Chromevox and Kindles vs JAWS and iPads

Richard Holloway

I could use some advice and feedback for the latest in screen reading solutions. Our situation is that our daughter, 6th grade, no light perception, a highly proficient Braille reader and Braillenote Apex user, fairly handy with JAWS and iDevices may well end up in a situation at school where all students are being issued Chromebooks and Kindles. This sends off warning signals for me, but I’m not sure what to do about it...

The key focus of these devices seems to be centered around products and services by Discovery Learning. I have a high level of appreciation for what everyone from Discovery through the school system is trying to offer kids by using these services. My daughter is a super bright student. I have no doubt she can make use of some of these materials despite her lack of vision, but what is the best approach for her?

My questions center on how best to access these materials. That’s what I hope I can learn from others here—

How well does Chromevox (the built-in screenreader on Chromebooks, as I understand it) work at this point?

Have others here tried Chromevox with Discovery Education materials?

How about JAWS work with Discovery Learning? Any idea if she could access the same materials with a laptop and JAWS effectively?

As to the Kindle, I understand there are accessibility issues on them, but there is also some iPod app for Kindle. Any ideas about access, especially to Discovery Learning materials through that app?

Apologies for the partially off-tropic post, but it is somewhat JAWS-related, and we are really in a bind here time-wise. We have a meeting to discuss some of this with her school in three days. I’d like any information I can come up with on this matter (I have an inquiries in already with Discovery & Google, but so far I’ve had no response.)

I’d REALLY like to be able to point the school in the right direction for a working solution or clear knowledge of things that WON’T work as well... If they need to get her a laptop, JAWS, and an iPad, they may well do it, but I suspect what may happen in this meeting is that we learn they have NO IDEA what will or won’t work, or what steps to take next…. This needs not to drag out by the week and month for her.

Feel free to contact me off-list if responses seem too far off the JAWS portion of the question.

Many thanks to all!

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