[AI] Fw: good news for v.i.

Surajsingh Jogi soorajsingh73 at gmail.com
Thu Jul 22 12:03:08 EDT 2010

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Arun arjun kurkute 
To: arunkurcute at rediffmail.com 
Sent: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 9:09 AM
Subject: good news for v.i. 



Remember us? We're the people that provided you the free download of the Thunder screen reader software. We now have a new version of Thunder, V2, up and ready for everyone at www.screenreader.net. Its really good and I hope we get lots of feedback from you. So whats new?

Obviously, Thunder has been brought up to date and now works well with Windows 7, both 32 and 64 bit versions. Don't be put off by wise guys telling you that Windows 7 and Office 07 are not good for blind users. Microsoft has made great efforts to improve the accessibility and its just a case of learning a few new keystrokes and tricks of the trade.

Until now, weve relied on the WebbIE text browser for the Thunder internet experience. Thats great and we have no plans to stop using WebbIE and Alasdair at WebbIE amazes us by constantly updating and improving his software. Hes a mighty supporter of blind computer users. But now, for the first time, Thunder users can start to enjoy Internet Explorer mainstream and Sensory Software Ltd have been pretty ingenious with their keystrokes.
What I mean that you can achieve a great deal with very few and easy keystrokes. As an example; you can keep pressing the PGDN key and hear much of what is available on websites. Pressing the END key takes you through any form filling you encounter. The function keys are used to deal with other matters: F4 gives you that fantastic easy Web search facility and F2 then F3 permits you to search for a word within the webpage you are on. F7 hops between headers and F10 brings up the list of links. All very easy and works whatever the language. Of course, the TAB key takes you from link to link. There are plans to develop all this so that we are well ready for when IE9 comes along. But if you find that WebbIE suits your purpose, just stick with it.

Thunder is more stable than ever and the memory stick version is now almost as responsive as if the software were installed on the machine you are using. Its absolutely amazing that, for the price of a memory stick, around £6 in the UK, and maybe with a bit of help from a mate, you can use your Thunder on other machines, in the library, internet cafe or at your friend's home, without installing anything at all on the host computer. Compare this with the price of commercial alternatives and, if money becomes short, well, why spend? Keep your money for training or something else.

We have been busy in other ways too. Since the end of last year, we have been organising fifty web learning days around England for combined audiences of blind and seeing people. At each learning day, we have aimed to recruit a Thunder Champion to spread the word locally and encourage other blind people to get connected. We are pleased that all this has given work to three blind certificated IT trainers at a time when work is hard to come by as the larger blindness organisations take the cream.

We have landed a second European Commission contract to put Thunder into more languages: Greek, Turkish, Polish, Bulgarian and Spanish. In all these countries, many blind people are poor and will never be able to spend out on commercial products. We remain passionate that by right access to computers should be there for all blind people. Its taking a little while but we are not put off by lack of support from organisations with money and we continue to get great feedback from Thunder users round the world.

When we started Thunder in 2006, we were the only "nuts" to be doing something for free which others were charging an arm and a leg for. But now we are not alone. NVDA comes out of Australia and is a great product too and the Mighty innovating Apple Corporation integrates its Voiceover talking and magnifying software into all of its products, from the cheapest iPod to the most expensive 27 inch screen desktop as well as the iPhone and the iPad, which are to us out of the box. We have never had so much choice or accessibility.

Ever wondered whose behind Thunder and Screenreader.net?. We're Roger & Margaret and you can hear us talking about our software and the challenges we face in keeping it up to date by copying and pasting the following url into your browser: http://www.seethedifference.org/charities/communication-for-blind-people/screen-reading-software-for-the-blind.
Or why not visit the blind blogger at - http://theblindblogger.blogspot.com/

So thank you to everyone who supports what we do and keep the feedback and responses coming in.

Roger Wilson-Hinds
T 01733 234441
E reply at screenreader.net
W www.screenreader.net
Passionate about people with little or no sight benefiting from the talking computer - 21st Century Braille.

91-9969816512/91-9833388137 (Mobile) 

arunkurkute at gmail.com
"A Candle in the wind and darkness."

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