Remote reading for visually impaired people: A new application for telecommunications

Publication Type: Journal Article
Publication: Technology and Disability, Volume 3, Issue 3, p.203-212 (1994)

During a typical day, a sighted person routinely opens mail; reads instructions and recipes, TV guides, and correspondences; selects tapes; examines invoices and bills; and looks at pictures and graphs. The blind individual has routine access to few, if any, of these. All of these printed materials are being made accessible on demand by the remote human reader system of the type we are developing, using fax machines or other telecommunications technologies to transmit images of the material to a remotely located sighted reader.We have made significant progress toward implementing non-fax video image compression/transmission for an interactive remote reading system. The goal is to approach as closely as possible the i deal remote readerone that would function in the same way as having a live reader in the same room as the user. Such a system would, for all practical purposes, allow the remote reader to look over the shoulder of the blind user.Another telecommunications option to remote reading under development is to augment the human reader with an automated optical character recognition system. The output of the system is converted into speech and stored in the voice mail system on the reader's computer. The sender then calls the computer to retrieve the spoken text.

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