Blind Translators: Making Their Lives Better

Created with
Happy Friday, dear colleagues! This morning, Judy received an e-mail from her friend and colleague Jamey Cook, who is a trailblazing blind interpreter and translator. Yes, you read that correctly: she's blind, yet she's a certified medical interpreter and a translator. Judy had the honor of profiling her for the ITI Bulletin magazine in 2013, and her story even made the cover. Life in the translation world is very challenging for blind translators, as much of the software (and hardware) just isn't accessible to them because manufacturers have not made the necessary adjustments. Jamey has been at the forefront of campaigning for change. Will you help? It doesn't cost anything, and alll you have to do is go to a website and add a comment, which should take you no more than 30 seconds. What do you say? Let's come together as a community to support an important cause. The idea here is to ask Microsoft to add a fully functional screen reader to Windows 10.

But we will let Jamey speak -- here's her e-mail from earlier this morning:

Would you please consider voting on this?

The low down on why this matters: Macs are considerably more expensive than PC's, yet Apple long ago built in their VoiceOver screen reader for free. Now, Window Eyes is free for those who use Office 2013 or above, but Narrator, which comes with Windows, is only a functional
screen reader for the most basic of tasks. NVDA is a free screen reader, but needs more development. So that leaves JAWS for Windows, which is close to $2000 for starters, then there is the Software
Maintenance Agreement to maintain for $200 every two years. Bottom line: this could allow blind users to just pick up a computer and use it, as any sighted person can.

Thank you so much, in advance, for your help. Can you also help us spread the word about this important cause?

Here is the link again. Have a great weekend!


All Graduates | Translating Services on January 19, 2015 at 7:00 PM said...

It is great that blind translators are making a stand so that they can do their translation. This poll should bring hope to blind translators that technology will soon be developed for them on a different platform. The possibilities are endless for low vision translators once this type of voice technology becomes easily accessible.

Judy Jenner and Dagmar Jenner on January 21, 2015 at 7:11 PM said...

@All Graduates: We agree! Here's to hoping that Microsoft will do the right thing and add this functionality. Thanks for reading and for commenting.

Beatrice Hendon on February 17, 2015 at 12:10 AM said...

This post is very helpful. Glad you’ve shared it.

Join the conversation! Commenting is a great way to become part of the translation and interpretation community. Your comments don’t have to be overly academic to get published. We usually publish all comments that aren't spam, self-promotional or offensive to others. Agreeing or not agreeing with the issue at hand and stating why is a good way to start. Social media is all about interaction, so don’t limit yourself to reading and start commenting! We very much look forward to your comments and insight. Let's learn from each other and continue these important conversations.

Subscribe by email:


Twitter update

Site Info

The entrepreneurial linguists and translating twins blog about the business of translation from Las Vegas and Vienna.

Translation Times