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FAQ Screen Reader

  1. Is there a specially designed computer/mobile for blind people?
    No, it is only the application software (Screen Reader in this context) which needs to be compatible with the operating system. The Operating System for example could be Windows 7, Windows XP in case of computers and Android and Symbian in case of mobile phones.
  2. What is a screen Reader?
    A screen reader is application software for voice giving output to whatever is displayed on the computer/mobile screen.
  3. Who can use a screen Reader?
    Though anybody can use a screen reader, yet generally people with complete blindness/people partial sight use it.
  4. What are the different types of screen readers available?
    Non-Visual Desktop Access (NVDA), Screen Access For All (SAFA), System Access To Go, Thunder, Web Anywhere, Hal, Job Access With Speech (JAWS),  Supernova and  Window-Eyes. However, NVDA and JAWS are generally used in India.
  5. How much does a screen reader cost?
    Screen Readers like NVDA, Hal, SAFA, Thunder, Web Anywhere and Screen Access to Go are free of cost. Few others like JAWS, Supernova, and Window-Eyes are commercial. One needs to contact the dealer.
  6. How do screen readers deal with different languages?
    All screen readers can read English and Hindi however some have a wider language capability, for some languages it is possible by selecting that language from Region and Language in the control panel of the system and by installing desired Text-To-Speech (TTS). For example, Sangeeta-TTS is used for most of the Indian languages.
    NVDA reads many Indian languages. It reads the text as it is.
  7. Can a screen reader read the files in pdf format?
    Yes, if only it is in Unicode text by which we mean each character is provided a unique number. The image cannot be read by any screen reader. 

    (i) Can a screen reader read hand-written text?
    No, not even on scanning.

    (ii) Can a screen reader read any type of scanned text?
    No, different Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software is needed. For English Kurzweil and ABBY Fine Reader is good OCR software. There is OCR software for Hindi as well. OCR software converts image into text which is readable with the help of a screen reader.

  8. Which screen reader is useful for MAC BOOK?
    MAC BOOK is an APPLE product which has its in-built voice over.
  9. Is web browsing possible with screen readers?

         Yes. Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox are popularly used for web browsing with the help of screen readers.

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