Free Reading Software
Pretoria January, 15 2014 – Microsoft and GW Micro’s announcement yesterday of making the Window-Eyes screen reader available for download free of charge was welcomed by the SA National Council for the Blind.
GW Micro announced on 14 January 2014 that they have collaborated with Microsoft Corporation to enable blind and partially sighted users who use licensed versions of Microsoft Office 2010 or later, to access their screen reading software for free.
Screen reading software is one kind of assistive technology that enables people with visual impairments or reading impairments to use computers. In South Africa the cost of mostly imported assistive technology often puts screen reading software — and the benefits it provides — out of the reach of the majority of visually impaired people. This is also a prohibiting factor for companies wanting to employ visually impaired persons.
Free screen reading software removes one of the barriers for blind or partially sighted people to obtain independence, education and employability.
“This is ground-breaking news! Window-Eyes is a very popular screen-reader worldwide and I think that this might have a bearing on our future training programmes, especially as the inclusion of Window-Eyes with Microsoft Office will eliminate the need to purchase software by the training provider, the employer or the end user,” says Assistive Technology Product Specialist at the SA National Council for the Blind, Albert Peters.
Users of Microsoft Office 2010 or later can download Window-Eyes at www.WindowEyesForOffice.com
For 85 years, the South African National Council for the Blind has been the leading NGO in service co-ordination for visually impaired persons across South Africa.