[BCAB] Interesting alternative to handle PDF files for the visually impaired (but not blind) user

Olaf Drümmer olaflist at callassoftware.com
Fri Feb 28 23:04:53 GMT 2014

While I have not been involved in any way in the development pr publication of the VIP PDF Reader I still think it is a very important step in the right direction.

Where users relying on text to speech and/or Braille have free of charge options like NVDA, there was nothing similar for people with some vision left, e.g. many elder people. VIP PDF Reader aims to fill that gap - not more and not less.  It is known that the VIP PDF Reader as such is not accessible in a comprehensive fashion. For example a blind user will not be able to use it in any meaningful fashion. While it could have been implemented to also make it usable for blind users, that was simply not the main goal. Just as nobody blames NVDA for not offering text reflow with enlarged or custom coloured text display.

My understanding is that the people at the Swiss National Association of and for the Blind (SNAB) would have loved to develop the VIP PDF Reader in an even more accessible fashion they wanted to come out with the current version as a first but substantial step. If anybody believes they should work on a second step - they do accept donations.

By the way - one of the better to understand short summaries in English about VIP PDF Reader can be found here:


In general - we should not blame those who do something, especially where results are offered free of charge. Instead we should encourage those that do something to do more of it in the future, and to offer support. And if we were to blame someone - let's rather blame those who do not do anything.


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