Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Accessible Technology Options for the Blind and Visually Impaired Reader

Image of Brian Charlson

In this webcast from Perkins School for the Blind, Brian Charlson, Technology Director at the Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, MA demonstrates a variety of devices that provide the capability of accessing books via speech, large print, or braille. Among the devices that Brian demonstrates are: the Victor Reader Stream, the Booksense, The Bookport Plus, the Kindle, the iPad and the iPhone.

Due to the ever changing upgrades to technology there are some points made in this webcast that are no longer true:

  1. The cost of the Refresh-a-braille is much less than it was at the time of this webcast filming and,
  2. The Kindle digital book player has had two new iterations since this filming and Brian’s comment about “all Kindles” having the capacity to play books aloud is no longer true. Neither the Kindle Fire nor the newest Kindle have the speech feature that the original had.

The chapters of the webcast are:

  1. Introduction
  2. Braille
  3. Large print
  4. Accessing books through speech
  5. The Victor Reader Stream
  6. The BookSense
  7. The Bookport Plus
  8. The Kindle
  9. The iPad
  10. The iPhone
  11. Optical Character Recognition
  12. Conclusion