Technology for the disabled has made numerous advances over the recent years. The things they have been doing to help disabled people to be able to stay with the advances that have been going on in the world is proceeding nicely. This helps the disabled do basic things that we have thought to be an easily accessible occurrence. For example the Internet, all we have to do is turn on the computer and follow the mouse pointer to the designated icon, where as blind people have to do different things. The different types of input devices for the disabled are brail printers, brail displays, and brail keyboards; these are the most common types of brail devices. They also have screen enhancers, and magnifiers that have a specific task that can be done to help out certain people.
Another type of key advancement is the use of audio channels. Another aspect that needs to be introduced is something that we do every day at Purdue University Calumet; print papers out. It is an every day occurrence for us, but what if you wanted it printed out in brail text. Know the paper will show these tools in more detail and with more precise descriptions on how it will help. First the use of brail devices is well established in today’s society. There are many types of brail devices like a notebook PC with Integrated Braille Access for the Blind.
BRAILLEX Compact is equipped with state-of-the-art processor technology (Pentium processor) and can be upgraded with up to 40 MB of memory (www.tvi-web.com).
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This gives the blind people plenty of computer power to work with DOS or with one of the popular graphical user interfaces like Windows or OS/2. This helps them to have the same advantages as normal people. BRAILLEX Compact’s numerous interfaces make it have a lot of options to go for. You may connect an (external) QWERTY keyboard, a VGA monitor, Braille printers, a scanner, modem, speech synthesizer, and all the usual type of accessories. One of the types of programs that can be used is the Win Dots screen reader that is fully supported by the brail computer.
The integrated LCD that repeats the text that is shown on the screen does this. Some of the technical specifications for this certain machine are 40 cells LCD for visualizing the Braille display contents, 86 key integrated keyboards, and an integrated 16-bit stereo with two speakers (www.tvi-web.com).
The next thing that is going to be discussed is the use of screen enhancers and magnifiers. These types of devices are for people with very low vision quality. These devices do specific tasks that help out the Braille displays and screen magnification systems have followed an evolution. However, the screen magnifiers tend to magnify Windows applications using fairly simple bit magnification techniques which, in most cases, leads to the typical ‘stair casing’ and ragged edges.
Screen magnifiers are developed for people with low vision. Screen magnifiers can magnify the contents of the logical computer screen from two until unlimited times. Most magnification programs offer a maximum magnification to sixteen times. On the physical computer screen, you get a portion of the normal screen. You can view the whole screen by scrolling over the screen using the mouse or the keyboard. While moving the mouse the information on the screen changes (http://members.tripod.lycos.nl/magnifiers).
The screen magnifiers are specially developed for people with low vision, who cannot read on a normal screen. This group is relatively small. Maybe that is the reason why most screen magnification software is expensive. There are many advances in todays technology with audio abilities. This has become more prevalent in the studies done with blind people and music on the use of computers. With this new type of technology that is coming out, Audio-Graph, it could mean a great advancement for the visually impaired. This system, called Audio-Graph, uses music to help blind users identify spatial relationships in a diagram.
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The coordinates of objects (circles, squares, lines) are conveyed using rising tone sequences, and particular musical figures are used to identify the type of object. Spoken output is used when users need precise locations. Blind users have found the system useful for obtaining a general spatial assessment of a diagram. The results of trials of the audio graph system, as well as those from more general trials aimed at assessing how far the average person can use music to understand computer output, will be presented and analyzed (Tonal interfaces for the blind and visually handicapped).
Another type of technology is called Window Bridge; it uses a thing called Syntha-Voice. It is compatible with all the major Windows, 98, 95, 3.x, or DOS.
It provides full access within either Synthetic Speech or Brail Display User. Window Bridge installs with full speech or brail output (www.tvi-web.com).
In ever aspects of computer work you will need to sometime print something out. Lets see how to print in brail. One type of printer that uses brail is called Index Basic-D Braille Printer. Here are a few technical aspects of the Basic-D.
Speed: Documented printing speed on a test file of 100 pages (42 characters, 25 lines), 300 PPH (pages per hour) or 78 CPS (characters per second).
Many printers are rated at a theoretical maximum speed, which can indicate 1.5-3 times higher ratings. Test files are available on request. The size: WxDxH 52lx246xl2O mm (20.2xlOx5 Inch) Weight 8 kg (16 lbs).
Printing principal: 13 high quality hardened hammers forming against hardened steel anvils (www.tvi-web.com).
Those are some of the basic features of this particular brail printer. In today society with all the new wave of technology that is coming up so fast, this type of stuff may seem to be childs play within the next five to ten years. The technological advances that are happening for regular computers are changing about every six months.
Advancements in Computers in the Last Ten Years English 11 Hour 6 Mrs.Winn March 21, 2001 Lipske 2 Computers date back all the way to 300B.C. with the invention of the abacus. This was a calculating devise to do math and it made the people of that time lives a lot easier. That is what the computers of today do but so much more. I will start at the basics of computers while trying not to boar you. ...
For the technology of the disabled their technology is not happening as quickly, but it still is happening at a very rapid rate to try and stay with the advancements that are going on all around in todays computer world. So the use of all these different types of handicapped computer devices: brail devices, screen enhancers and magnifiers, synthetic voices, and printers of brail should all be obsolete or greatly improved within the next five to ten years. Who knows maybe ten years from know the use of brail will be something to laugh about and magnifiers people will wonder how they ever got use out of them.