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Independence Through Technology

Services and products available for low vision clients

  • Auditory seforim software for blind or low vision. Clients who have suffered a significant loss of vision later in life are often Braille illiterate and therefore have no option but to learn by listening to recorded material. However, as opposed to written text, finding the desired “place” in recorded material is quite difficult. In response to this need CSB developed a program in which recorded material is indexed in such a manner as to facilitate random access to anywhere in the recording through very simple processes. In addition CSB itself has recorded much material over the years, so that its growing library presently contains hundreds of recorded seforim. This technology has been used by over a two hundred clients who have no other access to Torah.

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  • The CSB CARE Audio-Visual Player offers a combined audio and visual presentation of the Mestudah Chumash and Rashi and other seforim along with linear translation. Each segment of text is highlighted as it is read aloud. Additionally, the software can also read aloud a segment of Hebrew text followed by its English translation, highlighting the corresponding text segments. This is a very effective tool for some low vision readers who are able to read text if they hear the text read to them at the time in that the multisensory experience overcomes their reading challenge. Presently available are audio/visual presentations of Metsudah Chumash and several Gemaros and Mishnayos. Furthermore, the CSBCARE Player allows the user to modify nearly every aspect of the visual and audio presentations. These user-friendly, configurable settings allow the user to customize text size, color, reading speed and flow, feature accessibility, and the voice command system. Over 50 different settings provide an unparalleled level of control.

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  • CSB distributes thousands of seforim and books per year to elderly and visually impaired clients. CSB commonly produces large print Siddurim, Tehillim, Chumashim, Rishonim, Acharonim, and much more. These volumes are produced free of charge in any size, color, and format appropriate for the user. Sizes range from a bit larger than standard text to an enormous three-words-per-page reproduction. Many clients begin with a particular size and advance to editions of larger font sizes as their sight deteriorates. These seforim literally restore the gift of learning Torah to hundreds of clients who would otherwise never be able to read. Approximately, 20,000 volumes have been distributed since the inception of this service some five years ago.

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  • Gemaros are produced in three formats: A double 11x17 spread, which provides the reader with a 17x22 size amud Gemara when open; and a triple 11x17 spread in which each amud is split across three pages, which is the biggest tsuras hadaf possible. For more severely impaired clients, CSB offers any Gemara re-typeset at any size without retaining the tsuras hadaf. These Gemaros are being used by dozens of clients for daf yomi, yeshiva, kollel, and everyday learning.

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  • Sample booklets are sent out to prospective clients who review the many sizes and options available. Once the proper size and format is determined, it’s just a matter of a phone call to receive almost any sefer desired. Typical turn-around from request to shipping is under a week, sometimes the same day.

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  • ScanView System. This technology works with a Tablet PC coupled with software developed by CSB. It enables students with fluctuating low vision to have all of their material scanned in and available in any size. They write their assignments on the tablet PC. This software has dozens of features developed for students of all ages.

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  • TorahView system. CSB TorahView software gives low vision clients access to almost any sefer. The system is designed for easy use by elderly clients and has advanced features for more savvy users.

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  • Workplace and school integration. CSB plays a vital role in the seamless integration of clients into school or workplace. CSB addresses every aspect of the technologies necessary for integration. These include screen magnification, text to speech and speech to text software, electronic Braille systems, paper forms and electronic image conversions, specialty keyboards, mice, trackballs, keyguards, embossers, Braille and audio note takers, and almost always a few pieces of custom written software to fill in the gaps.
 
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