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 MAGic and Me – a serious thread

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Titania
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:21 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I have mentioned a few times that I am visually impaired, and you all have been very polite about it – no snarky comments like I’ve received on other forums. I am grateful for that.

I was sharing some information with a mod in PM, and she mentioned that it might be interesting for you all to learn a little about how a visually impaired person deals with a computer.

I am totally blind in one eye and legally blind in the other. The usual size of the display on even a 19” flat screen is still too small for me to see. So I must use software that enlarges the display. The best enlargement for me is 3x. This means that I can only see 1/9 of the screen display at any one time. And I have black and white reversed – I see white letters on a black background to cut down on glare. Other colors are unchanged, except in text. I don’t see text in any other color but white.

I use a nifty program called MAGic, from Freedom Scientific. It changes the colors, magnifies, and even reads aloud to me. I can set it to read a letter at a time or a whole word when I’ve finished typing it. I use the word option, because when I have spelled something wrong I’ll know right away when MAGic mispronounces it.

That means, of course, that I can get a little confused when trying to read something someone else has typed – someone with dyslexia or poor typing skills. You can imagine what the lads’ letters sound like to me. Ladspeak, however, is not so bad, as they tend to spell phonetically, so MAGic doesn’t sound too bad there.

L33t masking, however, can get confusing, especially when every single vowel is masked. I am getting used to some of it, though. When MAGic says five-imba, I know it’s Simba. In fact, it sounds more normal to me now.

The emoticons that move give me a little problem, as MAGic thinks that something moving needs to be at the center of the screen. So if something in the upper left corner of the screen is moving, and I am reading in the lower right corner, the display keeps bouncing to the upper left. I solve that by hitting ESC, which stops the emoticon from moving. When I make a long post, like this one, I type it in Word, and then copy-and-paste. It’s easier to control things that way.

That’s just a little insight (pun intended) into the life of a visually impaired person who refuses to give up her computer use. In fact, I am under consideration for a job in a customer service call center where a fair number of the reps are visually impaired. They provide their employees with whatever accommodations they need to do their job effectively and efficiently.

If anyone has any questions, I am more than happy to answer them. I am a born educator, so I love helping people understand what may be a mystery to them.

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Spudz
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:40 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Wow that is very interesting. I'm surprised MAGic is still able to work after reading out scam mails! I know i have trouble getting through them!

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Breddan Butter
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:43 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks for sharing that and helping us to understand how those less able than most of us cope with situations we all consider to be 'normal'.

I would just like to add here a plea for our members, in the light of what you have described, to endeavour to use correct English when posting instead of using slang and kiddie language.
Not only will that aid members with Titania's disadvantage but it will also help those users from around the world who's first language isn't English.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:45 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks for sharing that, Titania! That was very interesting. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:48 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thank you.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:52 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks for sharing that with us Titania

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:56 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

That's very interesting, Titania.
Thank you for sharing.
I did wonder how you were managing so well and you are very eloquent I may add

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reno419
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:58 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thank you so much for sharing that with us. I love hearing success stories like that. My 6 year old son is mentally handicapped (Mosaic Down Syndrome www.imdsa.org for those interested). Hearing of people that have physical and/or mental challenges that most of us don't and are still very successful in life gives me encouragement for my son.

Again, thank you!
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:58 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks Titania Smile

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 11:05 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thank you for sharing that Titania. Technology sure can be useful in so many ways. I admire that you don't let issues slow you down. I am glad you are here and that you shared that information.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 11:14 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Must have missed those posts where you mentioned your visual impairment-never would have guessed if you hadn't mentioned it.To hell with those forums where they make snarky comments,you are here now and welcome!

Oh yes,I had a few lingering doubts in the back of my mind about that orphan scammer too.So glad he decided to relieve us of them.Let the fun begin

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 11:33 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

That is great and thanks for sharing!

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 11:41 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Wow. What you are able to do is absolutely inspiring. I can't imagine what it would be like to even just be partially blind. The fact that you are able to you a computer, not to mention bait people whose English language skills are poor at best, is simply incredible. I am in awe of what you accomplish. Thank you for sharing this with us.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 11:45 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

The mod was right. I found that post very interesting. Thank you, Titania.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 12:02 am Reply with quoteBack to top

That is amazing. You type better than quite a lot of people who have 20/20 vision. Laughing Thank you for the insight.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 12:04 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Titania wrote:
When MAGic says five-imba, I know it’s Simba. In fact, it sounds more normal to me now.


I am just relieved that I am not causing you problems any longer Titania.

I think that the way that you refuse to be constrained is absolutely amazing.

You truly are a remarkable lady.

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SherlockHolmie
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 12:05 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Thank you for the information on MAGic Titania.

For my own curiosity, can you give me an example of how MAGic would translate a poorly written post?

Many thanks.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 12:10 am Reply with quoteBack to top

You are amazing - thank you for sharing this, Titania. We will do anything that we can to help.

I second Breddan's plea for consideration of others when posting. Very Happy

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Titania
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 12:17 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Thank you all for your kind comments. You all are part of the reason I love it here!

@Sherlock - well, for instance, when someone types yuor instead of your, I don't hear much difference. MAGic uses certain rules of pronunciation and tries to pronounce the words exactly as written, so letters out of place sometimes change the whole sound of the word. So "becasue" instead of "because" gets me "beck-a-sue." I know that one well, because I tend to mis-type it myself. Smile

Abbreviations are interesting, too. BTW is spelled out, it tries to pronounce FWIW (try it yourself and see what it sounds like), but FYI comes out "for your information."

And YeaWheatever's initials - YW? Well, try "ieuw" - I can't really duplicate it phonetically, but there it is. I know who's being referenced, though. Very Happy Run-on words get strange pronunciations, too.

And don't get me started on the foreign words.

edited because I'm not the great typist you all seem to think I am. Laughing

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Pastor Frank
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 12:26 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks for the thread Titania, very interesting. I have to ask, how does the software pronounce Usman Bello? Very Happy

Edit: Changed the lol emoticon, sorry.

Quote:
The emoticons that move give me a little problem, as MAGic thinks that something moving needs to be at the center of the screen. So if something in the upper left corner of the screen is moving, and I am reading in the lower right corner, the display keeps bouncing to the upper left. I solve that by hitting ESC, which stops the emoticon from moving.

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Last edited by Pastor Frank on Thu Aug 07, 2008 1:07 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 12:28 am Reply with quoteBack to top

That's very inspirational and quite fascinating. Thanks so much for sharing that.

I have a friend who has been blind since birth, and another (sighted) friend who is a Braille translator (putting textbooks into Braille for blind students) so I've had a very good education into that world. But computer technology adds an entirely new dimension.

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SherlockHolmie
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 12:38 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Thank you Titania, it does make sense to me now.

This programme sounds similar to a language translator; the translation you receive is only as good as the phrases that are entered into the system.

In my case, my screen name is "SherlockHolmie" (and my avatar is an altered drawing of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson), which the programme was able to pick up. How did the programme translate that to you?

**Edited to include putting parentheses around my reference to my avatar...the programme would not have been able to translate that information**

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 1:01 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Wow. One of my larger fears is going blind. Glad to see you are able to get on with life so well and even do things like baiting.

I've been using voice to text software with varying success for the past year or so. Some of the mistakes on that are quite weird too. As SherlockHomie said, they are only as good as the info they have.

I was wondering what the voice sounds like. Most I've seen and used are very robotic. I don't suppose this one would sound anything like a real person?
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 1:24 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Good post Girl...well done. ...Thumbs up.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 1:43 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Very impressive, Titania. Thanks for sharing that.

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