Accessibility – Computers and Media

March 25th, 2014 | Posted by emma in Blog - (Comments Off on Accessibility – Computers and Media)

Accessibility: Computers and Media

Computers

Computers are a vital means of communication today, this is why it is best to have them accessible to people with disabilities such as the blind and vision impaired.

Screen readers are software applications that aid vision impaired people in their use of computers. A screen reader reads aloud the contents and actions on a computer screen to guide a vision impaired person and allow them to interact with the computer.

Screen readers are available as stand alone applications, the popular ones include programs like JAWS and Window-Eyes. These are commercial programs and cover most of the required features to help vision impaired use the computer.

Some screen readers like NVDA are good alternatives to the commercial ones and can be downloaded free for use, the developers only request donations to keep their service going.

Other screen readers come in-built in most computer systems such as Narrator for Windows PC’s and VoiceOver for Apple systems and devices. Narrator for Windows is part of the Ease of Access Center which has other tools for accessibility such as Magnifier, On-Screen Keyboard and High Contrast.

 

Accessibility in Media (Video)

Captioning similar to subtitling helps the Deaf and Hard of Hearing to better understand video content. There is closed and open captioning. Closed captioning refers to captions that are available with an option of turning them off or on. Examples of on/off options are the subtitles in DVD’s and caption features on online video sources like YouTube.

This is a brief explanation about using accessible features for communication.

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