ICT Meeting Special Needs

The person that I am going to be studying is Mr. C Aziz a man who lost his eyes when he was at the age of 32, due to an accident with a group of hooligans assaulting Mr Aziz on his way home one evening. Now Mohammed is currently 32 years of age and he and his wife live with their two sons. Mohammed Aziz is a musician, who aspires to one day be able to play as well as his idol Stevie Wonder. The topic blindness is often stereotyped to the thought of sight being gone forever, however in some cases of Blindness there is a chance of seeing again, however sadly in Mr Aziz’s case, this is not a possibility. Blindness is the inability to see anything.

Some people are called blind, even though they can see a vaguely. This is because they cannot see clearly, but can only see fuzzy shapes or colours. In modern countries, few young people are blind. Blindness is mostly caused by diseases of old people, like cataracts and trachoma. Sometimes, though, people are born blind. Some people are colour blind, which means they can see, however cannot tell certain colours apart. When people are blind they use such things as the alphabet in Braille and guard dogs to do every day things. Although again in Mohammed’s case sadly he is not colour blind but fully blind.

Technology 1

Braille Watch

Braille watches have raised dots that allow a blind person to tell the time. Simply flip up the cover and feel the dots on the dial. There are different types of Braille Watches like the voice one that tells you the time when you need it and it is in digital and normally time. In Braille watches you can save appointments and notes and you can save birthdays and you can record voice and in also can tell you the temperature.


o It’s is small and the right size to fit a hand and says it in voice the time and date

o Help people with appointments and helps them to not forget time and date and if they got anything information

o Tell you everything in English, 99 different languages

o It is like a person that is standing next to the blind person and helping


o Not waterproof

o Easily breaks

o Something’s very disturbing

o Gets lost

o One of the bad thing about Braille Watches is that it only reminds you once and that’s bad because maybe the person is fast a sleep and can’t hear it so they will mess the alarm

How the technology meets their personal needs

The Braille watch is particularly important in the life of Mr Aziz as it fits directly into his daily schedule. Mohammed, a devout Muslim, needs to wake up at 6am on a daily basis so he may do his daily prayers. The Braille watch is good for this as it allows him for one to be able to actually know the time, to know the right time in which he must pray, it also helps him as some Braille watches also have alarm clocks on them, this however may not be an option for Mr Aziz as, he has a very low budget, as a musician living off benefits from the government and disability benefits he does not have much money to be spending on luxury items, nevertheless Mohammed believes that religion is a very vital aspect of his life, and must uphold all traditions so an alarm is a must (Mohammed believes that if he devotes his life to his religion then one day his eyes may be healed by a miracle.

The Braille watch also helps Mr Aziz as it allows him to keep track of when to take his eye medication. Even though Mr Aziz’s eyes are now permanently obsolete, he must still use his droplets to prevent any infections in his eyes that may cause him discomfort, and with the help of the Braille watch he is able to know the time at all times and keep track with his medical schedule. Finally although Mr Aziz is sadly blind, he is still a very joyful individual person overall and likes to enjoy himself, with the help of the Braille watch, Mr Aziz he is able to watch all his favourite TV programmes on time without missing a single moment of the show.

I believe that the Braille watch is an excellent technology in helping the blind or visually impaired to keep good track of the time. With the compact designs that house the Braille watch, and the voice helper, with over 99 languages built in, as well as a tonne of other gadgets, including I believe that the Braille watch is the ultimate timepiece of the 21st century when thinking of how to help the visually impaired with timekeeping.

However with the Braille watch, the problem may arise that if the watch is broken, or needs repairing in any manner then getting the watch repaired is a very tricky matter, firstly it may be very costly as there are not many shops that repair Braille watches, and secondly as I just said there are not many stores that sell Braille watches so finding a shop which would repair the watch would be a strenuous task in itself.

How the technology meets their social needs

The Braille watch is pretty hand when it comes to Mr Aziz’s social needs. As the Aziz family is quite lazy, Mr Aziz relies on his watch to wake up in the morning and to wake up his fellow family members for both work and school. As was said before Mr Aziz is over a very cheery man, he does not allow his sight to bring him down in life, this is why he has many friends in his local area, the element of kindness and happiness is very strong in the heart of Mr Aziz, so attracts the friendship of many of his peers.

The Braille watch allows him to keep up to track with his friends on a daily basis. Another branch of Mohammed’s daily routine consists of him going to one of his neighbours house daily to discuss topics such as football and their married lives, however Mohammed must wait until 10:15 every day to attend his friends home as he must wait for the children to be sent to school and the missus to go to work, this is where the Braille watch comes in, it allows Mohammed to keep track of the right time him to make his daily visit to his acquaintances’ home. Everyday Mohammed rings his home town of Afghanistan to check on his brothers, sisters and parents and see how their lives are going.

The time zones however are very different in these two regions of the world, so Mohammed has to use his watch to know the right time, so he does not call at an inconvenient time when his parents are sleeping. His wife is not able to help him with this as well as she works a very tight shift to try support her family (however she does not do it very well, working as a shop assistant on minimum wage makes it very difficult) so she does not have the time to call Mohammed and tell him the time in Kabul, this is why the Braille watch is very vital in his social life.

Moreover, everyday at lunchtime Mr Aziz goes to his local school, Wembley Manor Primary School and recites compositions on his piano for children during their lunch break, as part of a good citizenship programme he set up a year ago. The Braille watch is very important as he only plays the piano during the children’s lunch time which only lasts 1 hour, so Mr Aziz cannot be late, obviously there will be no penalty for coming late to this job, as it is all voluntary work, however the children enjoy his piano playing very much and would be terribly disappointed if he did not make a session, this is why Mr Aziz needs to hold on to his Braille watch and know the right time to get to the school.

As was said before, if the watch does in fact get ruined or needs repairing, then on top of trying to find a store that restores Braille watches, he would need to get one of his friends or wife to escort him to the store, as he cannot see himself, this may bother his friends if they are busy and do not have time to take him.

How the technology meets their needs in employment

Mohammed Aziz is a composer and composes melodies for himself and for retail; she can make a living, although at the time being he has not been selling much. Mohammed needs to be able to have certain times of the day where he dedicates it to his music, so as not neglect his music, this is where the Braille watch fits in, Mr Aziz sets it on reminder everyday at 9pm so it rings and reminds him that he needs to finish his composing, this may be done without the use of his watch, by his wife reminding him if he forgets, however his wife is not at home at all times, she sometimes goes over to her neighbours house for their book club, and Mr Aziz forgets also at times so using the Braille watch is the most efficient way to remind him of the tasks he needs to do.

I think that even though the Braille watch does an adequate job in helping Mohammed keep up with his work schedule by reminding him of the time he needs write his compositions, there may be a better technology such as a handheld PC with Braille keys that could assist him around the day.

This however is very pricey and probably not in Mr Aziz’s price range, so must be reconsidered, also if it is bought, the issue of thieves must also be thought, a Handheld PC specially made for blind people is very pricey and if a thief is to take advantage of Mr Aziz’s disability and rob him of his Handheld PC, then the financial implications should be thought about, does Mr Aziz have enough money to replace something so expensive, will it impact his family financially leaving them in debt? These are just some questions that would be thought of when buying something so expensive for Mr Aziz.

If the watch breaks down before Mohammed is due to go to work (his voluntary work) then he may not be aware of the time and miss his normal music session at Wembley Manor, upsetting the children because they did not see their favourite musician playing during their lunch hour.

Technology 2

Braille Notetaker

The Iris kb line offers portable and compact personal data assistants equipped with Braille keyboards and refreshable Braille displays of 20 or 40 cells. This line is part of a range of new generation Braille devices by Euro Braille. These devices incorporate a broad range of applications and are available with either a 128 MB internal storage capacity 256 MB capacity. The series of four keys on both sides of the keyboard, used for navigation, have been placed as closely as possible to the keyboard to minimise hand movements.

This helps achieve a more ergonomic design aimed at reducing your risk of repetitive motion injuries. Spreadsheet applications allow you to work with data and formulas in cells that are identified by line and column, Calculator applications allow you to make basic calculations, File Explorer application facilitate handling files and folders in a tree structure, Calendar application pages to organise your appointments and tasks, Contacts pages to easily store and retrieve all your contact information when you need it and more.


o Braille Display with 20 or 40 characters

o QWERTY Keyboard

o 8-Key command keyboard

o Lithium-ion battery for fast recharge: 10 hours of autonomy

o Serial port for PC connection; Parallel port for Braille and black printing

o VGA port to visualise iris documents on a computer monitor

o RJ45 port for connection to Ethernet network

RJ11 port for connection to a telephone network

o 2 USB ports (type A)

Loudspeaker + Audio – in (microphone) and Audio-out (headphones)

o 12V supply

o It is very light 1,7 kg

o Dimensions: 24 cm x 20 cm x 3,8 cm

o 12-volt main charger

o it is like an computer with everything like USB reader/writer that is WinCE compatible (Floppy disk, memory, USB Key, etc)



o Cost’s to much = �3,382

o slow writing

o The charge run out quickly

o It takes lots of time to charge up

How the technology meets their personal needs

The Braille note taker meets Mohammed’s personal needs adequately as it allows him to make notes and write his compositions, this is especially good as Mohammed is not able to write his compositions with a pen and paper as he is blind, so he needs an alternative method which is user friendly to the visually impaired, hence the note taker.

The note taker is also very light which allows Mohammed to keep it in his pocket without weighing him down, or sticking out of his pockets bringing any unnecessary attention for muggers or anyone with the intention to steal the note taker. Furthermore the note taker is actually very expensive, with a price ranging over �3000 it is no way in Mohammed’s budget, however if he does receive one some way, perhaps from the government free of charge, to help his disability, then the small size will matter as it does not attract unwanted attention.

The Note taker also meets Mr Aziz’s personal needs as it has a 128mb or 258mb internal hard drive, which will allow him to store his music on. As Mohammed is a musician he has a strong passion for music, so being able to listen to his music frequently will bring great joy to him. The note taker will also allow Mr Aziz to keep a track of all special occasions through the use of the built in calendar that comes with most note taker, now Mr Aziz will never forget any special occasions or important dates.

How the technology meets their social needs

The Braille note taker is quite good in terms of Mr Aziz’s personal needs. The note taker allows Mr Aziz to keep in constant contact with his friends who travel regularly, due to their jobs. The note taker allows him to do this by letting him send and receive emails. The note taker also allows Mohammed to exchange music with his friends via USB, this is a great advantage as he does not have to go out and buy the songs to listen to them, he can just get them off his friends if they have the songs on their PCs.

As I said before, Mohammed’s friends travel a lot due to demanding jobs, sometimes they are allowed to take a guest with them to the different locations of the world that they must go, so to feel Mohammed feel better about his eyes, they take him with them as their guests. However sometimes during their travels they sometimes get lost as they are in a foreign country and do not know their way around, this is where the note taker comes in, Mohammed can go on a website such as Google maps to then find the route to their destination.

If unfortunately Mr Aziz’s note taker was to be accidently damaged, lost or stolen, this could bring problems for not only himself but for his friends also. As Mr Aziz does not make a lot of money in his profession, he may need rely on his friends financially to fund for another note taker, or for the repair to his current note taker, this may be awkward for his friends as they must help him as they are his friends, but at the same time need the money so are then in a moral dilemma, to help their blind friend, or to keep the money and use it for themselves. This could also resolve in disputes amongst the friends if some help out Mohammed and others don’t, some of the friends get be angered as to why they did not help him out.

How the technology meets their needs in employment

The Braille note taker helps Mr Aziz in his profession, as it allows him to message his record manager to tell him when his new compositions are ready; it also allows him to receive messages from his record manager to know times of important meetings, and times for his studio recordings. The note take also helps him in his work as it allows him to write his compositions, which needs to sell and make his living, without the compositions there would be no way for his music to succeed.

Again the problem arises that if he loses the note taker, or it gets stolen, then he would have a very big problem on his hands, for one it would cost a lot of money to either replace the note taker (money which he does not have) or repair, but the other great problem would be that all of his appointment times and record dates would be gone, not only that but also all of Mr Aziz’s compositions are saved on his note taker, so if he loses it then his songs would be lost as well, making him working as a musician obsolete as he does not have the tools for his success, his songs.

Technology 3

Talking Typer for Windows

Computer keyboarding and typing training software that speaks and displays lessons on screen. Includes drills, practice, and typing games. Adjustable to the student’s level of skill and sight impairment. Recommended ages: 6 and older. Built from the ground up with blind and visually impaired students in mind, Talking Typing Teacher features digitized human speech, which is used everywhere in the program. This means that whether you’re navigating menus, changing options, managing dozens of student accounts, or visiting the Help Desk, you’ll enjoy listening to Eager Eddie read the screen.

What makes TTT so special, however, is that each and every typing lesson or practice session is read aloud with clear, concise pre-recorded dialog. Put quite simply, you won’t need to worry about trying to understand synthetic speech when you’re learning to type with TTT. The only thing Text-To-Speech is really used for is to read your name and play back text you type into Workbook, a fully-functional talking word processor that ships with Talking Typing Teacher.


o Built-in human speech (in the form MarvelTalk) that narrates the entire program

o Complete interaction with both sound and full-colour animations

o Detailed lesson curriculum designed with three levels of instruction

o Full support for multiple student use. This means that you can have more than one student set up with the program, and TTT will pull up each student’s record when he or she logs in.

o Three levels of instruction that not only change the number of keys that are taught, but also how the instructions are worded and presented

o Lessons that teach and reinforce typing, with careful emphasis on posture and correct typing habits

o Lessons consisting of spoken and displayed instructions, practice drills, and final reminders

o CD-ROM Drive

o Intel Pentium @400 MHz Equivalent or Higher

o Keyboard

o Sound Card

o 96MB RAM


o Very old

How the technology meets their personal needs

This meets Mohammed’s needs very well, as he is blind and needs to write using the Braille keyboard, it wastes a lot of time, however with the help of the talking typer Mohammed is able to quickly and efficiently type things on applications such as Microsoft word, all he has to do is say the sentence and the talking typer will automatically type the sentence out for him. It also helps Mr Aziz because as he is blind, he cannot navigate the mouse around the PC to find certain applications he is looking for, however with the help of the talking typer he can quickly and easily open applications by saying a couple of simple words, such as “open Microsoft Word” and then the application will be opened.

The technology is very good for Mohammed Aziz as now he may be able to use the PC without the help of others, as he does not now need to rely on others for help, it now makes Mr Aziz feel happy about himself and not so useless and at a disadvantage due to his disability (even though he is, no one wishes to feel like they are worthless).

The talking typer however does have a few faults to it, firstly it is a needs the hardware to operate, a microphone. This is a disadvantage as microphones can be easily broken due to their small flimsy fatigues; additionally it is much easier to be broken by a blind man as he cannot not see what he is doing. Furthermore the there are a very vast variety of applications and documents which exist in PCs, it is very hard for Mr Aziz to remember the names of all of these applications so that he can open them through voice commands, this is the extent which the technology meets his needs.

How the technology meets their social needs

The talking typer is fulfils his social needs to a great extent. As Mr Aziz is quite a popular guy thanks to his cheery attitude, he has plenty of friends, and likes to regularly socialise with them. He does this by meeting up with them, speaking to them on the phone, and emailing them or talking to them through an instant messaging service such as MSN Messenger. The talking typer allows him to make quick responses through the email service by just quickly saying everything that he wishes to be in his email, whereas before he had to wait for his wife to come home and type it all out for him (as he does

not like using the Braille keyboard, it inflicts a slight pain in his fingers keeping them in the same positions typing constantly)

Mr Aziz also uses the internet to buy clothes and his shopping through websites such as www.Asda.co.uk and www.Littlewoods.co.uk. With the help of the talking typer he can quickly order the goods through voice commands.

How the technology meets their needs in employment

The Talking typer does not help Mr Aziz is his profession very much. This is because he does not need to use the PC in his profession, and even if he does he may use his note taker instead, it is much more compact and can be used at any time or place, when he is inspired for a song he can quickly note down the ideas he has for his song rather than going home, wasting time and losing his inspiration. The talking typer is however good in some ways, it allows Mr Aziz to quickly memorise his lyrics, by inputting his lyrics through the talking typer he can then make the computer reply the lyrics and listen and memorise the words.

Overall I do not think that there could be a better technology than the talking typer, perhaps a technology that connects directly to your mind and allows you to see computer images in your mind, would really benefit blind people, as it gives them the opportunity to actually see and use the computer efficiently, however this sort of technology has not yet been invented, but could be the hope for the future for the visually impaired.

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