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NLS Reference Circulars

Assistive Technology Products for Information Access

2006

Introduction

The products listed in this reference circular are designed to enable people who have visual or physical disabilities to access information. They convert print into synthetic speech, braille, or enlarged text. Many products include an internal speech synthesizer. Some companies still sell external stand-alone speech synthesizers. They are included although they are for use with older versions of the Windows operating system.

Many companies have special offers on their web sites and free demonstration software. Because prices are subject to change without notice, contact companies directly to verify current prices and product specifications. Items listed in this reference circular are not part of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped program, and their listing does not imply endorsement.

Contents

Screen Readers with Full Functionality

Additional Screen Readers

Speech Synthesizers

Voice Recognition Software

Software for Web Access

Scanning Software

Reading Machines and Scanners

Addresses of Sources

Selected Bibliography, 2002-2006

Selected Internet Resources

Screen Readers with Full Functionality

Screen readers are software programs that enable individuals who are blind or visually impaired to access text and graphics on the computer screen by voice output, enlarged text, and/or with a refreshable braille display.

Hal Screen Reader (Dolphin)
Works with various Windows-based computers. Provides a choice of software speech synthesizers, including Dolphin Orpheus (in various languages) and Microsoft Text-to-Speech. Supports a range of braille displays and note takers. Offers a free demonstration to download at www.dolphincomputeraccess.com/downloads/index.asp#demov.
Assistive Technology Center, $795 [Details on Assistive Technology Center]
Beyond Sight, $795 [Details on Beyond Sight]
Dolphin Computer Access, $795; $890; $1,095; $1,190 [Details on Dolphin]
EnableMart, $795; $890; $1,095; $1,190 [Details on EnableMart]
EVAS, $795; $1,095 [Details on EVAS]
Freedom of Speech, $795; $1,195 [Details on Freedom of Speech]
Optelec, $795; $1,095 [Details on Optelec]
Synapse, $795; $1,095 [Details on Synapse]
Technologies for the Visually Impaired, $465; $795 Details on Technologies for the Visually Impaired]
Vision Matters, $795; $1,095 [Details on Vision Matters]
JAWS (Job Access With Speech) (Freedom Scientific)
Supports standard Windows applications and Internet Explorer. Uses an internal multilingual software speech synthesizer called Eloquence for JAWS and the computer's sound card for voice output. Can also use any JAWS-compatible software or hardware speech synthesizer or a braille display in computer or contracted braille. Offers a free demonstration to download at www.freedomscientific.com/fs_products/JAWS_HQ.asp#Downloads.
Adaptive Technology, $895; $1,095 [Details on Adaptive Technology]
Carolyn's Low Vision Products, $895 [Details on Carolyn's]
Freedom Scientific, $895; $1,095 [Details on Freedom Scientific]
EVAS, $895; $1,095 [Details on EVAS]
Independent Living Aids, $895; $1,095 [Details on Independent Living Aids]
Maxi-Aids, $895; $1,095 [Details on Maxi-Aids]
Synapse, $895; $1,095 [Details on Synapse]
Vision Matters, $895; $1,095 [Details on Vision Matters]
Supernova Reader Magnifier (Dolphin)
Works with various Windows-based computers to provide speech, literary or computer braille, and magnification from 1.2x to 32x. Supports a range of braille displays and note takers. Provides a choice of software speech synthesizers, including Dolphin Orpheus (in various languages) and Microsoft Text-to-Speech. Offers a free demonstration to download at www.dolphincomputeraccess.com/downloads/index.asp#demov.
Assistive Technology Center, $1,195 [Details on Assistive Technology Center]
Beyond Sight, $1,195 [Details on Beyond Sight]
Dolphin Computer Access, $1,195-$1,590 [Details on Dolphin]
EnableMart, $1,195-$1,590 [Details on EnableMart]
Optelec, $1,195; $1,495 [Details on Optelec]
Synapse, $1,195; $1,495 [Details on Synapse]
VisionCue, $1,195-$1,590 [Details on VisionCue]
Virgo 4 (Baum)
Works with a variety of Windows-based computers to support speech, braille, and magnification. Provides the magnifying module Galileo to magnify from 1x to 48x. Can navigate the Internet and fill in web forms with Web Wizard. Offers a free demonstration to download at www.virgo4.com/.
Baum, contact for pricing [Details on Baum]
VoiceOver (Apple)
Provides an accessibility interface for Mac OS X with keyboard control of the computer, screen magnification options, and a built-in screen reader that adjusts the rate, pitch, and volume of each voice individually. Offers the Getting Started manual to download at www.apple.com/accessibility/voiceover/manual.html.
Apple, one of the accessibility features of Mac OS X [Details on Apple]
Window-Eyes (GW Micro)
Works with a variety of Windows-based computers to support braille displays, speech products, and Macromedia Flash content. Provides language support in English (US and UK), French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. Supports Mozilla Firefox, a free, open source, web browser .Offers a free demonstration to download at www.gwmicro.com/Window-Eyes/Demo/ and a manual at www.gwmicro.com/Window-Eyes/Manual/.
Adaptive Technology, $795 [Details on Adaptive Technology]
Assistive Technology Center, $795 [Details on Assistive Technology Center]
Beyond Sight, $795 [Details on Beyond Sight]
EVAS, $795 [Details on EVAS]
Freedom of Speech, $795 [Details on Freedom of Speech]
GW Micro, $795 [Details on GW Micro]
HumanWare, $795 [Details on HumanWare]
Independent Living Aids, $795 [Details on Indepent Living Aids]
LS&S, $755 [Details on LS&S]
Maxi-Aids, $795 [Details on Maxi-Aids]
Synapse, $795 [Details on Synapse]
Technologies for the Visually Impaired, $795 [Details on Technologies for the Visually Impaired]
ZoomText Magnifier/Reader (Ai Squared)
Works with various Windows-based computers and requires a sound card. Comes with four speech synthesizers: TruVoice, ViaVoice, Microsoft Speech, and NeoSpeech. Supports magnification from 1x to 36x. Provides viewing modes to full screen, split screen, window, or lens. Offers a free demonstration to download at www.aisquared.com/Products/zt9/Z9FreeTrial.cfm.
Ai Squared, $595 [Details on Ai Squared]
Assistive Technology Center, $595 [Details on Assistive Technology Center]
Beyond Sight, $595 [Details on Beyond Sight]
Carolyn's Low Vision Products, $595 [Details on Carolyn's]
GW Micro, $595 [Details on GW Micro]
LS&S, $509 [Details on LS&S]
Next Generation Technologies, $595 [Details on Next Generation Technologies]
Synapse, $540 [Details on Synapse]

Additional Screen Readers

Dual
Combines the LookOUT screen reader and the Magnus screen enlarger to speak the screen contents and magnify everything on the screen up to sixteen times.
Requires Windows XP, 2000, or NT4 (not 98 or Millennium) with speakers, a sound card, and a low-end video card. Can hear samples of the voices at www.screenreader.co.uk/products/speech_demo.htm.
T&T Consultancy, £165.00 [Details on T&T Consultancy]
LookOUT (Choice Technology)
Produces voice output with speed, pitch, and volume options. Requires a sound card and a low-end video card on various Windows-based computers. Can hear samples of the voices at www.screenreader.co.uk/products/speech_demo.htm. Provides Internet access by downloading WebbIE free at www.screenreader.co.uk/products/webbie.htm.
Choice Technology, £80, £105 [Details on Choice Technology]
Narrator (Microsoft)
A text-to-speech utility built into Microsoft Windows XP (Professional and Home versions) for people who are blind or have low vision. Reads what is displayed on the screen--the contents of the active window, menu options, or text that has been typed. Works with Notepad, WordPad, control panel programs, Internet Explorer, the Windows desktop, and some parts of Windows Setup.
Microsoft, one of the accessibility features of Windows XP [Details on Microsoft]
Simply Talker (EconoNet)
Simply Talker 98 supports Windows 95, 98, and Me. Simply Talker 2000, which has a demonstration at www.econointl.com/, supports Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000, and XP. Each includes a SAPI (Speech Application Programming Interface) compliant software-based synthesizer that works with any sixteen-bit sound card. Provides support for online forms using Simply Web 2000 talking web browser available for download at www.econointl.com/sw/.
EconoNet International, $50; $100 [Details on EconoNet International]
Universal Reader 4 (Premier Assistive Technology)
Works with various Windows-based computers and a sound card to read e-mail, Word documents, and web pages. Provides a Talking Pointer for placing the cursor over text, icons, or items to be read. Universal Reader Plus 4 has the features of the Universal Reader with the addition of a USB port for a scanner and scanning software to place a hard-copy document into a computer.
Adaptive Technology, $29.95 [Details on Adaptive Technology]
Freedom of Speech, $39.95 [Details on Freedom of Speech]
Premier Assistive Technology, $49.95; $79.95 [Details on Premier Assistive Technology]

Speech Synthesizers

Speech synthesizers convert text characters into synthetic speech. They can be used with a variety of screen-reader software programs.

DECtalk USB (Access Solutions)
A serial text-to-speech synthesizer that can be connected to a computer via a standard USB or RS232 serial port. If it is operated solely on the serial port, the unit can be powered via a supplied DC adapter or by connecting the unit to a computer via a USB cable. Has nine predefined voices, numerous pitches, and parameters such as tone and intonation that are adjustable. Offers an audio sample and user manual to download at www.axsol.com/dtusb.php.
Access Solutions, $695 [Details on Access Solutions]
GW Micro, $695 [Details on GW Micro]
DoubleTalk LT (RC Systems)
A portable self-contained voice synthesizer that works with any PC or laptop equipped with an RS-232 serial port. Uses a nine-volt alkaline battery or AC wall adapter (included). Has a built-in speaker, headphone jack, and volume control.
RC Systems, $299 [Details on RC Systems]
Triple-Talk PCI (Access Solutions)
An internal text-to-speech synthesizer card that comes with an external speaker, headphone jack, and necessary software. Operates in an IBM or compatible micro computer with a 33MHz PCI bus. Has eight predefined voices, ten volume levels, and ten speeds. Offers driver downloads at www.axsol.com/dlpci.php.
Access Solutions, $395 [Details on Access Solutions]
Adaptive Technology, $395 [Details on Adaptive Technology]
GW Micro, $395 [Details on GW Micro]
Independent Living Aids, $395 [Details on Independent Living Aids]
Synapse, $395; $495 [Details on Synapse]
Triple-Talk USB (Access Solutions)
Operates with an IBM or compatible micro computer with a USB or standard RS232 serial port. If it is operated solely on the serial port, the unit is powered via an internal four-cell rechargeable NiCad battery. The battery may be charged via a supplied DC adapter or by connecting the unit to a computer via the supplied USB cable. Has eight predefined voices, ten volume levels, and ten speeds. Offers driver downloads at www.axsol.com/dlusb.php.
Access Solutions, $495 [Details on Access Solutions]
Adaptive Technology, $495 [Details on Adaptive Technology]
GW Micro, $495 [Details on GW Micro]
Independent Living Aids, $495 [Details on Independent Living Aids]

Voice Recognition Software

Voice recognition (also called speech recognition) software uses voice commands in place of a mouse and keyboard to enter data into a computer or to navigate a web site.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 (Nuance)
Can create and edit text or search the Web by speaking to a Windows-based computer or dictate e-mail and instant messages. Requires Creative Sound Blaster 16 or equivalent sound card, Internet Explorer 5 or higher, a CD-ROM drive, and speakers. Works with programs such as Word, OutlookExpress, Excel, Internet Explorer, and WordPerfect and offers support for handheld devices.
Adaptive Technology, $250; $850 [Details on Adaptive Technology]
Assistive Technology Center, $199; $799 [Details on Assistive Technology Center]
Beyond Sight, $199.95; $795 [Details on Beyond Sight]
EnableMart, $189 [Details on EnableMart]
Freedom of Speech, $199; $795 [Details on Freedom of Speech]
GW Micro, $199; $795 [Details on GW Micro]
Independent Living Aids, $199 [Details on Independent Living Aids]
Infogrip, $199 [Details on Infogrip]
Maxi-Aids, $209.95; $359.95; $795 [Details on Maxi-Aids]
Next Generation Technologies, $199; $795 [Details on Next Generation Technologies]
Nuance Communications, $99.99; $199.99 [Details on Nuance Communications]
IBM ViaVoice for Mac OS X (IBM)
Brings voice recognition to the Apple Macintosh computer platform. Can dictate, correct, edit, and format text with natural voice in the speech-enabled word processor SpeakPad. Provides voice command and control of the Internet. Requires Mac OS X version 10.1, 10.2 and 10.3; USB port; audio output jack or USB speakers; and CD-ROM drive or DVD drive.
EnableMart, $209 [Details on EnableMart]
Freedom of Speech, $129 [Details on Freedom of Speech]
Independent Living Aids, $129.99 [Details on Independent Living Aids]
Infogrip, $179 [Details on Infogrip]
Nuance Communications, $124.99 [Details on Nuance Communications]
IBM ViaVoice for Windows (IBM)
Personal edition is the entry-level product that allows users to dictate, edit, correct, and format text in the speech-enabled word processor SpeakPad. Text dictated into SpeakPad can be exported to other text-based windows applications with voice command or through the Windows copy and paste features. Advanced edition includes cross-application use of customized macros and support for selected digital handheld recorders. With the Pro USB edition, users can create macros that will run across multiple applications and can control the speed at which the macros run; it supports the use of selected digital handheld recorders. All editions work with Windows 98 SE, Me, and XP.
Freedom of Speech, $50; $80; $195 [Details on Freedom of Speech]
Independent Living Aids, $79.99 [Details on Independent Living Aids]
Infogrip, $99 [Details on Infogrip]
Next Generation Technologies, $249.95 [Details on Next Generation]
Nuance Communications, $29.99, $49.99; $79.99; $189.99 [Details on Nuance Communications]
J-Say (T&T Consultancy Ltd.)
Allows Dragon NaturallySpeaking (see page 6) and JAWS for Windows (see page 1) to be used and configured separately or in tandem. Extends JAWS to provide limited voice commands to dictate text to create documents or e-mail messages. Can create text on a PC using voice and simultaneously read notes from another source on a braille display. J-Say Pro has the features of J-Say and allows the use of a computer without keyboard assistance, including the use of JAWS commands as voice commands.
Next Generation Technologies, $345; $575 [Details on Next Generation Technologies]
MagniTalk (Next Generation Technologies)
Allows Dragon NaturallySpeaking (see page 6) and Zoomtext Magnifier/Reader
(see page 3) to be used and configured separately or in tandem. Operates on Windows-based computers, with Windows 2000 and XP the preferred platforms. Requires a sound card and a Zoomtext-compliant video chip or card.
Adaptive Technology, $289.50 [Details on Adaptive Technology]
Next Generation Technologies, $289.50 [Details on Next Generation Technologies]
NovaLink Standard (T&T Consultancy Ltd.)
Allows for the coordinated use of Dragon NaturallySpeaking Preferred (see page 6) with the Hal Screen Reader (see page 1) or the Supernova Reader Magnifier (see page 2). Can create text on a PC using voice and simultaneously read notes from another source on a braille display. Requires the ability to use the keyboard to perform the keystrokes needed for menu navigation or screen reading.
T&T Consultancy Ltd., £250.00 [Details on T&T Consultancy]
QPointer Voice (Commodio)
Can create, format, edit, and save documents; write and send e-mail; and navigate the Internet by voice. Can use the mouse, keyboard, and voice at the same time and in any combination. Requires a Windows-based computer, a sound card, and a headset microphone that is included.
EnableMart, $179 [Details on EnableMart]
TalkingDesktop
Can dictate text into almost any Windows application such as Word, WordPad, Notepad, Excel, Internet Explorer, WordPerfect, and Microsoft Office Application. Can run programs or ask for web sites by name and access Internet links using voice. Requires Windows XP, a sound card, and a microphone.
Abasoft, $59 [Info on Abasoft]

Software for Web Access

Connect Outloud (Freedom Scientific)
Allows users to access the Web, send and receive e-mail, and create documents.
Supports all Windows operating systems, Internet Explorer, and Adobe Acrobat Reader. Includes the Eloquence speech synthesizer for seven languages and supports most braille displays and note takers. Offers a free demonstration to download at www.freedomscientific.com/fs_downloads/connect.asp.
Adaptive Technology, $249 [Details on Adaptive Technology]
EVAS, $249 [Details on EVAS]
Freedom Scientific, $249 [Details on Freedom Scientific]
Independent Living Aids, $249 [Details on Independent Living Aids]
Maxi-Aids, $249 [Details on Maxi-Aids]
e-Speaking.com
Uses Microsoft's Speech Application Programming Interface (SAPI) and .NET framework to produce a voice command and recognition application. Has more than one hundred predefined commands. Can add, edit, or delete commands by purchasing a license to activate that part of the code. Runs in Windows 2000 and XP. Offers free download at www.e-speaking.com/download.htm.
Firefox (Mozilla)
Supports DHTML accessibility which, when enabled by Web authors, allows rich Web applications to be read aloud. Can navigate with keystrokes rather than mouse clicks. Meets U.S. federal government requirements that software be accessible to users with physical impairments. Offers free download at www.mozilla.com/firefox/ and a tutorial with installation information at opensourcearticles.com/introduction_to_firefox.
FreedomBox (Serotek)
Connects to the Internet through a portal called FreedomBox Network; the network provides the access functionality of an Internet service provider, including local dial-up numbers and access to e-mail, newspapers, and described videos. Also serves as an online community. "Key to Freedom" is a keychain-sized 512 MB memory module that plugs into any USB port on a Windows XP-based computer and allows screen-reading capabilities and network access. Offers a free demonstration to download at www.freedombox.info/downloads.htm.
Freedom of Speech, contact for pricing [Details on Freedom of Speech]
Maxi-Aids, contact for pricing [Details on Maxi-Aids]
Serotek, contact for pricing [Details on Serotek]
IBM Easy Web Browsing (IBM)
Software installs as content on the web site of an organization or government agency and initiated by users visiting the site; users click the web-page link to download and set up the necessary program components. Available only while using the Internet. Reads text aloud with adjustable speech rate and speech volume. Can magnify the text of web content and change color settings. Requires Windows XP or 2000 Professional, broadband connection, and Internet Explorer version 5.5 or higher. Offers a free demonstration to download at www-306.ibm.com/able/solution_offerings/EasyWebBrowsing.html.
IBM Human Ability, contact for pricing [Details on IBM Human Ability]
IBM Home Page Reader (IBM)
Provides an interface for navigating and manipulating web-page elements using the capabilities of IBM's ViaVoice Outloud text-to-speech synthesizer. Requires Windows-based computers and a sound card. Offers a complimentary trial or upgrade to download at www-306.ibm.com/able/dwnlds/index.html.
Adaptive Technology, $149 [Details on Adaptive Technology]
EnableMart, $149 [Details on EnableMart]
IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center, $79; $149 [Details on IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center]
Independent Living Aids, $125 [Details on Independent Living Aids]
Maxi-Aids, $149 [Details on Maxi-Aids]
Synapse, $169 [Details on Synapse]
VisionCue, $149 [Details on VisionCue]
IBM WebAdapt2Me (IBM)
Software available to customers via an IBM Global Services (IGS) engagement. Reads text aloud with adjustable speed and volume control. Magnifies everything on a web page up to 250 percent. Requires Windows-based computers, an Internet service provider connection, and Internet Explorer version 5.5 or higher. Offers a free demonstration to download at www-306.ibm.com/able/solution_offerings/WebAdapt2Me.html.
IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center, contact for pricing [Details on IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center]
netECHO (InternetSpeech)
Provides voice-based access to browse the Internet, to send and receive e-mail, and to send voicemail using any telephone, including a cell phone or PDA. Offered by InternetSpeech in partnership with the National Federation of the Blind. Offers a free demonstration to download at www.internetspeech.com.
InternetSpeech, contact for pricing [Details on InternetSpeech]
LS&S, contact for pricing [Details on LS&S]
PnC E-mail (JBliss)
Software for Windows-based computers for individuals with low vision that sends and receives e-mail through POP3 Internet service providers. Has speech synthesis and enlargement controls built into the program.
JBliss Low Vision Systems, $175 [Details on JBliss Low Vision Systems]
Independent Living Aids, $175 [Details on Independent Living Aids]
PnC Net (JBliss)
Software for Windows-based computers for individuals with low vision that enlarges a web page on a computer screen as needed and speaks the text aloud. As each word is spoken it is also highlighted.
JBliss Low Vision Systems, $175 [Details on JBliss Low Vision Systems]
Independent Living Aids, $175 [Details on Independent Living Aids]
ReadText (Colligo)
Speaks digital files or Internet pages. Comes with AT&T natural voices. Has add-on options of speech in French, German, Spanish, and UK English. Magnifies text to any size and can change the type face and color of the text. ReadText Plus includes a library of electronic books, dictionaries, and assistive web links. Each includes a year of free updates.
Colligo, $149; $199 [Details on Colligo]
LS&S, $149; $199 [Details on LS&S]
Simply Web 2000 (EconoNet)
Provides a free talking web browser for use with Windows-based computers.
Available for download at www.econointl.com/sw/.
WebEyes (ION)
Allows the reader to adjust type size and eliminate scrolling with an Internet Explorer plug-in. Requires a Windows-based computer and Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher. Offers a free trial to download at www.webeyes.us/free4.asp.
Carolyn's Low Vision Products, $59.95 [Details on Carolyn's Low Vision Products]
EnableMart, $29.95 [Details on EnableMart]
Independent Living Aids, $34.95 [Details on Independent Living Aids]
ION Systems, $24.95; $34.95 [Details on ION Systems]

Scanning Software

Cicero Text Reader (Dolphin)
Scans text documents and translates them into speech or braille or saves them for editing and printing. Requires a Windows-based computer with speakers, a sound card, and a TWAIN-compatible scanner.
Assistive Technology Center, $395 [Details on Assistive Technology Center]
Beyond Sight, $395 [Details on Beyond Sight]
Dolphin Computer Access, $395 [Details on Dolphin Computer Access]
EnableMart, $395 [Details on EnableMart]
Synapse, $395 [Details on Synapse]
Complete Reading System (Premier Assistive Technology)
A stand-alone system that can scan and read a variety of text placed on a standard scanner. Has five different voices, talking menus, and large print menus. Requires a Windows-based computer with speakers, a sound card, a CD-ROM drive, and a TWAIN-compatible scanner.
Adaptive Technology, $199.95 [Details on Adaptive Technology]
EnableMart, $209.95 [Details on EnableMart]
Next Generation Technologies, $199 [Details on Next Generation Technologies]
Premier Assistive Technology, $199.99 [Details on Premier Assistive Technology]
ezVIP (JBliss)
Scans and converts text into the desired type font, letter size, letter spacing, colors, and format. Speaks the text in any of nine voices; the speech, which is available only in word wrap and RSVP views, can be turned on or off as needed. VIP offers the features of ezVIP with the addition of an electronic library of more than six hundred books stored and indexed on one CD, the ability to scan as many pages as desired before viewing and to read them later, and templates that customize scanned areas on a page.
JBliss Low Vision Systems, $195; $295 [Details on JBliss Low Vision Systems]
Kurzweil 1000 (Kurzweil)
Works on a personal computer in conjunction with a scanner and synthetic speech to convert the printed word into speech. Can send files to BrailleNote and Book Courier devices. Can create MP3 and WAV files. Provides document creation and editing as well as study skills capabilities for note taking, summarizing, and outlining text. Requires a Windows-based computer with speakers, a sound card, a CD-ROM drive, and a TWAIN-compatible scanner.
Adaptive Technology, $995; $1,195 [Details on Adaptive Technology]
Beyond Sight, $995; $1,195 [Details on Beyond Sight]
Freedom of Speech, $995 [Details on Freedom of Speech]
HumanWare, $995 [Details on MumanWare]
Kurzweil Educational Systems, $995 [Details on Kurzweil Educational Systems]
OpenBook (Freedom Scientific)
Converts printed documents or graphic-based text into an electronic text format using optical character recognition (FineReader, Caere, and Recognita) and either of two text-to-speech synthesizers: RealSpeak and ViaVoice. Provides access to the Internet and e-mail with Connect Outloud screen-reading software included. Can customize the appearance of the text on the screen, including font, size, character spacing, and background and character colors. Offers a free demonstration to download at www.freedomscientific.com/fs_downloads/openbook.asp.
Adaptive Technology, $995 [Details on Adaptive Technology]
EVAS, $995 [Details on EVAS]
Freedom Scientific, $995 [Details on Freedom Scientific]
Independent Living Aids, $995 [Details on Independent Living Aids]
Synapse, $995 [Details on Synapse]
Vision Matters, $995 [Details on Vision Matters]
Scan and Listen (BrightEye)
Consists of two scanners: Scan-A-Page scans a whole page of text and reads the whole page or any part of the page out loud from a computer word processor. Scan-A-Word reads individual words or sentences with a handheld portable scanner that can be used for books or magazines. It plugs into a computer or laptop to scan words onto the screen of a word processor. Offers a free voice demonstration at www.brighteye.com/demo.htm.
BrightEye Technology, $195; $495 [Details on BrightEye Technology]
Scan and Read Pro (Premier Assistive Technology)
Scans and reads the printed text using AT&T natural voices. Has adjustable reading speed and talking spell checker. Magnifies up to 400 percent. Supports up to twelve different languages. Can create MP3 and WAV audio files. Requires Windows 2000 or XP with speakers, a sound card, and a CD-ROM drive.
Adaptive Technology, $149.95 [Details on Adaptive Technology#]
EnableMart, $149.95 [Details on EnableMart]
Freedom of Speech, $149.95 [Details on Freedom of Speech]
Independent Living Aids, $149.95 [Details on Independent Living Aids]
Next Generation Technologies, $149 [Details on Next Generation Technologies]
Premier Assistive Technology, $149.95 [Details on Premier Assistive Technology]
Scan N Talk Ultra (Colligo)
Scans and reads the printed text using AT&T natural voices. Can save the text to be read at a later time or print it out in large print or in braille with optional software. Requires Windows XP, a USB port, and a sound card.
Colligo, $499 [Details on Colligo]
EnableMart, $499 [Details on EnableMart]
LS&S, $499 [Details on LS&S]
Scan2Text (Choice Technology)
Scans text documents and reads or magnifies the words. Works in all Windows environments.
Choice Technology, £60 [Details on Choice Technology]

Reading Machines and Scanners

A reading machine is an electronic devise that scans a printed page and, through an internal synthesized voice, reads the printed material aloud. It may also have the capability of saving the scanned material for later use.

AdvantEdge Elite
Can scroll the DocuEdge hand scanner over the text, which is then transferred to the AdvantEdge Ultralight laptop computer for conversion to readable text through the use of the OmniPage Professional Office optical character recognition application. Can scan one page at a time or the scanner can hold up to one hundred pages in memory to be transferred and read all at once.
Assistive Technology Center, $1,699 [Details on Assistive Technology Center]
DocuEdge Scanner
Portable scanner that includes Nuance's PaperPort software to transfer files to a PC and OmniPage for optical character recognition capability. Works on batteries. DocuEdge Deluxe uses OmniPage Professional Office that features XML support, speech input for voice commands, and audiobook creation.
Assistive Technology Center, $249, $449 [Details on Assistive Technology Center]
EnableMart, $249 [Details on EnableMart]
Excalibur (Robotron Group)
Replaces the Galileo. Can scan two pages of a large book at the same time. Available in English, French, German, and Spanish; multiple languages can be installed. Has file storage facilities to save documents to be read at a later time and the ability to read external files. Can be connected to a PC.
Independent Living Aids, $3,495 [Details on Independent Living Aids]
LS&S, $3,495 [Details on LS&S]
Robotron Group, $2,999.95 [Details on Robotrom Group]
SensAbility, $3,195 [Details on SensAbility]
Extreme Reader ER1, XR1, XR10 (Guerilla Technologies)
Reads printed documents, audio books, and multiple floppy file formats (txt, html, pdf, rtf, and doc files) in AT&T natural voices in English (US and UK) and Spanish. Can use with a PC monitor or television for large-print viewing.
Freedom of Speech, $2,750; $2,950; $3,330 [Details on Freedom of Speech]
Guerilla Technologies, $2,950; $3,175; $3,500 [Details on Guerilla Technologies]
Vision Matters, $2,950; $3,350 [Details on Vision Matters]
Libra All Reader
Integrates a scanner with speech, DAISY Book Reader, and CD burner. Converts printed material into spoken language that can be read aloud and saved on a compact disk. Can choose English, French, Spanish, or German.
Maxi-Aids, $2,495 [Details on Maxi-Aids]
Libra II Reading Machine
Scans, reads, edits, and saves text. Can be used with a braille display. Options include a choice of speech (female in English or male in German), adjustable voice rate and pitch, ability to scan single or multiple pages, pause between words, recording settings, and a control panel with templates included to mask non-essential features. Includes an MP3 player.
Maxi-Aids, $3,595 [Details on Maxi-Aids]
Ovation
Scans and reads text. Can fast forward, rewind, pause, spell words, and adjust the voice rate and volume. Can attach to a computer monitor to provide large-print access with the capability of changing the print type style, color, size, and spacing. Supports multiple languages and many file types.
EnableMart, $2,495 [Details on EnableMart]
Patriot Scanning and Reading Machine
Scans and reads text. Multiple languages are available. Comes bundled with a free copy of Project Gutenberg, which provides nearly ten thousand novels.
LS&S, $3,295 [Details on LS&S]
POET Compact (Baum)
Recognizes the page orientation on the glass of the scanner, converts the text into spoken language, and reads it aloud. Can vary the reading speed. Also provides braille output. Available in different language versions and various languages can be combined in one machine. Sold in the United States under the name ScannaR.
Freedom of Speech, $2,995 [Details on Freedom of Speech]
HumanWare, $2,995 [Details on MumanWare]
Portset Reader (Portset Systems)
Scans a page and reads it in either a male or female voice. Has variable speed, pitch, and volume. Can select to see the entire page or one line at a time. Can retain documents in internal storage or save to a disk.
Assistive Technology Center, $2,695 [Details on Assistive Technology Center]
Independent Living Aids, $2,595 [Details on Independent Living Aids]
Maxi-Aids, $2,895 [Details on Maxi-Aids]
Technologies for the Visually Impaired, $2,595 [Details on Technologies for the Visually Impaired]
SARA™ (Scanning and Reading Appliance) (Freedom Scientific)
Scans and recognizes text and reads it. Can adjust the voice rate and volume as well as fast forward, pause, rewind, and spell out words.
Adaptive Technology, $2,595 [Details on Adaptive Technology]
Freedom of Speech, $2,595 [Details on Freedom of Speech]
Freedom Scientific, $2,595 [Details on Freedom Scientific]
Vision Matters, $2,595 [Details on Vision Matters]
ScannaR (HumanWare)
see: POET Compact
Simon (Robotron Group)
Can scan two pages of a large book at the same time. Has two main commands, start and stop, and three controls: volume, speed, and pitch. Available in English, French, German, and Spanish (only one language can be installed). Replaces the Pronto.
EnableMart, $2,395 [Details on EnableMart]
Independent Living Aids, $2,295 [Details on Independent Living Aids]
LS&S, $2,195 [Details on LS&S]
Robotron Group, $2,299.95 [Details on Robotron Group]
SensAbility, $2,295 [Details on SensAbility]
VERA (Very Easy Reading Appliance)
see: SARA£ (Scanning and Reading Appliance)

Addresses of Sources

Abasoft Corporation
P.O. Box 440
Derby, VT 05829
866-697-0326
(678) 348-3111 fax
questions@talkingdesktop.com
www.talkingdesktop.com
Access Solutions
4536 Edison Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95821
(916) 481-3559
(916) 482-2250 fax
info@axsol.com
sales@axsol.com
www.axsol.com/axsol.php
Adaptive Technology Consulting, Inc.
P.O. Box 778
Amesbury, MA 01913
(978) 462-3817
(978) 462-3928 fax
gyarnall@adaptivetech.net
www.adaptivetech.net
Ai Squared
P.O. Box 669
Manchester Center, VT 05255
(802) 362-3612
800-859-0270
(802) 362-1670 fax
sales@aisquared.com
support@aisquared.com
www.aisquared.com/index.cfm
Apple
1 Infinite Loop
Cupertino, CA 95014
(408) 996-1010
800-MY-APPLE
www.apple.com/accessibility
Assistive Technology Center (ATC)
5330 Power Inn Road, Suite F
Sacramento, CA 95820
(916) 381-5011
(916) 914-2429 fax
sales@atechcenter.net
www.atechcenter.net
BAUM Retec AG
Schloss Langenzell
69257 Wiesenbach, Germany
(+49) 6223-4909-0
(+49) 6223-4909-99 fax
info@baum.de
www.baum.de/index-e.php
Beyond Sight, Inc.
5650 South Windermere Street
Littleton, CO 80120
(303) 795-6455
(303) 795-6425 fax
support@beyondsight.com
www.beyondsight.com
BrightEye Technology
P.O. Box 16754
Asheville, NC 28816
(828) 215-9040
877-233-7323
(360) 235-0119 fax
info@brighteye.com
www.brighteye.com/index.htm
Carolyn's Low Vision Products
3938 South Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34207
(941) 373-9100
800-648-2266
sales@carolynscatalog.com
www.carolynscatalog.com/index.htm
Choice Technology (UK), Ltd.
7 The Rookery
Orton Wistow
Peterborough, PE2 6YT, England
01733 234441
01733 370391 fax
info@screenreader.co.uk
www.screenreader.co.uk
Code Factory, S.L.
Rambla d'Egara, 148, 2-2
08221 Terrassa (Barcelona), Spain
(+34) 93733-7066
(+34) 93789-3051 fax
info@codefactory.es
www.codefactory.es
Colligo
1304 Meador Avenue, Suite B5
Bellingham WA 98229
(360) 647-3404
888-647-3404
(360) 647-5004 fax
info@colligo.us
colligo.us/index.html
Dolphin Computer Access LLC
60 East Third Avenue, Suite 301
San Mateo, CA 94401
(650) 348-7401
866-797-5921
(650) 348-7403 fax
info@dolphinusa.com
www.dolphincomputeraccess.com
www.dolphinspeechsynthesis.com
EconoNet International, Inc.
11404 Lakeview Drive
Coral Springs, FL 33071
ammirata@econointl.com
www.econointl.com
EnableMart
4210 East Fourth Plain Boulevard
Vancouver, WA 98661
(360) 695-4155
888-640-1999
(360) 695-4133 fax
sales@enablemart.com
www.enablemart.com/default.aspx?store=10
e-Speaking.com
7312 McClure Avenue
Swissvale, PA 15218-2310
(412) 371-9395
(412) 371-9252 fax
info@e-Speaking.com
www.e-speaking.com
EVAS (Electronic Vision Access Solutions)
39 Canal Street, P.O. Box 371
Westerly, RI 02891
(401) 596-3500
800-872-3827 (800-USA-EVAS)
(401) 596-3155 TTY
(401) 596-3979 fax
contact@evas.com
inforequest@evas.com
www.evas.com
Freedom of Speech
5100 Eden Avenue, Suite 204
Edina, MN 55436
(952) 929-3456
877-367-4228
(952) 929-3466 fax
info@freedomofspeech.com
www.freedomofspeech.com
Freedom Scientific
Blind/Low Vision Group
and Corporate Offices
11800 31st Court North
St. Petersburg, FL 33716-1805
(727) 803-8000
800-444-4443
(727) 803-8001 fax
www.freedomscientific.com/index.html
Guerilla Technologies, Inc.
5029 SE Horseshoe Point Road
Stuart, FL 34997
(772) 283-0500
www.guerillatechnologies.com/index.
html
GW Micro
725 Airport North Office Park
Fort Wayne, IN 46825
(260) 489-3671
(260) 489-2608 fax
sales@gwmicro.com
support@gwmicro.com
www.gwmicro.com
HumanWare
175 Mason Circle
Concord, CA 94520
(925) 680-7100
800-722-3393
(925) 681-4630 fax
us.info@humanware.com
www.humanware.com
IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center
11400 Burnet Road
Austin, Texas 78758
www-306.ibm.com/able/index.html
Independent Living Aids, Inc.
P. O. Box 9022
Hicksville, NY 11802-9022
(516) 937-1848 technical support
800-537-2118
(516) 937-3906 fax
can-do@independentliving.com
www.independentliving.com/home.asp
Infogrip, Inc.
1794 East Main Street
Ventura, CA 93001
(805) 652-0770
800-397-0921
(805) 652-0880 fax
info@infogrip.com
www.infogrip.com
InternetSpeech
5942 Foligno Way
San Jose, CA 95138
877-312-4638
(408) 274-8151 fax
corporate@internetspeech.com
support@internetspeech.com
www.internetspeech.com
ION Systems, Inc.
107 Mississippi Avenue
Crystal City, MO 63019
(636) 937-9094
800-983-6397
help@WebEyes.us
www.webeyes.us
JBliss Low Vision Systems
P.O. 7382
Menlo Park, CA 94026
(650) 327-5477
888-452-5477 (888-4JBLISS)
info@jbliss.com
www.jbliss.com
Kurzweil Educational Systems, Inc.
100 Crosby Drive
Bedford, MA 01730-1402
(781) 276-0600
800-894-5374
(781) 276-0650 fax
info@kurzweiledu.com
www.kurzweiledu.com
LS&S, LLC.
P.O. Box 673
Northbrook, IL 60062
800-468-4789
877-498-1482 fax
866-317-8533 TTY
info@LSSproducts.com
www.lssproducts.com
Maxi-Aids
42 Executive Boulevard
Farmingdale, NY 11735
(631) 752-0521 information
800-522-6294 orders
(631) 752-0689 fax
(631) 752-0738 TTY
www.maxiaids.com/store/default.asp
Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052-6399
800-642-7676 (800-MICROSOFT)
www.microsoft.com/enable
www.microsoft.com/enable/centers/
default.aspx
Mozilla Corporation
1981 Landings Drive, Building K
Mountain View, CA 94043-0801
www.mozilla.com
NeoSpeech, Inc.
2051 Landings Drive
Mountain View, CA 94043
(650) 961-8838
(650) 961-8839 fax
info@neospeech.com
www.neospeech.com
Next Generation Technologies, Inc.
20006 Cedar Valley Road, Suite 101
Lynnwood, WA 98036-6334
(425) 744-1100
(425) 778-5547 fax
ngt@ngtvoice.com
www.ngtvoice.com
NextUp.com
2668 Lewisville-Clemmons Road
Clemmons, NC 27012
(508) 629-5959 fax
sales@NextUp.com
support@NextUp.com
www.nextup.com/index.html
Nuance Communications, Inc.
1 Wayside Road
Burlington, MA 01803
(781) 565-5000
800-443-7077
(781) 565-5001 fax
www.nuance.com
Optelec US, Inc.
3030 Enterprise Court, Suite C
Vista, CA 92081
800-828-1056
www.optelec.com
Portset Systems, Ltd
Shield House
Brook Street
Bishops Waltham
Southampton, SO32 1AX, England
44 (0) 1489 893919
44 (0) 1489 893320 fax
admin@portset.co.uk
www.portset.co.uk
Premier Assistive Technology
Executive Offices
1309 North William Street
Joliet, IL 60435
(815) 722-5961
(815) 722-8802 fax
info@readingmadeeasy.com
www.premier-programming.com/
home.htm
RC Systems, Inc.
1609 England Avenue
Everett, WA 98203
(425) 355-3800
(425) 355-1098 fax
sales@rcsys.com
www.rcsys.com
Robotron Group
Sensory Tools Division
15 Stamford Road
Oakleigh 3166, Australia
(+61) 3 9568 2568
(+61) 3 9568 1377 fax
www.readsmart.com
ScanSoft
see: Nuance
SensAbility, Inc.
299-B Peterson Road
Libertyville, IL 60048
888-367-4004
(847) 367-4003 fax
evitu@flash.net
Serotek Corporation
1128 Harmon Place, Suite 310
Minneapolis, MN 55403
866-202-0520
sales@freedombox.info
support@freedombox.info
www.freedombox.info
Synapse Adaptive
3095 Kerner Boulevard, Suite S
San Rafael, CA 94901
(415) 455-9700
800-317-9611
(415) 455-9801 fax
info@synapseadaptive.com
www.synapseadaptive.com
T&T Consultancy Ltd.
Office Suite 5
Imex Technology Park
Trentham Lakes South, Trentham
Stoke on Trent, ST4 8LJ, England
08452 30 30 15 local number
(+44) (0) 1782 644141 outside of the UK
(+44) (0) 1782 646142 fax
enquiries@tandt-consultancy.com
www.tandt-consultancy.com
Technologies for the Visually Impaired
9 Nolan Court
Hauppauge, NY 11788
(631) 724-4479 voice and fax
contact@tvi-web.com
www.tvi-web.com
VisionCue, LLC
4858-A SW Scholls Ferry Road
Portland, OR 97221
(503) 297-1510
888-318-2582
(503) 459-4003 fax
info@visioncue.com
www.visioncue.com
Vision Matters LLC
300 NE 117th Avenue
Vancouver, WA 98684
888-216-1912
(360) 254-3892 fax
www.visionmatters.net

Selected Bibliography, 2002-2006

2006 AccessWorld guide to assistive technology products. Sewickley, PA: AFB Press, 2006. $24.95. (P.O. Box 1020, 15143).

American Foundation for the Blind. "Screen reader tips." Retrieved Nov. 1, 2005. www.afb.org/Section.asp?SectionID=4&DocumentID=2274.

American Foundation for the Blind. "Tips for computer users with low vision: giving your Windows system a high-contrast look." Retrieved Nov. 2005. www.afb.org/Section.asp?SectionID=4&DocumentID=1452.

Burton, Darren, and Heather McComas. "Simply out scanning: a review of SARA and ScannaR." AccessWorld, v. 6, Nov. 2005. www.afb.org/afbpress/pub.asp?DocID=aw060607.

Curran, Kevin, Ivan Crawford, and Lisa O'Hara. "Catering for disabled surfers—a case study in web site navigation for disabled students." Technology and disability, v. 16, no. 1, 2004: 41-47.

Denham, Jim, Jay Leventhal, and Heather McComas. "The key to the information age: a review of three screen readers, parts 1 and 2." AccessWorld, v. 5, May 2004 and July 2004. part 1: www.afb.org/afbpress/pub.asp?DocID=aw050304 and part 2: www.afb.org/afbpress/pub.asp?DocID=aw050403.

Hofstader, Chris. "What screen readers can learn from audio games." AccessWorld, v. 7, Mar. 2006. www.afb.org/afbpress/pub.asp?DocID=aw070207.

Lazzaro, Joe. "How accessible is Windows XP?" AccessWorld, v. 3, July 2002. www.afb.org/afbpress/pub.asp?DocID=AW030403.

Lazzaro, Joe. "An introduction to JAWS scripting." AccessWorld, v. 4, Nov. 2003. www.afb.org/afbpress/pub.asp?DocID=aw040604.

Leventhal, Jay. "Not what the doctor ordered: a review of Apple's VoiceOver screen reader." AccessWorld, v. 6, Sept. 2005. www.afb.org/afbpress/pub.asp?DocID=aw060505.

Leventhal, Jay, and Koert Wehberg. "The novel experience of reading: a review of OpenBook and Kurzweil 1000." AccessWorld, v.4, Jan. 2003. www.afb.org/afbpress/pub.asp?DocID=aw040103.

Modukuri, Ramkishore, and Richard J. Morris. "Voice based web services—an assistive technology for visually impaired persons." Technology and disability, v. 6, no. 4, 2004: 195-200.

Petty, Linda. "Screen readers—the survival of the strong." Closing the gap, v. 24, June-July 2005: 6-10.

Raskind, Marshall H. "Research trends: reading machines for students with LD." Retrieved Jan. 12, 2006. www.schwablearning.org/articles.asp?r=984.

Salmon, Amy R. Redoing "Windows: a guide for customizing Windows for users with low vision." AccessWorld, v. 6, May 2005. www.afb.org/afbpress/pub.asp?DocID=aw060304.

Salmon, Amy R. "The sound of computing: a review of three screen readers." AccessWorld, v. 7, Jan. 2006. www.afb.org/afbpress/pub.asp?DocID=aw070103.

Wehberg, Koert, Deborah Kendrick, and Jay Leventhal. "Recognizing and rewarding: a review of OpenBook and Kurzweil 1000." AccessWorld, v. 5, September 2004. www.afb.org/afbpress/pub.asp?DocID=aw050504.

Selected Internet Resources

Adaptive computer products

www.makoa.org/computers.htm

Has links to computer-access software, input devices (keyboards, pointing devices, eye control, switches), augmentative communication devices, speech recognition/voice controlled systems, products for blind and visually impaired persons, possible funding sources, and low cost assistive technology programs.

Alternative web browsing

www.w3.org/WAI/References/Browsing.html

Has links to specialized browsers, screen readers, adaptive browsers, voice browsers, and other access technologies such as screen magnifiers and voice-recognition programs that can be used with web browsers.

American Foundation for the Blind (AFB). Assistive technology.

www.afb.org/Section.asp?SectionID=4&TopicID=31

Includes links to optical character-recognition systems, speech systems, and AFB product evaluations.

Assistivetech.net

assistivetech.net/

Has a searchable database to find vendors of assistive technology products.

EASI: Equal Access to Software and Information

www.rit.edu/~easi/

Includes information on adaptive hardware and software resources and adaptive technology publications.

Family Center on Technology and Disability

www.fctd.info/

Offers information on assistive technologies to families of children and youth with disabilities and professionals who work with them. Has links to organizations, factsheets, newsletters, and online discussions.

Large print and speech access to the World Wide Web

www.tsbvi.edu/technology/web.htm

Includes links to basic concepts of the World Wide Web and browsers, modifying the browser with built-in options, and using a browser with add-on access.

National Federation of the Blind. Technology resource list.

www.nfb.org/tech/computer.htm

Includes links to braille devices, print-reading hardware and software, screen access and low vision programs for Windows, speech synthesizers, and tutorials.

Compiled by
Carol Strauss
Reference Section
2006

Additional copies of this circular or any of the reference bibliographies or circulars listed below are available free on request from the Reference Section.


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