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Scanners and Optical Character Recognition Software (OCR)

Basic Facts about Optical Scanners and OCR Software

The purpose of optical scanners and optical character recognition (OCR) software is to make print materials accessible using synthesized speech.  The OCR software takes a picture of text that is on a print page, coverts it to computer text, than displays it on a screen.  The is done by the optical scanner.  Some optical scanners and OCR software used by persons who are blind or severely visually impaired include software that will read the document using a speech synthesizer.

Some OCR packages are stand-alone.  They are often called reading machines. These machines do not require a computer to work.  A scanner may be connected via a cable or be part of the main reading machine that will store the data, process the data,  and provide the speech output.   A user operates the machine using a keypad or keyboard.  Today many public libraries have at least one such reading machine for library customers who are blind or visually impaired.  Persons with learning disabilities can also benefit from such reading machines.

Optical Scanners and OCR Software Product Information

Optical Scanners and OCR Software products include: