San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Internet Café for Blind To Open Here

COSTA Rica will be the first CentralAmerican nation to open an Internet caféfor the blind, which will work by meansof a voice system.The National Trust for the Blind issponsoring the center, which will have 12computers that use technology dubbedJAWS (Job Access With Speech), accordingto the daily La Nación.Using JAWS, the computer reads outloud much of the information a sightedperson needs to navigate the Web.The computers will be hooked up toprinters able to print documents in eithertype or Braille, according to the user’s needs.“It will be the first Internet café forthe blind in Central America and the fifthin Latin America,” said trust directorLeticia Hidalgo.Licenses to use the Windows operatingsystem and other software were donatedby Microsoft, Hidalgo said.The rest of the project is paid for bythe trust, which is funded in part by thenational lottery.An introductory course in the use ofJAWS, the keyboard and computers willbe offered free of charge, Hidalgo added.“With technology on hand, limitations(for the blind) are fewer and independenceis greater,” Hidalgo said.

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