Using the ScanSnap SV600 and Other Adaptive Technologies to Aid the Visually Impaired

12 Days of Holiday Scanning to Clear Your Clutter: Day 9 – Kids’ Activty Pages
December 17, 2013
12 Days of Holiday Scanning to Clear Your Clutter: Day 10 – Letters to Santa
December 18, 2013
Show all

Using the ScanSnap SV600 and Other Adaptive Technologies to Aid the Visually Impaired

I recently had the opportunity to interview Terry Blosser, a student at Portland State University (PSU) where he is working on his Executive Master’s of Public Administration degree. We spoke about how he is using the ScanSnap SV600, along with other adaptive technologies, to make his day-to-day life and student work easier as a visually impaired person.

Terry frequently uses the Disability Resource Center at PSU for assistance with his studies. The Center frequently reaches out to the publishers of student materials and requests the content be delivered in PDF or Word format. More often than not, the publishers do not have the ability to provide this level of service to those with disabilities. In order to meet student needs in these cases, the Center’s Alternative Format group has to permanently remove the binding from books and other materials, place cut pages through a high-speed scanner, spiral bind everything back together, and return it to the student. This process most certainly destroys these materials and all but eliminates any opportunity to resell them.

But this is where the SV600 comes in!

In search of an alternative for class situations where optional materials are suggested, Terry recently started using the ScanSnap SV600 to scan books, periodicals, and other printed materials rather than leaning on the Disability Resource Center for assistance. He found the scanner was extremely easy to use and it was this ease-of-use that has given him new independence as a student. The SV600’s page-turning capability in particular has been a standout features with a very high amount of utility for Terry. All he has to do is move his hand across the button and it scans a new page, enabling him to scan entire books in less than an hour and a brochures within minutes, all while preserve the condition of the items at the same time – a win-win.

Given Terry’s significant difficulty reading printed materials, the SV600 has quickly become an indispensable tool for him. In addition to using the SV600, Terry uses several other adaptive technology programs to assist with reading. He also utilizes a ScanSnap S1300i to scan double-sided documents when needed.

After utilizing his combination scanning method, he uses the program ZoomText by Ai Squared, which is designed and developed for individuals with low vision. This program has several capabilities to make print more legible, including amplifying the screen and enlarging text, and adding a high-contrast, darker background, which improves readability. The SV600’s high-resolution scans of Terry’s educational materials are also easily converted into audio books that can be read out loud to him.

In addition to his scanners and related assistive technologies, Terry uses an iPad and its enhanced accessibility features to tackle to job of reading or listening, depending on the format at-hand. Once Terry OCR’s his documents with ABBYY FineReader, he uploads the PDF or Word document output into Dropbox, which he then accesses on his iPad. He uses the app Voice Dream on the iPad to enlarge the text and uses the audio capabilities to have the text read aloud while simultaneously highlighting the text, which makes it easier to follow the audio.

For Terry, the ScanSnap SV600 used in tandem with other technologies and software has changed the way he not only approaches the process of learning but the efficiency with which he is to learn.

We love hearing stories like his about innovative uses of our scanners. Do you have one of your own? If so, email us at scansnap@us.fujitsu.com if you’re willing to share.

Jordyn Russell
Marketing Communications Manager
Fujitsu Computer Products of America