BlackBerry Screen Reader: An Accessibility Solution for Customers with Visual Impairments

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BlackBerry Screen Reader Logo

Hi, I’m Kang from the Software Product Management team at Research In Motion® (RIM®). With social responsibility top of mind at RIM, we’re always hard at work developing innovative and useful solutions. Today, I’m extremely excited to introduce our latest accessibility solution for customers with visual impairments: BlackBerry® Screen Reader. This application — available for BlackBerry® Curve™ 9220, 9320, 9350, 9360 and 9370 smartphones — is free to download and is designed to provide audible output of the visual information displayed on the screen of a BlackBerry® smartphone. The features of this app help customers with visual impairments to better operate and access their BlackBerry smartphone. To learn more about other accessibility features for customers with visual impairments, please visit www.blackberry.com/accessibility

BlackBerry Screen Reader settings menu showing various audio and output controls

Providing accessibility solutions is very important to RIM, and this application adds to the list of many other accessibility features of BlackBerry smartphones that help provide solutions for mobile customers with visual impairments.

Here are some of the great features that you can expect from the BlackBerry Screen Reader:

  • Independent Volume Control for the screen reader
  • Customizable audio and output controls
  • Option for a more secure presentation of passwords
  • Useful in-call setting for text-to-speech output
  • Shortcut Commands

Download the BlackBerry Screen Reader

To download the free app, customers can connect their BlackBerry smartphone to their desktop computer through a USB cable and head to www.blackberry.com/screenreader. The app supports the BlackBerry Curve 9350, 9360 and 9370 smartphones and is available in US English, UK English, French, Italian, German and Spanish.

Tips and Tricks

For customers using the BlackBerry Screen Reader for the first time, I recommend a few quick tips and tricks:

  1. Become familiar with the shortcut keys. They help provide information quickly and easily.
  2. Set the Right Convenience Key to “Do Nothing.” Users can still use the Right Convenience Key for shortcuts and the Key Describer Mode, but setting it to “Do Nothing” will avoid invoking multiple actions that can become confusing. BlackBerry Screen Reader will prompt the user to customize their Right Convenience Key with the initial setup.
  3. Become familiar with the default settings. They are designed to help users become comfortable with their device quickly.
  4. Only download the BlackBerry Screen Reader language support in the language you require (as opposed to all languages) to conserve device memory.
  5. Visit the Quick Tips menu in the BlackBerry Screen Reader settings screen. It provides more useful tips to help get the most out of BlackBerry Screen Reader.

Have you or anyone that you know given this app a try? Please share your story and let us know in the comments how it will help make things easier.

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