10+ Special Firefox Add-ons For Visually Impaired Users

Firefox Add-onsMozilla Firefox is a free and open source web browser descended from the Mozilla Application Suite and managed by Mozilla Corporation. Firefox is the most widely used Web Browser next to Google Chrome. People normally prefer Firefox for browsing the Internet, and that also includes buddies who are visually challenged.

Fortunately Firefox developers and other people developed Add-ons which helps them to access the web more properly and comfortably. I also recommend people to use the latest version of Mozilla Firefox browser, so that they won’t find any issues and problems with the installation process. Earlier we shared another similar article called Special Browsers For Visually Impaired Users. Below I mentioned some special Firefox Add-ons for visually impaired buddies.

#1 – ColorBlindExt : This extension helps color-blinds while browsing the web, by processing images and text on the page according to the type of user’s color-blindness. Color Blindness detection test is included for creating awareness among people.

This extension is an aid to colorblind people. It is developed for color-blinds, to help them while browsing by processing web pages so that they can recognize information. And to create awareness among people, as many are unaware of there color-blindness ‘color blindness detection test’ is included.

#2 – colorXtractor : colorXtractor is a Mozilla Firefox extension, written for people with color blindness. It helps people with color blindness to distinguish colors. The main feature of colorXtractor is to display a color under the mouse cursor, after clicking on the extension’s icon.

The user can also change some options. He or she can select between different color databases and format the color string. The RGB, HSL and CIELAB color values and the x-y coordinates can be displayed.

#3 – Colorblind simulator : This extension is a powerful tool that can help webpage developers get an impression of how a webpage looks for people that have some sort of color vision deficit (e.g. Dichromacy). Approximately 10% of the people have color deficits, so it’s advisable for web designers to test webpages for poor color choices to avoide excluding people from their site.

This tool simulates how webpages look for people with:

  • Protanopia
  • Deuteranopia
  • Tritanopia

#4 – Colorblinds Tool : This extension helps colorblind people. It adds a menu item to the context menu for images. With this menu item you can analyze an image on colorblinds.org with one click. Colorblinds.org assists you with an image daltonizer and a colorname picker.

This extension helps people with an color deficit. It adds a new menu item to the context menu for images. With this menu item you can analyze an image on colorblinds.org with one click. You can specify your kind of color deficit (Protanopia, Deuteranopia or Tritanopia) in the preferences menu of this extension.

#5 – Make Address Bar Font Size Bigger : This extension makes the URL Address Bar font size bigger. No need to know CSS or any hand coding to style the font-size, like other extensions!

This extension makes the URL Address Bar font size bigger.The font size for the URL Address Bar’s autocomplete dropdown will also be bigger. Great for users who have higher screen resolutions and bad eyesight. No need to know CSS or any hand coding to style the font-size, like other extensions!

#6 – Eyesight check : Though this add-on is not capable of improving the browsing experience of visually impaired buddies, still this one can help/improve eye sight in some manner. This add-on shows smaller and smaller symbols until you stop recognising them.

If you see fine, try to close one eye, or to change the distance, or to exercise with a different lighting. When you choose perfect conditions, you can start a daily exercise experiment.

#7 – Check My Colors! : This addon is a button that can be added to the tool bar. To add, right click on the toolbar and select customize. It will then allow you to place a button on the toolbar to run the tests. This is a tool that will allow web developers to analyze their webpages for problems with color. It will allow a simulation to see what a colorblind person would see and perform a series of tests on color contrast and difference.

However, this tool will also check color contrast and color difference for normal sighted persons as well.

#8 – N-Abled Web Accessibility Toolbar : N-Abled Web Accessibility Toolbar enhances your web browsing experience with the N-Abled toolbar.
Main features includes Screen reader, colour schemes, zoom in and out, change font size.

#9 – Accessibility Scripts Toolbar : A toolbar containing scripts to improve the usability and accessibility of any given webpage for blind computer users by providing functionality to solve commonly encountered problems caused by bad web design practices.

Hotkeys to turn on and off the toolbar: alt + v (view menu), alt + t (toolbars menu), and alt + a (on/off toggle).

#10 – Image Zoom : Image Zoom adds zoom and rotation functionality for images.

Easily zoom in, zoom out, fit image to screen or set custom zoom on individual images within a web page. All this can be done by using the context menu or a combination of mouse buttons and scroll wheel. Handy to see the finer details of smaller pics or to make very large pics fit within your screen.

#11 – Make Font Size Bigger Pack : This extension is a PACK that makes the URL Address Bar, Tab Bar, and Status Bar font size bigger.

No need to know CSS or any hand coding to style the font-size, like other extensions!

If you think this article benefits people, do share this. Also if you know any other useful Firefox Add-on, please share them in the comments.

10+ Special Browsers For Visually Impaired Users

Visual impairment (or vision impairment) is vision loss (of a person) to such a degree as to qualify as an additional support need through a significant limitation of visual capability resulting from either disease, trauma, or congenital or degenerative conditions that cannot be corrected by conventional means, such as refractive correction, medication, or surgery. [via Wikipedia].

Some browsers have been developed especially for people with such disabilities. Features include optical character recognition, screen magnifier, screen readers, voice recognition, speech synthesisers, etc. Below I mentioned top 10 web browsers for visually impaired users.

P.S. Description of each site taken from respective sites. Credit goes to them!

#1 MozBraille

MozBraille is a browser but an extension to transform Mozilla or Firefox to a stand alone accessible Internet browser designed for blind or partially sighted users. So with mozBraille you don’t need a third part program like a screenreader. MozBraille offers its users three displays or outputs : A Braille output on a braille terminal, a text to speech output, and a big characters view.

MozBraille is a part of the VICKIE project. The main goal of this project is to create an electronic school bag for visually impaired children. So the main output is the Braille and the less important is the text to speech because students have to listen their teacher.

Note: MozBraille is a beta version, so there are lot of features to add. At the moment, blind or a partially sighted users can’t use this software alone.


#2 pwWebSpeak

pwWebSpeak
pwWebSpeak

pwWebSpeak is an Internet browser designed for users who wish to access the Internet in a non-visual or combined auditory and visual way. This includes blind or partially sighted users, people with dyslexia or learning difficulties, and users who are learning new languages.

pwWebSpeak is designed to interact directly with the information on a web page, and to translate it into speech, as well as providing a magnified visual display. The user may navigate through the structure of a document based on its contents: links, headings and paragraphs, rather than having to deal with scrolling and interpreting a complex screen lay-out. The basic format used on the Web is called HTML. The intelligence built into pwWebSpeak understands the HTML constructs and automatically presents them in a logical sequence, greatly simplifying navigation of even complex documents.


#3 EMACSPEAK

Emacspeak
Emacspeak

Emacspeak is a speech interface that allows visually impaired users to interact independently and efficiently with the computer. Audio formatting –a technique pioneered by AsTeR– and full support for W3C’s Aural CSS (ACSS) allows Emacspeak to produce rich aural presentations of electronic information.

By seamlessly blending all aspects of the Internet such as Web-surfing and messaging, Emacspeak speech-enables local and remote information via a consistent and well-integrated user interface. When combined with Linux running on low-cost PC hardware, Emacspeak/Linux provides a reliable, stable speech-friendly solution that opens up the Internet to visually impaired users around the world.


#4 eGuideDog

eGuideDog
eGuideDog

eGuideDog project is to write free software for the blind. Currently, they focus on WebSpeech, Ekho TTS and WebAnywhere. eGuideDog Browser is a voice web browser designed for the blind. It focus on how to present HTML in speech rather than in text. It’s written in Perl and supports eSpeak TTS engine.

Some techniques such as re-constructing the HTML structure, summarizing the content and filtering Ads, etc will be used. Some accessibility problem is taken into account (see Accessibility for more detail).


#5 Simply Web 2000

Simply Web 2000
Simply Web 2000

Simply Web 2000 is an speech friendly, speech enabled accessible web browser with advance features that allow easy navigation of complex pages by blind users. It uses Internet Explorer 4.01 or later as it’s engine. We recommend installing Explorer 5.0 for optimal performance and flexibility.

The Simply Web 2000 package includes a software based speech synthesizer and can be used in standalone mode as a “Talking Web Browser”. It you already have a screen reader installed in your computer, then you can take advantage of the fact that it has been design to be speech friendly. Particularly, it is fully compatible with Simply Talker 98/2000, our inexpensive screen reader also with built-in software synthesis.


#6 WebbIE

WebbIE
WebbIE

WebbIE is a web browser for blind and visually-impaired people, especially those using screen readers, used since 2001 all over the world.

It comes with the Accessible programs, letting you access news and audio on the Internet in a simple and accessible way, allowing you to use podcasts, listen to the radio and read RSS and news with your screen reader or other access solution. Together they provide a way to access websites and other great things online – and they are all free!


#7 EIA

EIA
EIA

EIA (Enhancing Internet Access) – A specialized Web Browser, suitable for touchscreen systems, with fully integrated Web awareness, assessment and training modules. Designed for Internet training and access for people with disabilities and other special needs.

Provides interactive, stepwise learning of the skills needed for Web browsing. The interactive Web Tutorial is integrated into the EIA Web Browser and leads on naturally from the Awareness Assessment Protocol. It finishes with the option to connect to the World Wide Web.


#8 netECHO – InternetSpeech

Netecho
Netecho

netECHO® by InternetSpeech lets people unleash the power of the Internet simply with the sound of their voice. netECHO® lets users give simple voice commands like “Yahoo,” or “e-mail” to get the Net-based information they want.

netECHO is a voice input and voice output web browser designed for use by individuals who are blind or have low vision. Using voice commands over a telephone line, the user gets access to a voice portal with customized information, such as stocks, news, horoscopes, restaurants, and directions. Starting from there, access to the entire Internet is provided.


#9 PnC Net

PnC Net
PnC Net

PnC Net is software that provides people with low vision the same power to use the Internet that fully sighted people have. You can easily read the daily newspaper, get up-to-minute stock quotes, make travel reservations, purchase goods, get information on almost any topic, and participate fully in the World Wide Web!

For example, Internet Explorer® controls for accessing the Internet (shown below) require good vision to see the menu selections and good eye-hand coordination to position the pointer in 2-dimensions on specific spots and click the mouse button. Internet Explorer’s web page presentation doesn’t speak, and a portion of the screen is taken by the controls at the top, leaving only a part of the screen to display the web page.


#10 QualiSURF

QualiSURF
QualiSURF

QualiSURF is the Internet Browser of the software platform QualiWORLD that gives the access to Internet to all physically disabled people. QualiSURF is an easy-to-use and user friendly Internet Browser, which enables the user to surf the Internet without the use of a mouse and a keyboard.

The user has the freedom to choose any computer accessibility solutions offered by QualiWORLD in order to find the easiest way to surf the net. Users with any type and degree of disability can now surf Internet freely, even totally paralyzed or blind people.


#11 ReadText

ReadText
ReadText

ReadText and ReadText Plus are voice output text reader and web browser program designed for use by individuals who are blind or have low vision or reading disabilities. It speaks digital files and web pages, including on-line books and PDF files. It can also magnify text and change the type face and color of the text.

For people with dyslexia and other reading challenges, the program highlights and associates the visual and verbal word together for future recognition. ReadText comes with AT&T Natural Voices and one year of free updates.


#12 WYNN Wizard and WYNN Reader

WYNN
WYNN

WYNN Wizard and WYNN Reader are voice output, web browser, and text editor programs intended to help individuals with learning disabilities to read, write, study, and comprehend text more effectively.

WYNN can read aloud ASCII text files, standard word processing files, digital talking books (DAISY and NIMAS), PDF files, web pages, and e-mail using RealSpeak Solo, which offers multiple voices and languages.


Visually impaired people often find it difficult to use the web and these kind of special browsers are really helpful to them. If you are willing to contribute, share and tweet this article!

Do you know any other special web browsers for Visually Impaired people? Please share them in the comments.