Oratio BlackBerry Screen Reader App For The Blind And Visually Impaired

As a follow up to our discussion on the CrackBerry podcast. Humanware has released the Oratio screen reader application for the visually impaired and blind. Having worked closely with Research In Motion, Humanware has created Oratio from the ground up in an effort to bring better offerings to the blind and visually impaired in the BlackBerry department.

Oratio allows visually impaired individuals to access core BlackBerry functions:

  • Manage instant messaging, emails, SMS and MMS.
  • Make and receive calls with access to caller ID on incoming calls.
  • Manage contact list.
  • Manage your call log.
  • Schedule appointments and tasks with alarms and reminders.
  • Access to the phone’s settings, ring tones and speed dials. 

The BlackBerry OS got a complete workthrough as well for the amount of options and settings available to users of Oratio. Customizable voice and pitch controls, description verbosity and auto enabling of the application upon startup are just a few changes implemented. Oratio does come at a heavy cost at the moment though a one time fee of $449 is what Humanware is asking, which hopefully can be subsidized. Device support at this time is limited, only AT&T is offering the service and only on devices and higher but that will be expanded in the coming months.