Okay, one of the big questions I always get is: How do you use a computer?
Simple answer? I get a normal computer, then I have to purchase special screen reading software, install it and learn how to navigate. Every time there's an upgrade to an operating system, the company that makes the screen reading software has to play "catch up." How do I use the screen and menus on a cell phone? Same sorta thing...buy the phone, buy the screen reading software, install it and then learn to use it.
This is how I've lived my life for the last, oh, 16 years.
However, there's some fantastic new things on the horizon. Namely? Apple products.
The Apple Mac computer has come with Voice Over, a screen reading software package, already built into the machine. This means any blind person can walk out of an Apple store with a new computer, take it home, turn it on and can use it immediately! No purchase of screen reading software, no clunky installations-it just works right out of the box.
Well, I've just learned that the most awesome device since screen reading software, the Victor Reader Stream (which I purchased a year ago) now has a competitor: The newest version of the iPhone.
Now, the iPhone can be used by blind people since Voice Over is built into the device. Again, right out of the box, it just works! I haven't used it, but the rviews are just fantastic. And this, dear friends, makes me want to weep with happiness at being on equal footing, using the same devices as the rest of the world.
There is one small issue with the iPhone which I just asked Apple to look into. I download my digital audio books for free from the National Library Service, part of the Library of Congress. Learn more at:
As many things as the iPhone will do, Apple and the NLS have to get together for me to be able to read these books on my iPhone. NLS suggested I write to Apple and ask them to begin a discussion with the NLS. So, I did. I just sent an E mail to:
In this note, I told them my situation, asked they contact the NLS and find a way that blind iPhone users can download NLS books. I would LOVE to not have to carry an extra accessible device like I do now...and Apple has that possibility.
Please, if you're blind and a reader, or if you just want to help out a guy like me, will you please take a couple seconds to ask Apple to communicate with the NLS to fulfill the NLS mission: That all may read. Thanks!