Many people still find it strange when they perceive a visually impaired person (PDV), comment and make publications on social networks, listen to music on digital platforms and work as digital influencers, it is technology working in favor of humanity and contributing to the exemption of people in virtual society.
It turns out that to the surprise of many, there is a valuable tool in Smartphones called Talk Back, capable of describing all the content exposed on the device’s screen, making the virtual life of the low vision or blind person totally accessible.
This tool and others are indispensable, although they need improvement. It is as if the users’ fingers are their eyes, it will slide the screen of the device while a voice will deliver the information of what is being seen, or better, clicked. And in detail, for example, in a photo published on social networks, the voice indicates people there are, what is the position (seated, desired or standing) and the color of the clothes, valuable information to create an imaginary image in the head of the person who is trying to interact on the networks.
Technology for the visually impaired (POS) also reaches the streets. It is possible to find it in traffic lights, for example, in which a voice tells you what color the traffic light is. At ATMs, which with the help of the phone, you can hear the description on the screen and carry out transactions such as withdrawals and bank transfers.
PDVs face many obstacles throughout their lives, in addition to society’s prejudice, they still need to deal with the lack of information, that’s what Rafael Aguiar says. Graduated in music, the young man did not allow his visual impairment to limit him, accompanied by the guide dog, Titã, Rafael has humor in his lectures in an unusual situation. “Once I was using the ATM with the phone and the people in the queue started to feel uncomfortable, they said to each other ‘why is he listening to a musician on the bench?’, I just had to laugh at the situation, people still don’t have much information in that sense here in Brazil ”, says Rafael.
Music producer and drum teacher Rogério Pinheiro, who during his studies could not count on the technologies to facilitate his daily life, since he graduated in 1994, at the Drum Institute Music Conservatory, in São Paulo, Brazil, a time when cell phones and computers did not even dream of offering accessibility for the visually impaired, he says it was a great challenge, “In the first teaching, everything was very difficult, schools with their teachers were not prepared to receive a child like me. Over the years I became a teenager and the first time I heard the Queen band playing I already knew that what I would like to do was play the drums ”, says the artist.
“Nowadays I manage to work creating content for the internet, I create my videos and audiences myself on platforms like YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. I give tips on how to play the drums and I can interact with my virtual students, this is very good, I hope that the technologies advance so that future generations of people with visual impairments can have a less harsh life compared to what I had”, said Rogerio Pinheiro.
In fact, accessibility technologies regarding cell phones, tablets and computers need to improve, even though they are already helping people who cannot see, they often have errors, their voice sometimes slows down or simply stops working. Not to mention that the information provided by Talk Back, a screen reader device for cell phones, is superficial. Technology companies need to improve the tools, as this can positively impact the lives of millions of people around the world.
To better understand how this device works and immerse yourself in the universe of a visually impaired person, it is possible for those who see to do a simple exercise. By activating the Talck Back function on your phone and closing your eyes, people will be able to understand what the virtual life of a visually impaired person is like. This type of activity is called empathy and we must practice every day, not only virtually, but in person.
Assisted technologies are not limited to Talk Back, although it is the most accessible for the blind, as it is free, in addition to being able to be used offline.
OrCam MyEye, which is paid for, offers an intelligence and artificial vision device, which promises to allow easy, intuitive and instant access to information available in real time and works entirely offline. It is light and discreet and must be attached to the stems of an ordinary eyeglass. That is, it is a technology that although it is outside the virtual universe, it is able to facilitate the physical life of people in need.