The Key to the Information Age: A Review of Three Screen Readers, Part 2By Denham, Jim; Leventhal, Jay; McComas, Heather; Access World, Vol. 5, No. 4
Publication Date: July 2004
Article completes a review of three screen readers by evaluating Hal 6.01 from Dolphin, as part one featured an evaluation of Freedom Scientific’s JAWS for Windows 5.0 and GW Micro’s Window-Eyes 4.5. Testing was conducted on Pentium 4 computers equipped with Windows 2000. Hal was reviewed in terms of ten features and characteristics: (1) getting started and getting help, (2) Hal Control Panel, (3) configuring Hal, (4) Braille access, (5) Microsoft Word, (6) Internet Explorer, (7) links list, (8) filling out forms, (9) Microsoft Excel, and (10) log-on screen. The authors conclude that Hal is a powerful component of Dolphin’s Supernova screen magnifier-screen reader. The program has been around for many years and contains the tools to work with many applications and in a variety of situations. Hal’s main drawback is that it requires the user to go through a series of steps to change even minor settings that can be changed in JAWS and Window-Eyes in one or two steps. The program’s main strengths are how well it integrates speech and Braille access, and how easily configured it is by a trained technician or experienced user.
Assistive Products Discussed: HAL SCREEN READER
JAWS FOR WINDOWS
Published by: AFB Press (Website:http://www.afb.org/Section.asp?SectionID=46)
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) (Web Site: http://www.afb.org )
Link to text: http://www.afb.org/afbpress/pub.asp?DocID=aw050403