Courtesy Tammy Albee, NFB Newsline
People are using smartphones for more and more in this digital age. Smart phones are used to communicate, to exchange data, and to read news and information. More and more, our smartphones are the tool of choice for so many tasks, and now accessing print by the blind and visually impaired has just taken a big step forward.
NFB-NEWSLINE, a service providing national, international, and local news and information in a timely fashion, has been available via a free iOS app since 2012. But what about other reading material? How do you access books not found on the National Library Service or other book services? What about items of a more personal nature such as bills, instructional manuals for household items, family documents, personal contracts like mortgages, insurance policies or medical records? There is now a solution: KNFB Reader. Using the KNFB Reader mobile app for iOS or Android, you can scan and read any printed material quickly and easily, and have it available via audio or connected refreshable Braille display.
This app is designed to be easy and quick. Just snap the picture, and the app reads the print. The KNFB Reader is designed to assist blind people in capturing the print – it has tilt guidance and field of view assistance, as well as automatic text detection so you can be sure you are getting the entire page. The KNFB Reader is also fast. Snap a photo and read printed material in seconds. If you desire more advanced features, KNFB Reader allows you to import documents, including .jpg and .pdf files, and export documents, including .txt and .html files, to cloud storage including Dropbox and Google Drive. Read items as simple as a receipt or package label, to something as large and complex as a manual or book using the batch scan mode to capture multi-page documents. It can even read data in columns or tables that might be found on bank statements or monthly bills.