I’m working with a friend of mine who recently had their vision impaired from an accident, I don’t know much about VI applications and the only one I have any experience with is Narrator on windows. However I am not able to get Narrator to read any CoG games. I’ve looked through the forums but I haven’t found any topics concerning screen readers on windows and I was hoping I could get some input from more experienced users. Any help is much appreciated, thanks in advance.
You can try asking people who are Visually Impaired on this site for some answers. Better ask them for this I think?
I’m very new on this forum (I only made this account to ask this question), I don’t know anyone on the forums and I’d rather not start randomly who I think are vi.
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Yeah like what @Cecilia_Rosewood said. They here at the forum so you could PM them or email them to get the answer. I still am amazed that they are able to communicate with us despite their condition. Technology is amazing.
@Zach_Jones Hi Zach first sorry for the delay was out of town, but now my schedule is a little free so I’ll try to answer your question. This will be long, but I hope this will answer your question and help your friend.
Okay the thing that you should be aware of is that Microsoft Narrator is a screen reader which reads text on the screen aloud and describes some events about the computer which are error message appearing that really happen while anyone is using their computer.
Microsoft Narrator has specific commands for the user to use. Examples are:
Ctrl+Shift+Enter will Get information about the current item
Ctrl will Stop Narrator from reading text
And so and so forth.
Another thing about Microsoft Narrator is that it is designed to read dialog boxes and window controls. (Note that it does not specify anything not made by Microsoft will work or not work. So technically, a program not made by Microsoft will sometimes work and not. A hit and miss for it.)
Now will it work for CoG? The answer is nope. Why? Well as I said before it sometimes work and not work if the program is not Microsoft. The game Choice of Broadsides worked for me, but the other games nah.
Also Microsoft recommends that any visually impaired person should purchase their own full-function screen reader for general computer use as Microsoft Narrator has limitations and It prefers Microsoft made programs.
Are the full-function screen readers free? Ah some are, but I never liked them at all. It felt weird when I used them and really hard to navigate. Any screen reader will definitely need a braille keyboard any blind person will need to know what keys they are pressing or it’s a frustrating event for them.
So basically no the Narrator will not work for CoG games. Get your friend his/her own fully functional screen reader that they are comfortable using.
You said your friend recently got their vision impaired correct? Well this is going to be tricky thing for him/her. You see even if they use screen readers I don’t think they will have a smooth use of the reader if he/she will not learn to use braille. The screen reader is useful if the person is going to use a touch screen because the reader will tell you what you’re pointing at, but how will they respond? Or type out what they want? Listening to each letter will become annoying. So braille keyboards are always the partners of any screen reader.
I hope what I shared will help you and best of luck to your friend.
Thanks for taking your time to reply, since I don’t have a lot of experience with screen readers and I don’t know many people who are visually impaired, your post is kind of a godsend. She has already started to learn braille and I did buy some braille stickers for keyboards but she’s a skilled typer so she hasn’t had to much trouble with it. What would you recommend as a screen reader for someone that will work with CoG games? We aren’t to concerned about price, so I’m planning on falling on your judgement.
I think my response again will be long so forgive me.
@Zach_Jones I’m not sure if your friend will like the program that I’m currently using, but I’ll share it and give you some other programs that I’ve tried myself. Of course it will all depend on your friend’s preference since we all have our own likes and dislikes. I’m also a little confused. Are you asking for a screen reader to play the games by CoG or a screen reader to assist in making a CoG? Because you just said to read any CoG games and yet you mentioned working with your friend. Regardless, the programs that I’ll list can read and assist your friend if they just want to play CoG games or decides to make their own CoG game.
Could I suggest a braille keyboard than a braille sticker? Sure it is very economical, but I find it more of a hassle since it is easy to remove it by accident and well you have to constantly replace it once the sticker is over used. The embossed keys won’t last long for the stickers than the embossed keys on a braille keyboard. This is also important; you should check that not all of the braille sticker labels use the standard braille. Better check if the one you got follows the standard braille.
Screen readers differ widely from each other, but most are highly configurable. Almost all screen readers allow the user to select whether most punctuation is announced or silently ignored. (Example is you can make the screen reader pause when a coma is present or not.) Some can even be tailored to a particular application through scripting. The scripting is a customization shared by all or not (Think of it as people creating MODs for games except it is used for the visually impaired to improve their readers.) The most fun scripting for me is the JAWS because it has a very active script-sharing community.
Okay I’ll stop my ramblings and list the programs that I know; (I use multiple readers JAWS, CaptureAssistant, Dolphin Supernova (Dolphin Pen is very fun to use) and one open source which is NVDA. Depending on my mood I switch from the three or when the computer I’m using is not compatible with the program I at least have a backup.)
Screen reader: BRLTTY
Creator: The BRLTTY Team
Platform: Windows console
License: Free and open source (GPL2)
Notes: Available to download
Screen reader: Capture Assistant
Creator: Renovation Software
Notes: What I like about this one is that it’s a Multilanguage screen reader
Screen reader: ClaroRead & ScreenRuler Suite
Creator: Claro Software
Platform: Windows and Mac
Notes: A very flexible program
Screen reader: Hal (Professional)
Creator: Dolphin Computer Access
Notes: The program talks back as you actually type (sometimes good and sometimes very annoying) It will announce the words or characters. It also reads image labels, font styles, and the Windows menu. I think it has a free 30 day trial?
Screen reader: JAWS (Job Access with Speech)
Creator: Freedom Scientific
Platform: Windows and DOS
License: Commercial for Windows; freeware for DOS
Notes: Very compatible with windows so it really is helpful. Also great to mess with the scripting of the program.
Screen reader: NVDA (Non-Visual Desktop Access)
Creator: NonVisual Desktop Access project
License: Free and open source (GPL2)
Notes: Programmed and scriptable in Python which is good. It also uses eSpeak speech synthesizer and SAPI 4 and SAPI 5 synthesizers.
Screen reader: Screen Access for All
Creator: National Association for the Blind, New Delhi
License: Open source
Notes: It’s okay, but I find it hard to use
Screen reader:** Thunder ScreenReader**
Creator: Sensory Software
Notes: Supports MSAA
Screen reader: Dolphin Supernova (Specifically the Dolphin Pen)
Creator: Dolphin Computer Access Inc.
Platform: Windows and Mac
Notes: I like this because I can bring it anywhere. The Dolphin pen is a USB memory device; plug it to any computer, you have an instant screen reader installed and ready to use. Once you remove the USB it automatically uninstalls the screen reader. It also remembers your personal preferences so even if you use multiple computers it will still retain the settings you set it on.
That’s all I can remember at the moment and you should let your friend try it. Let her choose a program that she will be comfortable to use and easy for her to mess with.
Forgot to add that if your friend would like to browse the net they can use;
ChromeVox which is free by Google, a screen reader for Chrome and Chrome OS.
Fire Vox which is free by Charles L. Chen, a screen reader used for browsing with Firefox only (plugin)
I know that I am coming into an old thread, but, now, NVDA is the best free screen reader today. Playing the games is not our problem, since the games work in browsers and accessible apps on IOS and such. I would say our biggest problem is actually making our own games. Many sighted authirs have access to tools and otherwise that we cannot use, yet, like CSDI and otherwise. We have to do everything the long way, in notepad++ or notepad or similar.
It would be great if a screen reader friendly tool existed to help us write games but none exist at the time of this post.
If I am not mistaken, CSIDE is working on a screenreader-friendly update / plug-in.
Yes, it’s being worked on. Here’s a link to the post: