I am a totally blind United Methodist pastor. I use the Apex for almost everything I do: searching the internet for sermon resources, writing my sermon, referencing different Bible translations, connecting to my GPS to visit parishioners, writing the bulletin, and so much more. Everything I need for my work with people is on that Apex and strapped over my robe on Sunday mornings, it guides me through each part of the service, from the hymns to the scripture reading, from noting the prayer requests to reading the sermon outline. It frees me up to be fully independent and fully available to those I have been called to serve.
I loved the new Stream from the time of its release onward, but each upgrade has just made it better and better. Besides the new online services which users have already mentioned, Version 4.34 has improved TTS reading in subtle but significant ways, including vocabulary fixes and a more natural handling of pitch and punctuation. Also, the new method requiring an extra step before deletions become final is a great safeguard.
I have quite a few players but I would like to highlight 2 of them from your company. I use the first generation Stream which is wonderful to use for many of my reading needs. It’s like always having someone around to read print books to me and I simply love it’s ease of use.
For my recent Birthday my husband got me The Stratus. I absolutely love using it since I can read tons of books on a 32 gig card not to mention being able to put memory sticks into my Stratus but also keep the 32 gig card in my Stratus if I choose to flip to one of my books on the flash card from the memory stick. The Stratus’s sound quality is fabulous as well. I wish that these wonderful electronic servants had been out when I tried to go to college since my study time would have been far more rewarding then they were back then.
I sat outside this afternoon and selected one POI category shopping/services and selected a local grocery store. I was given directions from my home to the grocery store. The directions included the approaching intersection and the necessary turn I needed to make. I feel so liberated with the ability to generate a route and physically be able to follow the instructions when using a cane. The fact that I don't have to think about the correct turn and also know what intersection I'm approaching is amazing. I am really motivated to walk to this grocery store and back home. I always have trouble with remembering what turn to make when at a street intersection. I've used a braille compass to know in what direction I am heading and to determine the correct turn to make when needing to make a turn. Now besides using my compass for directions I can also use my GPS.
My student was a Braille reader, but a very slow one and we were supposed to increase his reading speed as one of his goals. We started using the Braille Note to talk back and forth and then he was able to obtain a Braille Note with a Qwerty keyboard. This gave him so much more independence when out in the community, as he could write a message, use the speech to talk to someone, and they could respond by typing a message on the standard keyboard, and he could read the Braille display.
For over 25 years, HumanWare's inspirational vision has resulted in a range of highly intuitive and intelligent solutions that empower people who are blind or with low vision by giving them the independence to participate effectively within a sighted world.