Window-Eyes is customer driven, and its success depends on the people who use it. The following is a random testimonial from a satisfied Window-Eyes customer.
I believe everyone understands, as a general concept, the idea of the
enormous impact having accessible PC technology has had on the lives of
those who most need the playing field leveled. From independent living,
to greatly improved social contacts, to the absolute number one reason
why employment is even a possibility at all, the importance of
accessible PC technology cannot be overstated.
However, those of us who use accessible PC technology, in the form of
screen readers, understand that it's not a panacea; there are times when
it doesn't work, or at least could work better. When a consumer comes
upon one of those situations, while it may not effect the entire
blindness community to the same degree, it can be extremely important
for their personal situation; even meaning the loss of employment if a
particular program cannot be made accessible with a screen reader.
And so, what are a consumer's options when a vitally important program
is not accessible? Sometimes an alternative program can be substituted,
and rarely, a different screen reader may find it has better success
with accessibility for the problematic application. However, most of
the time, the consumer has had few options other than to inform the
manufacturer of the particular screen reader, as to the problem, almost
begging for a solution.
If a solution isn't immediately available, via advice on custom
configuration options for the program or the screen reader, then the
consumer can only wait in hope; hope that some day the screen reader
manufacturer will release an upgraded version which will make the
problematic application an accessible reality. The feelings of
hopelessness, and helplessness, that this type of situation engenders,
cannot be over-stated.
That at least has been the situation for consumers until GW Micro
released Window-Eyes version 7. With version 7 GW Micro, for the first
time, made access to the screen reader technology available to the
average consumer, through standard, easy to learn and easy to use,
programming languages such as VBScript. This access has opened up the
world of custom screen reader programming, so that almost anyone, with
any level of programming skills, can write programs which make
completely inaccessible situations into ones which are not only
accessible, but actually easy to use. This solution to the problem of
accessibility is so important, that it can be reasonably compared to the
introduction of the screen reader itself.
For the first time the consumer himself has the power to create the
solution to the problem; this ability is so enabling, so empowering,
that the helplessness and hopelessness mentioned above can become just
another story in the history of advancement of enabling technologies.
A consumer can actually create his own accessibility solution! Amazing!
Break me off a piece of that!
Chip O., Florida
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