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How Tech Helps Guide the Blind

New developments in accessible technology have made it easier than ever for the visually-impaired to connect.
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Gus Chalkias challenges me to spell my name. Chalkias, who lost his vision at age 28 and now runs the demo center at the Computer Center for Visually Impaired People at Baruch College in midtown Manhattan, hands me an iPhone with a darkened screen. I’ll have to do it by touch and by physical memory of the letters’ location.

“Trail one finger across the screen,” he says. An automated voice barks in rapid-fire, staccato speech: Camera. Messenger. Calendar. Thursday, August 20. “Slower,” he says. Stocks. Camera. YouTube. Stocks. I’m shocked by how quickly it’s talking. I can’t keep up.