Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Computer Tools For The Visually Impaired

Our flagship software system, ParaPlan, provides scheduling and dispatching software for the Paratransit industry.  This industry is defined by the right of elderly and handicapped persons to public transportation.  If you are elderly, handicapped, or part of a special program you are entitled to public transportation in most U.S. cities.  Users of this service are picked up at their door and taken to the destination (doctor, store, work, etc.) 

Most agencies which provide this service are non-profit and sponsored by their city or county.  Numerous local and federal monies (including MediCare and Medicaid) help fund this service.  Our clients providing this service deliver from 50-500 clients to and from their destinations everyday.

Anyway, due to the nature of this industry many of our ParaPlan users are elderly and/or handicapped themselves.  Some have physical limitations that require special computer hardware (unique keyboards and mice, etc.).  One of our potential client's is blind and uses Windows with an add-on package called Supernova

Supernova includes magnification, speech and Braille output to cater for all types of visual impairments.  It basically 'reads' the screen to the user through a nice voice of your choice.  We recently had an inquiry to see if ParaPlan could be used in tandem with Supernova for the visually impaired.  I downloaded their demo and it worked immediately with our software!

The point of this post is that a) I love the fact that there are so many cool tools out there for everyone to use computers and b) the fact that our software was written in the proper environments to seamlessly support 3rd party tools quickly.