largest collection

Milwaukee: The Largest Collection Of Online Materials For The Visually Impaired

The United States of America has been turning regular books into audio books since 1931. It´s been a long a winding road from that moment to the present time, but right now, the Congress Library of the United States has 150,000 titles available for the visually impaired. This adds up to the books available in other libraries in the country and makes the US system one of the most complete in the world for people with visual imparity. Read on to find out about Milwaukee and the efforts to reach readers with visual imparity.

The Wisconsin State Policies

Wisconsin took the NLS (National Library Service) initiative and took it one step further allowing the distribution of audio-described DVDs, audio books and braille material to all those who are inscribed and have proved to have some kind of visual imparity. The efforts from the WTBBL (Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library) are aimed to reach as many people with visual imparities as they can. The WTBBL was created with the aim to foster reading and has since transcended that word into other territories like feel and hear. Actually, from 1961 that was the year that the WTBBL joined the NLS to 2009, the audiobooks were stored into cassette tapes. By that year all of them were replaced by digital players, and exclusive design USB flash-drive cartridges. The digital players are also designed especially for reading with bookmarking options, navigation buttons, sleep timer and also battery operation for portability. As a part of this initiative, BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) was created to give even more flexibility to users. By year 2013 an app was created to allow users to use BARD in their mobile devices. These measures drastically improved the number of users and the reach that books have over the visually impaired population in Milwaukee and in the State of Wisconsin in general.

Eligibility And Material Lending

All people who live in the State of Wisconsin can be benefited with these policies are those who are visually handicapped, have legal blindness, physical handicapped or suffer from other kinds of reading disability. All these conditions have to be promptly certified by an authority in the matter. The library not only provides the books, it also provides with the materials to listen to them. Just like the innovation of the NVDA being open source to generate equity in terms of access, this effort by the WTBBL makes sure all Wisconsin citizen with visual imparities can access this material with no distinction of economic situation. The state of Wisconsin is an example for the rest of the country to follow and grant access to a vast number of books that have been in an alternative format starting in 1931. Hopefully in the near future, the whole country will offer the same facilities for free to their citizens.

set up system

Easy Ways To Set Up A System For The Visually Impaired

All three software giants have their own way around their system for the visually impaired. The world is slowly turning into a more inclusive place that has a little more empathy and space for those with different abilities. We can think that it has to do with the business side of it and big corporations are incorporating software to allow the visually impaired to use their products to reach further in the market and open new niches, but we can also think that the lives of those people just got a little better with those effort. Let´s review the three giants and their resources: Windows, OSx and Linux.

Windows Ease Of Access

Windows Ease of Access was designed and implemented from Windows 98 onwards and has several unique features that were later adopted by other major companies. The most significant features of this software is that it has a different level of aid for different levels of visual imparity. The Microsoft Narrator is for those who can´t see the screen at all, the Magnifier is for those who need extra augmented text (up to 19x) and finally the High-Contrast Mode to make everything more visible for those with a visual imparity less severe. The way to bring up the Ease of Access is very simple; you just need to push the Windows Key + the letter U on your keyboard. For a complete list on the shortcuts of Windows for all the Ease of Access functions, you can check this list.

Apple VoiceOver App

Just like they have done all their corporate life, Apple took the update from Microsoft and took it one step forward in two senses. First, the VoiceOver App is built into the OS, not as an addition but as an integral part of the programming. Also, the VoiceOver app gives the user hints and tips and reads every part of the screen.

Secondly, Apple incorporated Siri to control every iDevice with the voice rather than just reading the screen to the user. With Siri you can speak to your iDevice and indicate what you need to get done and also ask questions about addresses, weather and many more things.

Vinux For Linux

There are many ways to make Linux compatible with the visually impaired. Vinux is a solution right out of the box since it is there when you install Linux in your computer. The best feature of Vinux is that you have 24/7 support and an IRC platform to send an email straight to headquarters to evacuate all doubts. It comes with all the features you might need as magnifying glass and color inversions as well as high contrast mode.