Appendix B: Suggestions for Using Existing Adaptive Equipment

Ohiolink helped many libraries acquire some adaptive hardware and
software some 4 years ago.  There are 2 ways in which this can provide
some continued usefulness.  First, several components can readily be
integrated into our recommendation in this report.  We will note where
that is true.  Second, many blind people have found DOS programs much
easier to use than Window-based software and continue to use DOS
programs when possible.  Maintaining a DOS-based workstation for such
blind users may prove helpful. 

Below is a listing of hardware and software provided to us by Ohiolink:

"1.   Large screen color monitor for people with low vision or learning
disabilities. The large screen monitor increases character
size without reduction of information content. Colors can be adjusted
for maximum legibility."

* These monitors should be completely compatible with newer computers
and with our recommendations.

"2.   Hardware based magnification system' For people with low
vision who need more magnification than that provided by large         
monitor. The hardware-based system permits greater flexibility than most
software-based programs, and uses a mouse to control cursor
movement. For persons with learning disabilities, the
magnification system can be used in conjunction with a speech synthesis
program."

* We do not recommend trying to use this in conjunction with our
recommendations or with newer machines and software.  Hardware solutions
frequently create problems with newer systems.  Software magnification
is now a much better solution.  We have no recommendation for how to
continue using this item.  It may be wise to consider retiring such hardware
rather than investing in trying to repair it.

"3.   Speech synthesis. For persons with no vision. Also can be used by
persons with learning disabilities, to provide both visual and
auditory input. The program consists of a screen reader and
external synthesizer. Newer screen reader programs can usually handle
both DOS and Windows applications."

* The external speech synthesizer could be used with our recommendations
instead of the software-based synthesizers in our report.  If this
external synthesizer is a DecTalk, the person configuring it to work
with Windows 95 will need to be aware of special Windows 95 settings to
enable it to work properly.  The screen reader program we recommend does
not work in DOS mode.  A library may want to use the older DOS screen
reader as well as the Windows package in case a blind user wanted to use
DOS while on that machine.

Our second suggestion is that this software and synthesizer could
continue to be used as part of a DOS-based workstation for any blind
users still prefering to work in DOS.

"4.   Mini Keyboard. Appropriate for those who have a small range of
movement with some finger dexterity. Useful for an individual
employing one-handed input or a typing stick. The      unit plugs
directly into an IBM keyboard port; no additional hardware or software
is required."

* This keyboard will work with our recommendations.  It could be kept at
a reserve desk with a note about its availability posted at the adaptive
workstation.

"5.   King Keyboard. For individuals with poor motor control. Has
separated and enlarged keys that are slightly recessed. Contains
alphabetic, numeric and programmable function keys with the most-
used keys located in the center of the keyboard. Plugs into a standard 
keyboard socket."

* This keyboard will work with our recommendations.  It could be kept at
a reserve desk with a note about its availability posted at the adaptive
workstation.

If any libraries have other adaptive hardware or software than what is
involved in this list, we will be ready to make suggestions on how best
to make continued use of it.

DOS-based workstation

The screen reading software and external synthesizer could be loaded on
an older computer, 386 or 486 and may have continued use for a few more
years.  Many users who are blind have been resistant to making a full
switch to Windows-based software.  If such a workstation also had DOS
WordPerfect on it, the station could be used for a reading and editing
workstation
If the workstation had DOS Lynx web browser, it would have some possible
continued life.  It could also function with a braille embosser with
DOS-based braille translation software.  It could also be connected to a
scanner and function with the Arkenstone Open book software.  Open book
does work with Windows, but it is a "stripped down" version and will
function on an older machine that operates primarily in DOS mode.