One of the biggest challenges confronting the blind and visually impaired in America today is literacy. Thanks to new research, however, IVR-related technologies can help in teaching the blind to read and write in Braille.
The designers and engineers at product development firm PDT have partnered with Perkins Products and the American Printing House for the Blind to create a new, radically different device that not only integrates IVR’s speech-recognition programming but takes a whole new approach to spreading Braille literacy.
The Perkins SMART Brailler enables the blind and visually impaired to type and create documents, similar to other products on the market today. It also prints a hard copy of the text, just like a typewriter.
Where the SMART Brailler is different is in its ability to teach users Braille.
When the user enters a word, the Brailler offers instant verbal feedback by reading back the text to correct for mistakes and teach unique letters.
If the user has difficulty typing, however, the Brailler can function just like our programs and convert human speech into Braille text, as detailed in the company’s press release.
The system then responds back to make sure that it got it right, and allows you to continue.
This huge step forward is just one of the many ways that we’ve seen IVR used in helping the disabled.
Doctors have begun using IVR call centers to track patients’ rehabilitation progress and offer every-day support, while engineers have put speech-rec into a huge range of health-monitoring devices.
These advances all come from the same technology that we use at Plum.
Through the innovation of the IVR industry, doctors, scientists, researchers, developers and engineers are able to create better products that appeal to a wide range of people, regardless of ability.
At the end of the day, it just goes to show how useful these systems can be, both over the phone and in real life.