Assistive Technology in the Workplace

Watch the following videos, as employees with blindness and low vision describe and demonstrate assistive technology they use in their workplace. Read the descriptions for details of each device, as well as links to learn more about these and other devices available.

Video 1 - Assistive Technology at Work – Kendra Farrow

Kendra demonstrates three assistive technology tools that she uses to complete her daily job tasks, including a portable video magnifier, a full-sized video magnifier, and a smartphone app.

  1. Handheld video magnifier – RUBY is one of many brands of handheld video magnifiers available. A portable video magnifier is used to read printed hard copy materials, such as mail, labels on products, etc., by offering adjustable magnification and high-contract viewing modes in a compact, lightweight design
  2. Full-size video magnifier – ONYX is one of many brands of full-size video magnifiers that can be used at a desk. The versatile video magnifier provides various viewing modes and magnification levels to make reading hard copy printed materials, such as handwritten notes, newsletters, books, etc., easier during changing viewing situations.
  3. Smartphone app - The KNFB Reader is a mobile app that is available for smartphone users. The app takes a picture of any type written text and reads it out loud. This and other mobile apps are available to help with a variety of tasks

Watch Video 1 - Assistive Technology at Work – Kendra Farrow

Video 2 - Assistive Technology at Work – Zachary Mason

Zachary demonstrates four assistive technology tools that he uses daily to perform job duties, including a screen reading software, an optical character recognition systems, an electronic braille note taker, and a smartphone app.

  1. Screen reading software - Text on a computer screen is made accessible with screen reading software that reads text aloud or displays braille in response to the users’ actions or commands. There are a number of software packages, such as JAWS, that enable a user to navigate and review emails, documents, spreadsheets, menus and combo boxes, and more.
  2. Optical character recognition system – A variety of optical character recognition systems are available, such as OpenBook, which utilize technology to scan and read aloud printed text. The system also allows the user to save and even edit a document in a number of formats.
  3. Electronic braille note taker device - A note taker is a specially designed device that can be used to create and edit documents, store calendar appointments and contacts, has a calculator function, and is basically a laptop without a screen for an individual with vision loss. There are several different brands, of which Braille Note is one. These devices are available with or without braille displays and can also sport a standard keyboard.
  4. Money identifier smartphone app - Identifying an object, such as the denomination of money, can be a challenge for individuals with vision impairments. A number of mobile apps are available to help complete tasks quickly and accurately.

Watch Video 2 - Assistive Technology at Work – Zachary Mason