Monday, November 06, 2006

Helping Out Ten

Ten Things For Impaired/Handicapped Writers

Freeware caution: always scan free downloads of anything for bugs and other threats before dumping the programs into your hard drive.

1.'s Click-N-Type freeware provides a virtual keyboard in English and a bunch of other languages for people who have trouble with or can't type on a traditional version.

2. The most popular text-to-speech freeware out there, Cyber Buddy.

3. Dot-to-Dot, a braille transcriber program for Mac users, is free for anyone who works to help the blind and physically handicapped.

4. Zoom in on any hard-to-see portion of your screen with EZMagnifier or MouseCam.

5., a new company which plans to specialize in software designed for the impaired user, offers Ghost Clock 1.0 freeware.

6. Java Accessibility Helper makes JFC-based programs more accessible to users with disabilities.

7. Click-N-Type virtual keyboard users may also want to check out two programs designed specifically to work with it: Point-N-Click, a virtual mouse, and CNTDesigner, a keyboard customization program.

8. Have your e-mails and other text documents read to you by the free version of NaturalReader, or MDW Software's Speak Text freeware.

9. offers free braille and deaf language fonts.

10. Presently Simtel has a list of 114 free download programs designed for the impaired/handicapped user.

Jon Harrison from MSU Library also maintains a web page on grants for the disabled that details the related web sites, databases and books that can help.


  1. Great list. I must confess to thinking, "She digitized the DOG?" for #2. (Which should have been preceded by, "She taught the dog to talk?")

  2. The current best text to speech software is Text Speaker. It has customizable pronunciation so you can get the sound exactly as you want it. The bundled voices are well priced and sound very human.


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