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Selecting Computer Software

Considerations when choosing which computer software is most appropriate for children who are blind or visually impaired

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Many children have some usable vision so, in addition to sound, other features e.g., color, contrast, and size of objects can enhance their learning and enjoyment.

  • Sound: Many children are motivated by sound.  Look for programs that use sounds to promote learning (e.g., when the child presses a letter on the keyboard the name of the letter is said).

  • Color: Look for simple, brightly colored objects on the screen that are not dependent on much detail.

  • Contrast: There should be good contrast between items on the screen and the background.  Look for programs that have simple backgrounds.

  • Clutter: Avoid programs that have a lot of visual clutter (e.g., a barn scene that has extra animals and plants that are not necessary to look at in order to play the game).

  • Distance: Find programs that have adequate distance between key objects the child must see so that they do not blend together visually.

  • Time: Programs that allow you to set the response time will promote a child’s ability to participate in the game.

  • Use of Mouse: Look for games that allow an alternative to the mouse through the keyboard (e.g., to press a key or Enter).  Many computer operating systems have an accessibility feature that allows you to alter the size, color, and speed of the mouse pointer.

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