Accessible Technology: John’s Story
Tags: accessible technology
When we requested favorite tech tips and tools for our last blog, John sent along this photo of his tech set-up and the explanation below. We felt this detailed answer deserved its own blog!
John’s Accessible Technology Set-Up
For people with visual impairments, we are undoubtedly living in a “golden age” of accessibility. No matter how you got here — whether you’re low-vision or legally blind, there’s never been a better or brighter time than the present to lead a more meaningful and pleasurable life! From the traditional “analog world” of braille, mobility canes, and the joy of a great guide dog to the new “digital world” of talking devices, “smart” mobile apps, and GPS guidance, we who have visual impairments can do just about anything fully-sighted people can do — with confidence, style, and success! The only caveat with this new paradigm is that nothing stays the same long enough to figure it out before it morphs into something completely different — but, as they say, “no pain –no gain!” Although technology may not be everyone’s “cup of tea,” if it excites you — if it gives you hope, then the sky’s the limit!
Since no one accessibility product can do it all, I use a variety of furniture, visual-aids, devices, software programs, and online services to meet my professional and personal needs. The attached photograph shows my home/office workstation setup, where I use 21 accessibility products daily to “problem-solve” my visual challenges. They are, in order from left to right, as follows:
- Ergonomic Office Chair, by Humanscale (purchased from Relax the Back in-store)
- iPad Pro* with Logitech keyboard/case (purchased from Apple Store)
- iPhone* (Model: “SE-3; purchased from Apple Store)
- ZoomText “Analog to Digital” Camera and associated software (with USB cord connected to Dell Laptop; purchased online from Freedom Scientific, Inc.)
- OrCam My Eye (stand-alone) Audio Reading/Talking camera glasses (purchased from Chicago Lighthouse)
- Bluez-2S Wireless (bone-induction) Headphones, by Aftershokz (purchased online through Amazon.) FYI—these are great for both indoor and outdoor tasks where hearing external queues/clues are extremely important!
- HP 9110 Printer/Scanner (purchased online through Amazon)
- Apple MacBook (M1) Pro* (sitting on top of printer; purchased from Apple Store)
- Xfinity Modem and WiFi Hub. (below desk, from Xfinity Service)
- Fully Adjustable Keyboard Tray, by “Humanscale” (purchased from “Relax-the-Back” in store)
- Microsoft “Sculpt” Ergonometric (split-Hand) Keyboard (below desk on adjustable keyboard tray, with wireless keypad located on desk; purchased online through Amazon)
- Logitech Rollerball Mouse (below desk on adjustable keyboard tray; purchased online through Amazon)
- Dell 27″ Curved Gaming Monitor (on floating adjustable arm;-/ purchased online through Amazon)
- iMac 27″ Desktop* Computer/Monitor (located behind Dell Curved 27″ Monitor; purchased at Apple Store)
- Dell Laptop (below monitor, running ZoomText-Extra-2023 (both purchased online through Amazon)
- Amazon Alexa Show-Me-8 (right of iMac) (connected to WiFi and home stereo system, purchased online through Amazon)
- Eclipse Stand-alone CCTV (auto-zoom analog camera, with adjustable X-Y table, purchased online from “Freedom Vision” FYI—Model no longer available, but many others are)
- RNIB Pen-Friend Audio Labeler (stand-alone, purchased online from LS&S)
- Talking (16-ft.) Steel-blade Tape Measure (stand-alone, purchased at Chicago Lighthouse)
- Half-dome Analog Magnifying Glass (stand-alone, purchased online from “LS&S)”
- Eyepatch (to cover non-functional eye, purchased from Walgreens) 😉
*Note: All Apple Products are using the built-in VoiceOver accessibility reader and magnification features. They are truly great!
John is an architect working in Chicago.