I have just got a new computer, another Mac from Apple. I spent the past few days setting it up. This is run of the mill stuff — I migrated all my content over from my old Mac. But there were some messages that VoiceOver, the built-in screenreader that comes with Mac OS wouldn’t read. This post is about what helped me read the messages.

First I took photos with KNFBReader. That worked most of the time. It was able to tell me what was on the screen and give me an idea of what to do in response.

There were a couple of times when KNFBReader did not live up to all the hype. That app is good- really good! But there was another really useful thing.

Be My Eyes is a network of sighted volunteers who lend their eyes to the blind, quite literally. The app, a free download for Apple or Android, connects a blind person to a sighted one via live video connection. It’s so cool because I can get accurate answers about my computer screen, use by dates on food and so on. I very much appreciate the volunteers from America and Australia who have helped me out a few times.

The app onlhy looks through the back camera of the phone so whoever is on the other end can only see what it is pointing at. So good if you don’t want them to see things they shouldn’t.