Essays, Tech, Writing 1 comment on Writing When You’re Blind

Writing When You’re Blind

Assistive technologies for the disabled (or differently abled, if you prefer) continue to improve. Back in the 1990s, I used to volunteer at a place in northern Virginia called Telecommunications Exchange For the Deaf, Inc., or TEDI. Deaf callers would reach us using acoustic modem TTYs (short for “text telephones” or “teletypewriters”), little laptop-sized machines with a single line display of blue LED text, an interface pretty close to Speak & Spell. We volunteers would then read the messages out loud over the phone to their target. Or we’d do the reverse, typing messages from phone callers into the TTY. About 80% of the calls we relayed came from Gallaudet University students ordering pizza.

I’m sure SMSing and Dominos’ high-tech website have rendered TEDI obsolete for the deaf. But what about the blind? Computers are still visually oriented. So today I did a cursory investigation into assistive writing technology for the blind.

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Essays, Tech, Writing 0 comments on Writing and Keyboards: Rage Against the Dying of the Spring

Writing and Keyboards: Rage Against the Dying of the Spring

Writing a novel on a bad keyboard is like running a marathon in size three kitten heels. And yet, many of us don’t even know we’re hobbling ourselves…

This article represents a bit of a segue for this website, which formerly consisted of very random technical articles interrupting two year stretches of nothing. Now it’s going to focus more on the writing world, in theory, but I might still sneak some technology articles under the radar. To mark this metamorphosis, I’m producing this article about writing and keyboards. Spoiler alert: I’m using a keyboard to write it!

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