Oratio BlackBerry Screen Reader App For The Blind And Visually Impaired

Oratio BlackBerry Screen Reader App For The Blind And Visually Impaired
By Bla1ze on 12 Feb 2010 11:02 am EST

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.

Reader comments

Oratio BlackBerry Screen Reader App For The Blind And Visually Impaired


That is a pretty steep price, but I think it's really cool that they've created something that can help the visually impaired and blind enjoy the BlackBerry world as well. Hopefully some carriers might offer this at a subsidized rate, like the article says.

I am visually impaired and actually chose my Blackberry 8330 because BB's rock and have amazing font size adjustment capabilities which suit my needs! As my vision loss continues to worsen over time (no pity!) I am thrilled to see this type of app available (even though it's still limited) I believe that accomodations now will soon become mainstream and help everyone.

I can't wait to experience this new app first hand.

Let us know when you do. Would love to see a followup review by someone firsthand who's really put it through the paces and benefits from its functionality.

Great follow up there Bla1ze... It's good to see these kind of innovations, pretty neat. But i think it's too expensive. Should definitely be subsidized, hopefully that can come soon... Very cool app i must say again.

Upate t Oratio app
I ent out and spent the cash for this app because I am visually impaired and it sounded great. Let me tell you it is a complete waste of $$$. I should have known something was up when Humanware would not offer a demo of the app. I installed it on the recommended phone 8320 from ATT and Tour 9650. The app would constantly crash and u would a full reboot to recover. Any audio playback wouldcause Oratio to stop speaking, even notifications would cause the app to stop functioning properly. I called their Tech Support and they said it was a "major bug" they were working on and that they would ge to it after the Android screen reader project. Humanware id not develop the app, Code Factory did. I called a few months later to complain again and they told me that no new updats wll be rleased and that Oratio is ded but their site cntinues to sell produt. The fact that RIM would allow such a grss injustice to happen is disgusting. RIM should do what Apple has done which is to make their phone and its ntive apps accessible to all users. The majority of vall impaired users I know have moved from BB to iPhone for this reason. Just another segment of the population that RIM has ignored. I am holding that RIM will come through but doubt they will like with so many other things RIM has failed to do