A new software has been developed for cell phones by K-NFB Reading Technology and the National Federation of the Blind, in order to help visually impaired people "see". Very cool! It allows you to take a picture of an item and then your cell phone will read the item and it's label information to you. For example, you could take a cell phone picture of the tea bags in a hotel room to find out which is caffeinated. The cell phone will then read the tea bag labels to you!
Here is the description from the National Federation of the Blind.
"This truly pocketsize Reader enables users to take pictures of and read most printed materials at the push of a button. Blind users hear the contents of the document read in clear synthetic speech, while users who can see the screen and those with learning disabilities can enlarge, read, track, and highlight printed materials using the phone’s large and easy-to-read display. The combination of text-to-speech and tracking features makes interpreting text much easier for individuals with learning disabilities."
Currently this technology is only being used on Nokia phones. Hopefully the software will be expanded for a variety of cell phones so any student with a basic camera cell phone can download the software and use it in their learning. This could be a great way for visually impaired or Dyslexic students to "read" class handouts, articles, notes on the whiteboard, and signs around the school building as well as on field trips (imagine Dyslexic students taking a picture of a description of an object in a museum so they can hear the description immediately?).
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