- 4 years ago

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This web page uses ActiveX controls that work only in Microsoft Internet Explorer. To ensure that BlackBerry Screen Reader is correctly downloaded to your BlackBerry, this site is not designed to work with any other Internet browsers. If you cannot use Internet Explorer, you may be able to download the software directly to your BlackBerry smartphone.

Waterloo’s Research In Motion today launched BlackBerry Screen Reader. The free software application helps customers who are blind or visually impaired operate their smartphone. RIM says that Screen Reader provides an audible output based on visual information displayed on a BlackBerry.

 “We are excited to introduce BlackBerry Screen Reader as part of our suite of accessibility solutions for BlackBerry smartphones,” said Greg Fields, Senior Product Manager. “BlackBerry Screen Reader helps customers with visual impairments stay connected with the people and information that matter most to them, and is representative of RIM’s continuing commitment to support customers with disabilities.”

Key features include:

• Support for core applications – Users can easily access core BlackBerry applications including email, calendar, phone calls and more.

• Speech settings – users can customize the text-to-speech settings (volume, pitch and speech rate) and preferences for punctuation, verbosity and password security.

• Keyboard shortcuts – Users can set speech and audio preferences quickly and easily through (physical) keyboard shortcuts

• Accessible documentation – User Guide available in accessible HTML through a desktop web browser.  

BlackBerry Screen Reader is available now as a free download for the Curve 9350, 9360, and 9370. The application is available in English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish. When we went to check out the app on our PC, though, we received this error message:

This web page uses ActiveX controls that work only in Microsoft Internet Explorer. To ensure that BlackBerry Screen Reader is correctly downloaded to your BlackBerry, this site is not designed to work with any other Internet browsers. If you cannot use Internet Explorer, you may be able to download the software directly to your BlackBerry smartphone.

Strange these days to find technology optimized exclusively for an antiquated web browser that no one uses outside of slow-adopting corporate enterprises. For those running Chrome, Firefox, and even Opera and Safari, you’ll have to download Screen Reader directly from your mobile device.