Don’t pirate software, use free stuff instead

you’ll get everything you need without paying anything, unless you choose to donate.
Thunderbird mail reader is a good example. It works well and is much like Outlook, but is free. Windows 10 Narrator is finally a fully useful screenreader, built in to Window and free. I still prefer NVDA for Windows, also free, but either will be what you need. Amazon Fire tablets have a nice screenreader built into the system, even on their cheapest tablets. JAWS is now $1000 and you must pay a yearly maintenance fee. Outrageous. I just read that Freedom Scientific, the makers of JAWS now has an annual license for $95 per year, but only for the home version. This one, three or five year at a time is also available for ZoomText. If you need a document reading solution, their OpenBook is another $1000. Please read on to learn about free or almost free software which will cover all your needs, no matter what your special situation might be.

I’ve tried hundreds of apps

so you don’t have to. If you have questions, use the contact me link, and I’ll try to help you find free apps which will work for your needs.

My Soap Box

I’m outraged by the high price of specialized technology for people with disabilities, and frustrated because government agencies, at least the ones I know about, frequently recommend the most expensive of all the available options. So, I want to show people how to have technology which can help them without it costing a fortune.

My specialty

is teaching adults, though sometimes children, with disabilities how to use computers and other technology devices to better their lives and give them a chance of getting a job or going to school. I was, for many years, the Technology Manager at a disability agency based in Nashville, TN. During that time I had plenty of opportunity to explore various specialized devices and software for people with disabilities. While much of this software and hardware is very good, the cost is so expensive as to put it out of reach for the people who really need it. Even if the insurance company will buy the device, the family is left with the expensive yearly contracts. This brings me to the point of my site; a place to explain how mainstream software and devices can be used for those with disabilities without paying the exorbitant prices for specialty products.

Most of my students are blind or have low vision. Some have no speech, some have little or no use of their hands, while others have intellectual challenges. The thing that all these people have in common is that using a computer can help them communicate and learn in a way that was only a dream 15 or 20 years ago.

A list of the software

I personally use: Seeing AI, VoiceDream Reader, KNFB reader, Reader view in Safari browser. GeniusScan, Kindle Reader, Overdrive app, RocketBook app, Lazarillo, BARD mobile. The one item on this list which is really expensive, KNFB reader, now has a free rival, Seeing AI, which does document reading and so much more, and is available in six languages. The only reason I keep using KNFB reader is because it works in Italian as well as many other languages. It’s available for IOS, Android and Windows 10 in 14 languages. The KNFB website has both video and text tutorials and a full manual.