Technology for the blind and visually impaired by UK company, TextMagic, has opened up the world of text messaging to all.
Text messaging has become a key part of most people’s lives in the UK over the past ten years. It’s estimated that 85% of the British population own a mobile phone, with a staggering 11 million text messages sent every hour. This is great news for helping the average person keep in touch with their friends and family, but less so for the more than two million blind and visually impaired people in the UK, for whom text messaging on a mobile phone can be difficult or impossible.
While many other developments have been made in society in terms of technology for the blind and visually impaired population to help them go about their daily lives with ease, text messaging has not been one of these. In contrast, as more and more people take to communicating by text rather than by phone calls, it can lead to the visually impaired becoming alienated from their text-messaging social circle.
However, text messaging is no longer restricted to small and fiddly mobile phone keypads and screens. Technology for the blind by companies such as TextMagic means that communicating by text message has been made simple and easy to perform on a PC, MAC or laptop, which opens up the world of text messaging to those new areas of society.
The services offered by TextMagic, which includes a simple to use web-based application called TextMagic Online and Email to SMS software which assist users to easily send and receive online text messages from their email account, mean that this technology for the blind and visually impaired helps them to easily send and receive text messages to mobile phones anywhere in the world, in any of eleven different languages.
Visually impaired users currently using the TextMagic online text messaging service have heaped praise upon the applications and how they have helped them to communicate with family and friends.
C. Landsdown, a TextMagic customer, required assistive technology for the blind and had always found it difficult to use mobile phones. In his experience, companies and manufacturers often make phones suitable for the deaf but not for the blind or dexterously impaired. He currently uses TextMagic’s PC and web-based programmes, using his magnification software to send and receive messages with ease.
It is not just the blind and visually impaired population who struggle with text messaging on a mobile phone – there are many others who suffer with impairments or paralysation who have found more accessible software such as TextMagic a huge boon to their daily lives. Many people who have suffered strokes or other paralysis are unable to use mobile phones, but with small modifications can use computer keyboards, meaning that using the TextMagic technology for the blind, keeping in touch by text messaging is now within their reach.