Accessibility In Online Casinos
Even with technology advancing at such a rapid rate, the question still needs to be asked; How can people with visual impairments take advantage of the latest computer technology? It’s true that the visually impaired have been using computers for decades and with the help of software and hardware, their lives are improved by accessibility to these modern devices. But what help is out there for the visually impaired?
How Can The Blind Access A Computer?
As technology continues to advance, people with physical impairments get the opportunity to choose from a variety of tools that make their lives easier. Specific tech tools like Assistive Technology offers the visually impaired a variety of inexpensive devices and software to help them work around their challenges.
Assistive Technology focuses on tools such as word prediction, text-to-speech technology and even low-tech tools like pencil grips. In this modern-day and age when mobile phones and computers do everything for us, people that are visually impaired have not been left out of the loop. Laptops, notebooks, tablets and computers have been adapted especially for the blind and among the many technological advancements, plugins like WP Accessibility enable large text options, skip links, and grayscale or high contrast for the visually impaired. Assistive Technology includes everything from voice recognition programmes that type for you and follow commands as you speak to smart glasses for the blind.
So what’s best for the visually impaired, a desktop, laptop, or tablet? The answer to this question depends very much on what’s needed at the time. Does the visually impaired travel regularly, is a student or work from home? Every device has been specially designed for different functions and specific needs.
A desktop is the best choice for anyone that struggles with visual impairment and if they don’t mind the computer being stationary, a desktop offers the best choice for online surfing. Desktop computers often come with accessibility programs such as contrasting colours for users with colour blindness, screen reader software, screen magnifiers and the ability to enlarge fonts. It’s also possible to purchase a desktop with a larger monitor and braille stickers for keyboards.
Laptops And Notebooks
Laptops and notebooks are lightweight and are great for students and people who want to use their computers while sitting on their sofa or while travelling. Laptops are also lighter, come with a built-in mouse, keyboard and monitor and are more portable than a desktop.
Tablets and Smartphones
Tablets and smartphones these days are mini-computers in themselves, but they don’t have the same abilities and AT functionality as laptops and desktops. Although tablets and smartphones have built-in Assistive Software, the apps that are available for download may not be compatible with that software.
There are tablets on the market specially designed for the blind and visually impaired. Blitab is the very first tablet that integrates a refreshable braille display directly on the screen and the voice over technology makes it easier to message friends, read eBooks and navigate social media.
There are other AI’s incorporated into mobile phones for the visually impaired like the voice-activated Siri for Apple and Cortana for Android.
Regular Computers For The Visually Impaired
Although there are computers specially designed for the blind and visually impaired, in most cases, a normal computer is sufficient to type, read, surf the web and email. The best “normal computer” are those with either a Windows or MAC operating system as they come with built-in accessibility options like screen reading software, screen magnifiers, text-to-speech, and other related programs.
Best Assistive Devices For The Visually Impaired
Refreshable Braille Displays are among the most interesting Assistive devices. An electronic device that displays Braille characters by moving small pins in and out of a flat service, the braille display can indicate where the cursor is, instantly read the text, and allow users to operate their computer through a series of key commands. This helps the visually impaired to navigate the internet and draft documents.
Screen Reading Programs assist users to access content on the screen and navigate with a mouse. Although both MAC and Windows computers are prepacked with built-in screen readers, these programs have limited capabilities. The more advanced programs allow users to operate their PCs through a text-to-speech feature and braille display. The computer becomes a virtual assistant, responds to voice and key commands to access applications on the computer and allows users to read documents or information on the web.
Screen Magnifiers are designed for people with low vision and are a wonderful technology that allows access for a regular computer screen to enlarge text and graphics as the user moves their mouse around the computer screen. Depending on the user’s needs, some programs can magnify the original text 20 times while others magnify to over 60x the original text.
Keyboards offer a large selection of Large Print Keyboards for the visually impaired. These keyboards are for users that prefer using the keyboard instead of a mouse and are designed to make time spent at the computer more productive and more enjoyable.
Assistive Tech For Online Gaming
Technology goes a long way to allow those with disabilities an enjoyable online gaming experience. From bionic appendages to real-time Braille readers, programs like Alexa help users navigate through voice commands and it’s entirely possible to ask Alexa to answer your questions, play music or even control light switches, adjust your thermometer, set your alarm by hand, or many, many other automated things. But what about entertainment like online gaming?
Online Gaming For The Blind
Blind adrenaline is a gaming platform for the visually impaired with a reasonable fee of 10 per month. The website also offers a great community with Texas Hold’em Poker Tournaments and weekly Tournaments for other online casino games. Players that are visually impaired can enjoy online gaming, as well as real money gaming and Tournaments like Spades, Hearts and Holdem, are specially designed for the blind. There’s also a voice chat community for the blind and the disabled.
Entombed is another online project for the blind that’s been in development since early 2008. The game is a large dungeon-delving RPG game for the blind or visually impaired and has been specially designed to be exciting and re-playable over and over again.
In Entombed, you battle to escape a deep and brutal dungeon after being thrown into the infamous pit. The players only option is to trek deeper and deeper with the hope that they’ll find a passage to return you to the surface. Along the way, there’s menacing goblins, ogres, living statues and countless other fantasy creatures
Best Board Games For The Visually Impaired
Board games are usually very visual and players that can’t see the pieces on the board cannot get the full experience. For the visually impaired this can be a great source of frustration but some popular games have been adapted for the blind or visually impaired.
Braille Monopoly allows users to enjoy one of the best board games that have ever been invented. Braille Monopoly has been designed with properties and spaces in large type, the cards are in braille with large print and the dice and money notes are also in braille. Every aspect of Braille Monopoly is jumbo-sized with large print and Braille.
This simple, yet the classic game has been adapted for the visually impaired as each piece is marked in a way that the blind and visually impaired can enjoy this game just as much as sighted people. The checkerboard is wooden with plenty of space to layout the game. The white spaces are designed with a raised dot for tactile discrimination and the game has been specially designed to promote a number of different skills including fine motor coordination, tactile discrimination, shape identification, spatial orientation and turn-taking.
Playing cards have been used for many years by the visually impaired. Card games like Poker, Go Fish, War and Spit have been adapted with braille on the corners which makes it simple for people who are blind and visually impaired to pick up and play.
Played by millions across the globe since the 6th century, the modern version has been adapted for people who are blind or visually impaired. There are bumps on the white pieces to differentiate them from the black ones, the black spaces on the board are slightly raised and the spaces are also made in a way that the pieces will not slide off the board.
Scrabble for the visually impaired can be played entirely by touch. There is an overlay grid that prevents the pieces from moving as well as braille markings on each piece. Instructions are presented on a cassette tape.
Online Casinos for the Blind
Back in 2005, an online casino site was developed to give the opportunity for those that are blind or have low sight to play online casino games. Developed by two individuals who wanted their blind friends to enjoy casino gaming, Poker could be played with braille decks of cards. Players could also enjoy Crazy Eights and Five Card Draw Poker. The site was not a real money gambling site but rather a fun place for the visually impaired to enjoy a few hands and some company. However, the site is no longer active but as demand for online gaming for the visually impaired grows, it’s only a matter of time before online casino games for the visually impaired become commonplace.