[Athen] talking dictionary for low vision, mobility impaired individual

E.A. Draffan ea at emptech.info
Wed Sep 16 09:04:21 PDT 2009

I missed the beginning of the discussion but we know that there are times
when TextHelp Read and Write is unable to spell check on the web and we have
been evaluating the accuracy of all the online spellcheckers
Google is one
of the better ones! We have realised that if you want to build up a good
library of words it helps to be able to add to the dictionary. So we are
developing an accessible free Study Bar which will make all the text both in
the form and the options offered for the spelling error in as large a font
as the web page can zoom. I shall be showing it at AHG as part of my talk
(she says crossing her fingers frantically!) In the meantime the information
about it all can be found at

One problem seems to be that some of the rich text editors have spell
checking features but they are not all screen reader or keyboard accessible.
The spell checking features that come with browsers score lower in their
ability to correctly provide accurate suggestions for errors compared to all
the specialist technology applications and there is a new one on the market
that is better than most – it is called VeritySpell
ducing%20Oribi%20VeritySpell It is widely used in Sweden and will soon be
available in UK. It works with any application and sits in the system tray
but it is designed for dyslexia rather than visual impairment.

Best wishes E.A.

Mrs E.A. Draffan
Learning Societies Lab,
ECS, University of Southampton,
Tel +44 (0)23 8059 7246

From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On
Behalf Of Howard Kramer
Sent: 14 September 2009 03:17
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network
Subject: Re: [Athen] talking dictionary for low vision, mobility impaired

Hi Shelley,

It's more the need for spelling as she's typing. With things such as google
searches, google is pretty good a guessing what your intention. A presented
list of possible choices probably would be helpful. I'll check out WordQ
along with TextHelp.

On Thu, Sep 10, 2009 at 12:59 AM, Shelley Haven <shelley at techpotential.net>
Hi, Howard!

I'm trying to envision this -- Is her biggest need looking up words as she's
writing in order to get the correct word (e.g., differentiating between
homonyms); identifying words which have been misspelled and correcting them;
or checking her words after they're written?

Given the limited range of motion, I'm guessing that something which also
increases typing rate would probably help, too, right?  I wonder if
something like WordQ would help., as it provides both the text-to-speech and
word completion as well as spoken examples to help differentiate confusable
words and homonyms.  However, I may not be envisioning this user's problems
correctly.  It sounds like she would benefit from a dictionary where she can
run through a list of words "which start with" certain letters, then choose
the desired word for a definition.

- Shelley

On Sep 9, 2009, at 11:14 PM, Howard Kramer wrote:
Hello All:

I'm working with someone who is both legally blind (uses Magic &
JAWS) and has limited use of her upper extremities. She can only
use one hand with limited range of motion (uses an Intellikeys
keyboard). She needs help with spelling. Does anyone have any
ideas for a talking dictionary (needs to be computer-based). I
was going to try TextHelp but I wanted to see if anyone else had
any ideas for this challenging situation.

Thanks in advance,

Athen mailing list
Athen at athenpro.org

Athen mailing list
Athen at athenpro.org

Howard Kramer
AHG Conference Coordinator
Access Specialist
fax: 492-5601
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