Free, Accessible Programs to Enhance Your Life

By Beata Green, HeadChannel

There is no doubt that the internet has become an integral part of our everyday lives over the years. Being able to access the internet has made our lives far easier and has helped to provide us with a far greater level of convenience, as we can now carry out all sorts of tasks and research from the comfort of the home or office. However, while many of us take easy access to the internet for granted, there are also those who may struggle to make use of the internet, such as people with certain disabilities. Anything from physical disabilities or severe visual impairment through to intellectual disabilities can put people at a real digital disadvantage. Fortunately, there are free software resources that can help.

Accessible Programs

eSSENTIAL Accessibility App

Essential App LogoThis is an excellent app that is designed to help users with disabilities to navigate the internet hands-free. The eSSENTIAL Accessibility App provides valuable communications support and offers a variety of great adaptive features, such as:

  • Tracking/mouse control: The mouse can be easily controlled by the user simply by using the front facing camera/webcam on the PC and moving your head or hand in the desired direction.
  • Onscreen keyboard: The app enables you to use your mouse and an on-screen keyboard if you struggle or are unable to use a physical keyboard.
  • Page reader: Another great feature of this app is the ability to have the content on a web page read out to you via the app.

Other features include manual and auto-scan, a variety of mouse options, a customizable toolbar and multi-language.

BrailleSurf 4

BrailleSurfBrailleSurf 4 is an internet browser which facilitates computer use for people with visual impairments. The browser basically simplifies the reading of web content for users, by showing the information as text form and providing the option to display it on a Braille bar or for it to be read out via a speech synthesizer. It is also a worthy tool for assessing accessibility of websites for those with vision disabilities.

The browser is available in a number of different languages, which includes English, Spanish and French. Users will benefit from a number of Braille display and speech synthesizer options.

Going for Independence Search Engine

Going for Independence LogoMany people who suffer from disabilities are in need of specialist vehicles or wheelchairs. However, finding the ideal one isn't always an easy task. This is where Going for Independence, the specialist search engine designed by HeadChannel can help. This search engine help seniors and users with disabilities are able to more easily identify the perfect car or wheelchair for their needs, with features of the various products matching with the most common special needs. They can access the information in a simple and easy-to-read report.

About the author:

Beata Green is Managing Director of HeadChannel Ltd., bespoke software development company form London. She is responsible for overall strategic direction and overseeing the company's continuing growth, building closer client relationships and maintaining best working practices. She enjoys brisk country walks with her red fox labrador and then relaxing in front of a TV crime drama with a glass of red wine.

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