5 Useful Ways for Blind or Visually Impaired Users to Browse the Internet

These days, computing has revolutionized to a great extent that no one is denied the access to information. This includes those who are visually impaired too.

5 Useful Ways for Blind or Visually Impaired Users to Browse the Web

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Well, there is a slew of tools and software that will help you access your PC and even the mobile devices despite your visual impairment.

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You can get to know more about how you can browse the internet even if you are blind from the content over here. It shows 5 ways to browse the internet even if you are blind.

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Social Media Photo Annotations

Both Twitter and Facebook have products for the visually impaired people to access photos on their networks. On Twitter's mobile app, you can enable a feature known as Accessible Images while you upload a tweet and add a description of up to 420 characters to the same. It uses the alt text standard that has an in-built attribute of img HTML tag. It is available when reading the feed with a braille display or screen reader.
In Facebook, the same technique is used, but the photos will be automatically captioned for you using a neural network that will recognize the backgrounds and objects in the photos that is similar to how YouTube recognizes videos.

Screen Reader Software

Screen readers exist from the time the command line computers were in use. The technology is a bit more complex right now, but the concept is pretty much the same. The software can read the on-screen elements and translate the same to voice. This way, the visually impaired users can also interact with the computer. There are APIs that let the developers add content descriptions to the interface elements.

Braille Displays

The refreshable braille displays act as both screens as well as input devices for the visually impaired people. You can find a row of letters running across the bottom on these displays. The characters will appear as a series of pins that will pop up to form the braille letters. This can be used along with a screen reader. These are the only way that the deaf and blind people use to interact with a computer. Many such displays will come with Perkins keyboard that is dedicated to typing braille.

Screen Magnifier Software

These help with low vision to read small text without straining their eyes. The program will zoom in on a specific area of a screen enlarging both the images and text. The zoom level varies based on your configuration. Sometimes, the whole screen will be zoomed in and some details will be cut off the screen. There is a secondary mode in most of them that will place a window on the screen to act as a magnifier. There are additional options to help the normal users as well and these are usually built into the major platforms.

Vinux for Linux Users

It is a Linux distro combining the tecnologies for an easy to set up computer that is accessible. It provides a pre-configured accessible environment and it makes it easier to configure a new PC for the visually impaired users. The call for help feature that is built in the Linux command line is a unique feature.

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