see buttons or other visual elements on the screen.

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Demonstrations of Kindle Fire accessibility feaures

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The Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) in the UK has released a set of videos demonstrating the accessibility features of Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets.

The first video, Kindle Fire for low vision users (embedded below), demonstrates how to customise the magnification, colour and font settings to make the tablet easier to use for people who are vision impaired.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3B1lTBKWjk

Watch the Kindle Fire for low vision users video with captions on YouTube


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Finding the right screen reader

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Our information on screen readers has been updated to help you find the one that best suits your needs.

Screen readers are pieces of software which enable people who are blind to use computers, smartphones and tablets. They work by converting text and other information into synthetic speech. There are many different screen readers available. Some come installed already on devices, others are free to download, while some are costly.

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Narrator

Narrator is the free built-in screen reader available in recent versions of Windows.  While Narrator has very limited functionality in Windows XP, Vista and 7, it was significantly updated in Windows 8 to include the explore by touch feature on touch screen devices.

Note: If you are using an older version of Windows such as XP or 7, it is recommended you use a more developed screen reader such as NVDA. If you have an Apple Mac we recommend you use the inbuilt VoiceOver.

Features

Features of Narrator include:

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