From seeing to hearing: A conversation with Susan Gerhart about assistive technologies for the sight-impaired

For many of us, the podcasting revolution has opened up the audio channel as a new option for receiving information that we might otherwise read. But for the sight-impaired, like Susan Gerhart, who joins me for this week’s ITConversations show, the audio channel isn’t optional. Her myopic retinal degeneration has forced her to shift almost entirely into audio mode in order to read, and to work on the computer.

As a lifelong technologist, Susan is a capable user and evaluator of software and computational devices. When she entered the world of assistive technologies — including the NVDA screen reader, the LevelStar Icon, the Kurzweil NFB Reader — she decided to share her experiences on a blog. In our interview she summarizes what she’s learned so far about using these technologies to adapt to her changing vision.


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