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Blindness & Low Vision

Magnification/Screen Reading Software



ZoomText video magnification/screen reader software enlarges text by area, window or screen. This package includes the screen review module which reinforces the visual information by speaking selected information from the screen. Designed for people with various vision conditions, it allows customization of size and colour combinations.

For more information, please visit the manufacturers website at:


MAGic combines great magnification features with true low vision screen reading when purchased with the speech option. It gives you the ability to choose the information you want read from the screen as you navigate your applications. MAGic is easy to use with its talking large print installation, new color-coded user interface and hot keys that avoid conflicts with Windows® and popular software applications.

For more information, please visit the manufacturers website at:

Screen Review Software

JAWS for Windows

JAWS® for Windows is screen review software that works with your PC to provide access to software applications and the Internet. With its internal software speech synthesizer and the computer’s sound card, information from the screen is read aloud, providing technology to access a wide variety of information, education and job related applications. JAWS also outputs to refreshable Braille displays. A training tutorial on CD is included.

Available in two versions:
Standard – Works in Windows 9x and XP Home:
Does not support network versions of Windows. (NT, 2000, XP Pro)
Professional – Works in all Windows applications.

For more information, please visit the manufacturers website at:

Windows Eyes Screen Reading Software

Window-Eyes is a software application for the blind and visually impaired, which converts components of the Windows operating system into synthesized speech allowing for complete and total access to Windows based computer systems. Window-Eyes integration into Windows is seamless, providing you with instant access to the operating system without having to learn a complicated set of keystrokes. Plus, with its enhanced Braille support that control is extended to what you feel as well.

For more information, please visit the manufacturers website at:

Portable Notetakers & Organizers


The ALVA MPO offers all the cool features of cell phones and personal digital assistants seamlessly integrated with features for blind and visually impaired users. With 20 braille cells, an 8-dot Braille keyboard, a high quality speech synthesizer, and ALVA's Smart-ControlTM user interface, the MPO is unique in design and functionality. Other key features include:

  • Fully accessible tri-band GSM cellular phone

  • Essential notetaker

  • SMS text messaging

  • Agenda planner

  • Alarm

  • Calculator

Upcoming product features will include email, Internet browser, GPS (Global Positioning System), Daisy reader, and an MP3 player.

For more information, please visit the manufacturers website at:

Freedom Scientific Notetakers

Braille 'n Speak

The Braille ‘n Speak (affectionately known as the BnS) is a classic and still one of the most popular notetakers worldwide. The Braille 'n Speak combines speech with a standard Perkins-style keyboard. About the size of a VHS video cassette and weighing in at less than one pound, the Braille 'n Speak includes word processing with spell check and many other features. Its built-in speech synthesizer lets you input and edit directly into the memory, and at a press of a single command, the information is read back to you. Information can be input in either Grade 1 or Grade 2 Braille through a six-key keypad.


Type 'n Speak

This versatile notetaker gives you the combination of speech with a standard typewriter style keyboard. At two pounds, and about the size of a legal size sheet of paper, the durable Type 'n Speak lets you input and edit directly into the memory and instantly read back the information through the internal speech synthesizer at the press of a single command. It has complete word processing capabilities including a spell checker. The built-in Braille keyboard gives you the option of using a six-key Perkins-style input mode to enter information in either Grade 1 or Grade 2 Braille.

Braille Lite Series

Portability and versatility best describe the Braille Lite 2000. The 18 character refreshable Braille display allows you to read information quickly. The Braille Lite 2000 has the same six-key Braille keyboard found on the Braille 'n Speak as well as a fully adjustable speech synthesizer. Combine the Braille Lite 2000 with popular screen reading programs such as JAWS® for Windows to provide quick Braille access to your PC to enhance your workstation.

Braille Lite Millennium Series

Power and function in a sleek design highlight this Braille and speech notetaker. The Millennium series includes a 56K modem, POP3 email capabilities, word processing and quick one key-commands. Switch instantly from the Braille display to your PC without losing your place. The notetaker comes with an adjustable speech synthesizer and boasts virtually unlimited storage capacity with a CompactFlash™ port. With the addition of our exclusive Whiz Wheels®, you can rapidly scroll through documents with ease.




PACMate Series – Notetaker and PDA

The world's first accessible Pocket PC device, PAC Mate provides access to everyday Windows-based desktop data and software applications, via ActiveSync. By utilizing JAWS® for the braille and speech output, the eight-dot keyboard in the BNS model works like a personal data assistant. Run Pocket PC versions of popular software programs to manage your information internally or sync up and share data with other devices. Surf the Internet and send and receive email with the addition of a modem. PAC Mate is the definitive handheld computer for those who are blind.

The PacMate comes in a variety of models offering a choice of braille or QWERTY keypad, and/or an integrated braille display options.

For more information, please visit the manufacturers website at:

Pulse Data

Braillenote and Voicenote



Pulse Data offers a range of notetakers and PDAs (Personal Data Assistant). The BrailleNotes includes speech and a braille display. The VoiceNote is speech only. Every BrailleNote and VoiceNote model gives instant access to each of the following applications:

  • Word processing: Create, edit and store documents, convert them to Braille or a range of mainstream text formats including Microsoft Word, print or emboss any document, translate between Braille and text
  • E-Mail: Send and receive emails with attachments, store addresses, create folders. Supports standard POP3 e-mail services
  • Daily Planner: Schedule single or recurring appointments and set reminder alarms and synchronize with MS Outlook's Contacts
  • Address List: Store and organize your contact information, look up an address quickly and simply, paste it into a document or email, synchronize with MS Outlook's Contacts.  Or create your own database
  • Book Reader: Read e-books in standard Braille or text format, in any grade of Braille you choose, download and unpack Bookshare e-books
  • Web Browser: Surf the net – do research, online shopping and banking, save pages, download files and much more 
  • Media Player: Sounds too good to be true? Listen to MP3 audio books or music, and return to the point you stopped listening to your last MP3 file
  • Stopwatch: Keeps track of time passing while you do other tasks
  • Scientific Calculator: Make complex mathematical calculations, insert the answer into an email or document
  • Visual Display: Connect to a video display for real-time translation and viewing by sighted observers, peers or teachers
  • On-line help: Context sensitive help and fully indexed user guide are available at the touch of a key, and...
  • Activesync: Enables you to connect your PC to share or synchronize files

Every model also includes the following hardware making it highly compatible with mainstream technology:

  • Microsoft Windows CE operating system
  • 16MB of non-volatile user storage
  • 16MB of RAM
  • 32MB ROM for program and OS storage
  • Optional PCMCIA and Compact Flash Card slots for additional storage
  • Serial, parallel and infrared ports and internal modem
  • Ethernet connectivity
  • Synchronization with MS Outlook's Planner and Contacts using KeySync
  • Supports the 1GB/5GB MicroDrive and ATA Memory cards
  • 3 way adjustable split earphones
  • High quality leather carry case
  • All this and up to 25 hours battery life


For more information, please visit the manufacturers website at:

Braille Displays


ALVA braille displays are compatible with most MS DOS and Windows applications. The display can be used without having to adapt your hardware - just add your favorite screen reader software and an ALVA braille display to your computer system and you will experience ALVA braille excellence in a Windows environment. And, when using the braille display with a speech synthesizer, you will also experience fully-customizable, optimal interaction between braille and speech, enabling you to work in Windows faster, more efficiently and more accurately.

The Alva stands out with its attractive and ergonomic designs, the numerous user possibilities and the ease with which one learns to use it. And user control is greatly expanded with touch cursors. This application allows you to make both quick and precise use of the cursor and mouse. When a typing error is detected during the reading of a text, you can easily position the cursor at the relevant position with the aid of the touch cursor and correct the error.

The Alva Braille display is available in a variety of models and sizes. The larger models fit ergonomically underneath the keyboard for rapid access.

For more information, please visit the manufacturers website at:


Portable and affordable Focus 40 and Focus 80 Braille Displays with the latest in braille display technology put you in control as you smoothly navigate the Windows® environment. Based on features rated most desirable by braille display users, Focus Braille Displays are packed with advanced features and options that can be easily configured through JAWS®. The new design eliminates seams between the braille cells, making the display feel like paper! The convenient location of navigation keys, bars and buttons promotes comfort and more economical hand movement.

Choose the 40-cell Focus 40 or the 80-cell Focus 80, depending on your workstation requirements. Both models include easy-to-remember braille commands for Windows, JAWS for Windows, and braille settings. Used with the JAWS screen reader, the refreshable braille cells act as a tactile monitor that allows you to navigate and read information in dynamic braille. Sleek, portable, and very customizable, Focus Braille Displays provide unparalleled accuracy, navigation, and comfort.

For more information, please visit the manufacturers website at:

Braille Embossers (Printers) and Translation Software

Enabling Technologies

Single-Sided Braille Embossers

Romeo RB-2S

5 CPS, maximum 40 CPL, single-sided Braille printer, NEW high-resolution graphics, Dynamic Braille Scaling, 32 pounds (14.5 kg), plastic carry case. Options: Single Sheet Tractors, ET Speaks Speech System.

Romeo Classic

  40 CPS, maximum 42 CPL, single-sided Braille printer, graphics, 27 pounds (12.3 kg), plastic carry case. Options: Romeo Classic SignMaker.


200 CPS, maximum 42 CPL, single-sided Braille printer, 75 pounds (34.1 kg), aluminum carry case.


40 CPS, maximum 40 CPL, single-sided Braille printer, NEW high-resolution graphics, Dynamic Braille Scaling, 51 pounds (23.2 kg), desktop case. Options: Single Sheet Tractors, ET Speaks Speech .System.

Double-Sided Braille Embossers


60 CPS, maximum 40 CPL, Interpoint, NEW high-resolution graphics, Dynamic Braille Scaling, 51 pounds (23.2 kg), desktop case. Options: Single Sheet Tractors.

Juliet Classic

Embosses at a speed of one line per second; maximum 55 CPS, maximum 56 CPL, Interpoint, NEW high-resolution graphics, Dynamic Braille Scaling, 51 pounds (23.2 kg), desktop case. Options: Single Sheet Tractors.

Juliet Pro 60

Standard features include Single Sheet Tractors and ET Speaks Speech System. All other characteristics are identical to the ET Braille Printer (see above).

Juliet Pro

  Standard features include Single Sheet Tractors and ET Speaks Speech System. All other characteristics are identical to the Juliet Classic Braille Printer (see above).

Commercial Production Embossers


80 CPS, maximum 44 CPL, Interpoint, ET Speaks Speech System, 512K text buffer, NEW high-resolution graphics, 50 pounds (22.7 kg), aluminum carry case.

Braille Express 100

100 CPS-All other characteristics are identical to the BookMaker (see above).

Braille Express 150

150 CPS-All other characteristics are identical to the BookMaker (see above).

   For more information, please visit:


Basic-S Braille Embosser

The Basic-S is a classic single sided embosser. The free WinBraille braille editor, which is included, makes it one of the most versatile embossers in the market. This makes the Basic-S probably the most cost effective braille production unit in the world.

Basic-D Braille Embosser

An economical interpoint (double sided Braille) embosser for tractor-fed paper. Basic is controlled by an ink and braille labelled front panel. This panel allows for easy one-time adjustments such as toggling between single or double sided Braille. Combined with the speech feedback, it is easy to install and operate by blind and sighted users alike. It also includes the WinBraille braille editor making it a complete Brailling package.

Everest Braille Embosser

Double and single sided braille embosser for cut sheet paper. This is a production embosser popular with libraries and schools.

For more information, please visit:

Freedom Scientific

Braille Blazer

The only truly portable Braille embosser, the economical Braille Blazer is light-weight and compact. Though limited to a width of 8.5” finished paper size it is quiet, and produces high-quality Braille on many sizes of tractor-fed Braille paper, plastic labels and even index cards. Its internal speech synthesizer allows quick and simple configuration that can be used with any PC or Freedom Scientific notetaker.

For more information, please visit:

Translation Software


The Duxbury Braille Translator is a software program which allows you to create highly accurate Braille regardless of your knowledge of braille formatting rules. The simple menu interface, the capacity to support dozens of word processors and its support for math (Nemeth Code) make translating into braille easy for beginners and experts alike.


  WinBraille is a simple braille translator which comes bundled with all Index Braille embossers. It does not include a Nemeth Code translator.


Reading (OCR) Software for Blindness and Low-Vision

Openbook Reading Software


OpenBook allows you to convert printed documents or graphic based text into an electronic text format using accurate optical character recognition and quality speech. OpenBook features both speech and a low vision component. It contains two text to speech software synthesizers: RealSpeak and ViaVoice. RealSpeak features a natural, human-sounding voice that can help enhance your reading experience. ViaVoice provides practical and efficient speech for editing or skimming documents. OpenBook also supports most hardware speech synthesizers. For those with low-vision, OpenBook contains many powerful tools to allow you to customize how the document appears on your screen. Other features in OpenBook include a fax utility, copy function and online book search.

For more information, please visit:


Kurzweil 1000 Reading Software

Kurzweil 1000 is reading software that makes printed or electronic text accessible to people who are blind. Kurzweil 1000 turns text into a variety of life-like voices and does much more. Users can bookmark, make notes, skim or summarize text to aid mastery of concepts and details. They can modify reading speed, pitch, and emphasis to suit specific preferences and purposes. They can edit or create documents assisted by an audible dictionary, thesaurus or prioritized spell checker, and archive them using a simple file management dialog. Kurzweil 1000 also retrieves information online.

For more information, please visit:

CCTV’s and Magnifiers

LVI MagniLink P

Closed Circuit TeleVision (CCTV) systems come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, designed to meet an individual's needs. From compact, hand-held magnifiers to full-size units with full motion tables, these devices can magnify from 2 times to 16 times! Features may include reverse video, line markers, and masking, computer compatibility or a separate camera unit for maximum flexibility.

We have selected three of the leading manufacturers to feature here. They represent  a range of styles available but if you are looking for a specific model from another manufacturer, call!

For more information on the three featured manufacturers, please visit:

Black & White Models:

  • Optelec Clearview 300 Series. Separate monitor. Features pack option.
  • Pulse Data SmartView 3000: Separate monitor, Manual Focus, Computer Access optional
  • LVI Magnilink P: One-piece unit including 14” CRT monitor. Two models: standard or auto-focus

Colour Models:

  • Optelec Clearview 500 Series: CRT monitor stand/integrated camera. Monitor separate. Optional features pack.
  • Optelec Clearview Flat Screen: 15” or 17” integrated TFT flat screen
  • Optelec Clearview 700: Camera only (no monitor stand), Computer compatible
  • PulseData Smartview 5000: CRT monitor stand/integrated camera. Monitor separate. Optional features pack.
  • PulseData Smartview 8000: CRT monitor stand/integrated camera. Monitor separate. Computer compatible.
  • PulseData Smartview 7000: Camera only (no monitor stand)
  • LVI Magnilink A: One piece unit with integrated 17” CRT monitor. Two models: manual or auto-focus.
  • LVI Magnilink C: Integrated camera, monitor stand and table. Monitor separate. Computer compatible.
  • LVI Magnilink X: One piece unit with integrated 17” LCD monitor. Two versions: stand-alone or computer compatible.
  • LVI Magnilink S Reader: Portable handheld camera unit for use with computer. Mouse-like operation.
  • LVI MLS Student: Compact camera only on portable stand for table-top reading or distance magnification. Ideal for classroom

Portable Electronic Magnifiers:

  • Optelec Compact: Features 4” colour LCD screen, rechargeable batteries
  • PulseData Pocket Viewer: 4”x3” black & white or colour display, 7x magnification

Optelec Clearview

MagniLink X

MagniLink S


MagniLik S

Pocket Viewer


Learning Disabilities

Kurzweil 3000

Kurzweil 3000 for Windows is a reading, writing and learning solution for individuals of all ages with learning difficulties like dyslexia, attention deficit disorder (ADD) and other literacy difficulties. Kurzweil 3000 provides users the tools they need to improve their reading speed and comprehension, plus a suite of features that make it possible for them to learn and study independently. Kurzweil 3000 not only reads questions and answers aloud, it allows users to type answers directly onto the image of a scanned test, thereby offering more independence.

For more information, please visit:


WYNN is the innovative literacy software tool designed to enhance success for individuals with reading challenges and writing difficulties. WYNN was developed with the help of special educators and individuals with learning difficulties. By using a bi-modal approach — simultaneous highlighting of the text as it is spoken — WYNN transforms printed text into understandable information that benefits readers of all ages. It includes four colour-coded toolbars, and provides reading, writing, studying, and productivity features. WYNN can read word processing documents, PDF files, text files, and the Internet.

For more information, please visit:


Inspiration® helps students strengthen critical thinking, comprehension and writing skills through the proven power of visual learning. Students use graphics to represent concepts and relationships and then use the integrated outlining capability to further organize ideas for essays, reports and studying.

Inspiration's integrated diagramming and outlining environments work together to help student's comprehend concepts and information in language arts, science and social studies. Students learn to analyze complex topics, improve writing proficiency, and develop planning skills. Educators use Inspiration to customize instruction, achieve standards, assess student progress and energize learning.

For more information, please visit:

TextHelp Read & Write

Texthelp systems have a variety of assistive technology software for people with learning or literacy difficulties. Read&Write, their most popular product, is a discreet, integrated solution for any user's literacy needs, offering outstanding literacy support to all.

It has been designed as a ‘floating’ toolbar that will help improve reading & writing skills, with features such as speech feedback, phonetic spell checking, word prediction & homophone support to cover every aspect of the learning spectrum.

For more information, please visit:

Word Q

WordQ software is a special education writing tool used along with standard Windows word processing software to provide spelling, English grammar (and French grammar), and reading assistance. It uses advanced word prediction to suggest words for you to use and provides spoken (text-to-speech) feedback. WordQ also acts a text reader to help you proofread your work or to read existing or scanned text. Users of all ages who have problems writing and editing can benefit, including those who have learning disabilities (LD) such as Dyslexia, or who are learning English (or French) as a second language.

For more information, please visit: www