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Blind And Deaf Computer Communication Essay

1264 words - 5 pages

In the world today there are approximately 42 million blind people. About 4 million of them live in the USA, and of those 4 million, about 1.5 million have access to a computer. What's the point of using a computer if you can not even see the screen? You will find out how this is accomplished using today's technology.The best way for the blind to interpret text (other then speech) is Braille. Braille was developed by (and is named for) Louise Braille, a teenaged blind student at the worlds first school for the blind in Paris, France, in the 1820's. Braille was widely used up until around the 1960's when Braille's very simplicity and flexibility came to seem somehow old fashioned to some people. By the 1990's, it became clear that Braille's constituency was expanding in part because of computers.Just like language translators, regular text has to be translated off the screen into Braille language. One Braille character is about twice the size of one normal text characters, which makes it harder to save paper and longer to print (especially when the printer has to make perfect indents in the paper.) Since a Braille character is twice the size of a regular text, does Braille use twice as much paper? As with sign language, Braille has tons of shortcuts, that is one Braille character might stand for a word (in text) 3 or 4 letters long. So over all, about one sheet of regular text is equivalent to one sheet and a quarter sheet on Braille. Today's technology allows printers to print on both sides of paper in text. Is it possible for Braille to be double sided on paper? It is possible for Braille to be on both sides of a piece of paper, although hard, the Braille has to be aligned perfectly so that each indent is in between other indents of the other side. When you print like this, you can not feel the Braille on the other side of the paper.Normal Braille print, prints on 11.5 by 11 inch sheets containing 1000 characters. The normal paper used for Braille print is manila folder like paper. It is also perfectly possible to print on ordinary paper. Regular paper will not last as long as ordinary Braille paper but saves a lot of money.A mechanical Braille machine can also be used to display Braille. This machine scrolls Braille from left to right. Each indent is made by a pin with its own tiny motor that moves it up and down at the right times. Some programs like screen readers let you move rectangular shape across the screen via a mouse over some text, a Braille interpreter will change the text into Braille, and the Braille machine will automatically scroll the Braille.Another way of interpreting text is a software program called a speech synthesizer. This program recognizes words and turns them into speech which has a computer generated voice.Although it is quite easy to read text on a computer, what happens when your trying to interpret pictures non-visually? The two types of images that are interpretable are regular life-like images, and data in a form...

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