THANKS to a bit of technology, and the initiative of local man Gene Gibson, visually impaired people in Stratford can now access the computers at the Stratford District Library.
Gene uses a portable screen reader called NVDA (available from the website, which reads information aloud, and until recently the library computers would not accept the software.Knowing that visually impaired people in the district would be affected by the block, Gene contacted the Aotearoa Peoples Network and arranged for the library computers to accept NVDA.
Now that the software is enabled on the computers, it only takes a USB stick to run a portable screen reader at the library a simple and effective solution.
"The screen reader means that visually impaired people can access emails and internet, create documents and navigate around the computer menus. Having NVDA means the visually impaired can do almost everything a sighted person can on a public computer," said Gene.
"I can read the morning Herald , type and email or letter and look around websites. It takes a little bit to learn how to work the short keys, but it does make things a lot easier."