August 4, 2008 4:09 pm

For sight-impaired or blind students, surfing the Web or jotting down notes from a blackboard requires the assistance of a learning aide, which can be both costly and inconvenient. InventHelp’s Invention Girl knows how hard physics class was even with sight, so I’m thrilled to see new tech inventions that help the blind community without sending them to the poor house.

A new invention made headlines recently because it can record and synchronize everything a student hears and writes. Check out our InventHelp Invention & Technology News site for more information on the Pulse SmartPen, which debuts in stores this month.

Next, there’s the exciting debut of WebAnywhere, a free web-based service that converts web-page text into electronic speech. While this technology already exists, the price tag (free!) and universal availability make it perfect for blind students who study at the library or in Internet cafes.

WebAnywhere works by processing text on an external server before sending it back to the user’s computer. Normally, screen readers require software to be downloaded before text can be converted to speech, which isn’t always an option on public computers.

By opening up the web for everyone, these new inventions create more opportunities for blind students both in education and in eventual career choices. In this InventHelp employee’s opinion, anything that breaks down barriers and levels the playing field for blind students is an advancement to be welcomed with open arms. Hey, they don’t call it the “World” Wide Web for nothing!

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