How do blind people use a computer?

In this blog, I have dedicated several posts to reviewing the accessibility of various translation tools, and I repeatedly mentioned different types of assistive technology, such as screen readers or braille displays. So for the benefit of those readers of my blog who are not familiar with these assistive technologies, I think it’s time for a short explanation of what they are and how they work. This post is not meant as an exhaustive description of all the functionalities included in these types of technology. Instead, my aim was to provide a general overview of their main features.

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CAT tool accessibility test: MateCat

The next CAT tool I am going to evaluate in my personal CAT tool accessibility test is MateCat, a free, web-based CAT tool which only works on Google Chrome and Safari. I tested this tool using Google Chrome together with Jaws 17 and a braille display. As in all accessibility tests, I am going to cover the following key aspects:

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CAT tool accessibility test: Fluency Now

As many translation agencies require their translators to use a particular CAT tool, I’ve set out to test a number of them for their accessibility for blind users. By doing so, I want to find out which tools I can use productively, and to get a clearer understanding of which translation projects I can accept without having to worry about whether I’ll actually be able to use the required software. Continue reading “CAT tool accessibility test: Fluency Now”

Technology tip for blind interpreters: the KNFB Reader app

Today I’m going to write about an app that can prove very useful for blind interpreters.

Imagine you are blind and you are working as an interpreter at an international conference. Ten minutes before the opening of the conference you are handed copies of the speeches that will be read by the delegates. As you are blind, you cannot read the printed text they’ve just given to you. So what can you do now?

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Using the CAT tool Fluency with a screen reader: part 2

This is the second part of my introduction to Fluency, a computer-assisted translation software that is fairly accessible for blind translators. In the first part of this tutorial, I showed you how to set up Fluency for a screen reader and how to navigate through the settings dialog box prior to starting a translation. And now I’m going to explain how to work on an actual translation.

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Using the CAT tool Fluency with a screen reader: part 1

Fluency is a computer-assisted translation (CAT) tool produced by Western Standard, which works well with screen readers. For blind translators, it can be a good alternative to other less accessible options. In this post, I’ll show you how to get started with Fluency. Continue reading “Using the CAT tool Fluency with a screen reader: part 1”

CAT tools and their accessibility for blind translators

Nowadays, computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools are an important part of the translation workflow, and for many translation agencies, being able to use a particular CAT tool is a prerequisite for any translator who wants to work with them. However, blind translators are faced with the problem that some CAT tools are not very accessible or even completely impossible to use with the assistive technologies available to them.

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Note-taking for blind interpreters: Part 2. My own note-taking system

As a blind person, I cannot use the same note-taking system for consecutive interpreting as my sighted colleagues do. Obviously, I cannot write with pencil and paper, which means that I am unable to apply some of the visual note-taking strategies used by sighted interpreters. For instance, I cannot draw a line from one point in my notes to another, and I cannot use many of the symbols and pictographic signs that sighted interpreters use.

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