Editor’s note: Computers for the Blind is VisionAware’s Featured Agency this month

by David Jeppson, Executive Director of Computers for the Blind

Wouldn’t it be great if someone assembled the best low-cost accessibility tools and put them on one low-cost computer? Our non-profit, Computers for the Blind (CFTB), has done just that!

Computers for the Blind (CFTB) offers refurbished computers with assistive technology to persons who are blind or have low vision.

What Computers for the Blind Provides

Partnership with Freedom Scientific to Provide JAWS, Fusion, or ZoomText

CFTB provides refurbished desktop and laptop computers preloaded with accessibility software. CFTB partners with Freedom Scientific (FS) to provide a one-year home edition licensed copy the consumer’s choice of JAWS, Fusion, or ZoomText at no additional cost. The user can purchase the Service Maintenance Agreement (SMA) with home use pricing after the end of the year if they choose. JAWS includes the JAWS training bundle to help the user to master JAWS.

Other Software Provided

CFTB computers are also loaded with a trial version of Typio, a talking typing tutorial. It retails for $100 but is available for only $10 through a grant from the Reading & Radio Resource Fund of the Communities of Texas Foundation. In addition, the computers have productivity software with everything needed to access e-mail and the Internet as well as a free word processor, spreadsheet, and much more! Read more about these options.

Cost of Computers

Computers are available to consumers and state agencies for a processing fee of $130 for a desktop and $185 for a laptop. CFTB offers a one-year warranty for desktop hardware and two years for laptop hardware. The computers come with everything needed: keyboard, mouse, speakers, and a 17- to 21-inch flat screen monitor. Computers are shipped free to anywhere in the US.

Computer Training

Several organizations with Assistive Technology Training Units throughout the United States have agreed to provide keyboarding and basic computer training at no charge to CFTB consumers in an effort to assist them in increasing their independent living, employability, and quality of life.

Upgrades to systems are available for additional cost. Read more about these options.