For many years, people who are blind or visually impaired have had few options for accessing computers. Windows-based personal computers with very expensive screen reading or screen magnification software are still considered by most to be the only option. Recently, Apple developed a full-fledged screen reader and screen magnification package that they include as part of their Operating System on all of their computers. This is especially attractive to adults who are blind or visually impaired, over 70% of whom are unemployed/under-employed. This is also desirable by the core group of students at New Jersey Foundation for the Blind (NJFFB) who are age 50 and older, have little to no computer experience, and who are coping with the recent loss of most or all of their vision. And letís face it, Macs and other Apple products have created a global frenzy, at least partly because their design and applications are so visually appealing. When the Neil G. Shastri Foundation provided NJFFB with an iMac, our students acquired much more than a fun, cost-effective, user-friendly tool for communicating and accessing information. Our students are now aware that there is another option available to them, and that option may lead to increased participation in the both the workplace as well as the dialogue of our culture.
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