This page provides information on technology
available to students at ASBVI, and explains how the software and
equipment are used by staff and students to access information.
Recent advances in technology have made it
possible for persons who are visually impaired to read printed
materials which were not available prior to the technological
advances. It is now
possible for a person who is visually impaired to read current
newspapers, magazines, content on the internet, and to secure any
book which is available on the market.
The staff at the Arkansas School for the Blind
and Visually Impaired
is making full use of technological discoveries to provide the most
current reading materials for students in an appropriate reading
media, and to instruct students so that they can make effective use
of the vast resources now available to them. To facilitate this
process, regular in-services in the use of adaptive technology are
provided for all teachers.
ASBVI has three (3) computer labs for the convenience of
staff and students; and each lab has all adaptive software and
equipment discussed on this page. There is also a teacher work room
where teachers can produce materials in large print and Braille,
and create tactile graphics.
Screen readers speak text displayed on the
monitor screen. They can describe graphics and allow the user who is
visually impaired to use almost any computer program, such as CD
players, spreadsheets and word processing software. In
addition, screen readers reformat web pages so that frames and
tables can be read coherently. Students at ASBVI have available to them the
screen readers on the market, "Jaws," and "Window-Eyes."
A Braille display allows the user to read in
Braille the text displayed on the computer screen. Braille displays
are very costly. However, ASBVI has a Braille display in the adaptive
technology lab for Braille readers.
Scanners and Scanning Software
"Open Book" is an excellent OCR software
program to use for text scanning. Open Book has a built in screen
reader so that it can be used by persons who require speech output.
With a little editing, printed matter scanned using Open Book may be
produced in large print or Braille.
Enlarging Text on the
Some students need to have the text on the
computer screen enlarged. "Zoom Text" allows the user to adjust text
size, contrast, text and background colors. Also, "Zoom Text" will
permit the user to enlarge a portion of the screen. This program is
ideal for the user who requires large print.
Enlarging print in textbooks
Printed matter in textbooks is enlarged by CC
television. The book is placed on a platform which slides on
tracks. As the user moves the book to the right, the text is
displayed in large print on a screen. The size of the display can
be increased or decreased depending on the needs of the user. Also,
the contrast, background color and font color may be adjusted to meet
the unique requirements of the person using the TV.
The entire ASBVI campus is networked, and
computers are available in all classrooms and dormitories. Students
are instructed in how to access the internet, and are encouraged and
expected to employ their skills to read current events and do
Note Taker Devices
The "Braille 'n Speak," "Braille Lite," "Type
'n Speak," Type Lite" and "Braille Note" are note takers which
students use at ASB to facilitate their studying and to prepare for
college or a job after graduation. Braille 'n Speak and Braille
Note have keyboards identical to the keyboard on the traditional Braille writer which has been used for years to produce hard copy
Braille. However, they speak the text which is written. The Braille
Lite and Note Lite are Identical to the Braille 'n Speak and the
Braille Note, except they have a Braille display as well as speech
output. The Type Lite is a Braille 'n Speak with a typewriter
keyboard, rather than a Braille writer keyboard. These note takers
store text in memory and speak it. They interface with printers
and Braille embossers to provide hard copy in print or in Braille.
All the note takers can be used in conjunction with a PC to download
files. Portable disk drives and modems are available for all the
note takers so that they can function as stand-alone computers.
Software is available so that one can manage checking accounts,
keep personal calendars and play games. One of these note takers is
ideal for a college student or a person on the job who is visually
Braille Translation software and
If one has knowledge of Braille formatting, he
can use a Braille translation program and a Braille embosser to
produce material in Braille, regardless of whether he/she can read
Braille. If you have a need to produce Braille materials, the ASBVI
staff is ready and willing to assist you by providing advice on what
equipment to purchase and how to use it. At ASBVI, the Duxbury
Braille translation program and the Romeo and Juliet embossers are
used. The Romeo embosses Braille on one side of a Braille page,
while the Juliet produces two-sided Braille pages. Six embossers
are available for students and staff to use to produce material from
the internet, tests and textbooks.
Romeo Braille Embosser