Content Right

Right optical Column

Select language

Content Middle

Breadcrump Menu

You are here:

Main Content


Handbook for successful ageing - 9.6.6


9.6.6 Some advice for working in the internet with assistance

If you don’t think that you are capable of working with a computer, or if you don’t want to learn it out of laziness/ idleness, you should use the services of an assistant who can help you take care of your mail or get information from the internet, and who works with you either at your place or via the telephone. If you can’t find an assistant in your own family or circle of friends, you can find one, according to my own experience, with the help of notices in the higher grades of secondary schools, your rectory or an announcement in your local newspaper.

Ask your assistant to set up an e-mail address for you to facilitate the distinction for her between her own mails and the mails that are for you. without assistance

If you want to work with the internet yourself, however, in Germany you should ask your eye specialist to prescribe you a "open reading system" (vgl., ) and ask your health insurance company to bear the costs. You have to pay for the computer and its original software yourself, but not for the "screen reader". This is a programme which converts the content on the screen into spoken language and with a "refreshable Braille display/ Braille terminal" also converts it into Braille.

You can find detailed information about the screen reader on the internet, for example on or Ask a dealer who is authorized for the distribution of the screen reader you have chosen to deliver you the screen reader and the computer. You should, however, look for a dealer who can instruct you how to use the screen reader with the help of a trainer who is blind himself, since blind instructors can, as experience has shown, retrace/ understand better than a person who can see.

Ask someone who is good with computers to install your computer and to show you how you can make the screen reader talk, but then you should first of all practice writing on the keyboard. In order to write mark the keys for 2, 6, 9, Y, A, F, J, L and N with dots.

Only after this you should have yourself instructed further about the use of the screen reader. Again you should have someone with you who is familiar with working with computers who writes down the individual steps that are necessary step by step so you can work optimally with the computer and later on even with the internet. Don’t hesitate to call your trainer if you and your assistant have a problem.

If you know Braille well, you can also ask your health insurance to bear the expenses for a Braille terminal, so that instead of only working with the voice output you can also work with the Braille output of the screen reader.

In order to facilitate the search on the internet for yourself you can acquire the IBM Homepage Reader software.





Back to contents