Rom McCallum’s speech on blind technology examines the innovations made in the past century to help visually impaired people read, while looking ahead to meet existing challenges. The professor and advocate for blind people states there are 37 million blind people in the world, and these technologies are particularly helpful to those in the developed world. He speaks to his experience growing up sixty years ago with a burning desire to read and the advances that allowed him to do so with growing ease as the decades passed.
While today there are programs available on most computers and even iPhones that use scanners and voice overs to help blind people read books and websites alike, many websites don’t work. This is due to the visual nature of many sites and a lack of standardization. In his speech on blind technology, McCallum expresses his desire for the blind to have a level playing field.
There are also legal issues surrounding copyright that prevents books from being reproduced into braille being brought across borders. A consortium is to take place to address this, which McCallum is excited about.