Monday, August 29, 2005

Grandad and the Internet

My father-in-law was visiting for the last 2 and a half weeks. Since he had a stroke four years ago, negotiating things like the internet can be difficult. Either the print is too small to read, or it is too hard to type. Working with him as we tried to find interesting things on the internet (mostly concerning model airplanes!) we discovered a number of interesting sites and tools.

I stumbled across a number of interesting audio resources. The BBC has live streaming audio and archived shows for the past week. You can listen to NPR like shows on Radio Scotland, or the BBC World Service, Celtic Music, shows in the Gaelic language. Want the latest music and news from a bagpipers festival? Well, if you did, it is there. We found a German station (my FIL is a retired German prof) with very interesting content (according to him, I didn't understand more than five words). All this is free. If you can pay a bit ($9.95 a year) you can get a subscription to Radio Naxos and choose from 60 channels of nearly every type of classical music. Very cool!

If you know of someone who has limited accessibility to the internet due to vision problems, you might want to check out the Opera web browser for Windows. It has many accessibility features built it. You can set a personal stylesheet that will override the html of the webpage. "Bye, bye" annoying fancy and small fonts; Times Roman 16 pt. all the time. Push a button or say "Opera speak" into a microphone and it will read the webpage or your emails to you! It's free if you don't mind some ads at the top of the browsers. $39 if you want to get rid of the ads.


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