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Sunday, January 1, 2012

NFB - Changing What It Means to be Blind Through Technology

Technology, Blindness and the NFB

The computer age has brought about tremendous advances in technology for all people, including the blind. The International Braille and Technology Center for the Blind is the world's most extensive demonstration and evaluation center for computer-related technology serving the needs of blind persons. The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), in cooperation with other organizations, has made a commitment to maintain this unique facility as a resource for the blind of the world.

Whether one is blind or sighted, the ability to access and manipulate electronic information and control the technology through which such information is obtained are crucial elements which help to determine whether an individual is able to compete with his or her peers.

A critical factor, one that is unique to the blind, is nonvisual access to electronic information and controls. If nonvisual access is available, the blind are able to deal with electronic information and technology as well as their sighted peers. However, if a piece of technology incorporates purely visual features, such as touch-screen buttons or purely graphical (non-textual) information, then the technology, which may have been hailed as an historic advance for the community at large, represents a step backward for the blind.

NFB - Changing What It Means to be Blind Through Technology

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