Public access to accessible communications/technology

I hope this is OK to ask here. Would anyone be interested in, and or willing to, share what they think would be beneficial to have public access to as far as communications technology?

I am the program coordinator for a public computer lab in a small town in central Pennsylvania. I realized that we don't have any computer terminals dedicated to those with accessibility needs (vision, hearing, mobility, etc.). I would like to establish at least one of our machines as accessibility-focused, with appropriate software. What programs are available, what programs have you used that you would recommend, what programs would you recommend avoiding?

Thank you for any light you can shed on this for me - I, and my community, are grateful.


Well-Known Member
I was going to suggest Video Relay Services until I realized you said computer labs.

At least for vision, allow the user to be able to adjust font sizes and/or color theme (maybe only a way to toggle high contrast and the normal desktop theme- you don't want a zillion themes lol). There might be some apps for magnifying the screen (ZoomText and Jaws are both licensed software but am sure there are some free ones - including the one bundled with Windows)

Hearing... can't think of any- the issues are more with the websites etc on the internet anyway (captions on videos).
Is a Video Relay Service something that is difficult to find access to outside of larger cities? Would it be helpful if one were made available (granted, on a limited basis due to our hours) in a smaller town?

Great feedback on the contrast and themes. I'm definitely looking into magnification programs.

Ah, yes - understandable on the captioning and website issues. :( Thank you so much for your feedback - this is very helpful!


Well-Known Member
It may help if one were made available in smaller towns (similar to say computers and printer usage in the public library) as smaller towns/rural areas sometimes don't have good high speed internet. I don't know how much usage it may get if it's a standalone- like the Z70. Hmm never thought of that... if the VRS PC software could be set up as "one way" only- outgoing calls only. But as mentioned, you'd have to ask any of the VRS providers about that.


Well-Known Member
ZVRS/Purple, Sorenson and Convo all have PC or Mac apps that you can download. There's a 4th one but I can't remember the name.

All 3 are good though I tend to use ZVRS. Z/P and Sorenson have standalone devices while Convo doesn't.

Good luck :)

Communication Software for Deaf Hard of Hearing - NexTalk