[BCAB] Apple Macs.

David Griffith d.griffith at btinternet.com
Wed May 7 14:33:38 BST 2014

Like everything it depends on what you do.
In general  Macs have  very good systems for blind people as accessibility
is in theory built into the operating system, but there are glitches. The
current iBooks implementation  is an example of where things have not gone
well. However glitches will be present even on Windows with Jaws.

Support for Office applications is fine at the basic word processing level
but if you need spreadsheet or database functionality your learning curve
will be more considerable. Also support for more advanced word processing
functions is still developing rather than complete on the Mac. There may be
light at the end of the tunnel as Microsoft are apparently to do a complete
rewrite of Mac Office, starting from scratch this time in the native Mac
coding environment, I think this is called Co Co. In theory at least the
inbuilt accessibility features of the Mac OS should then be available to
Voiceover users,  so at that time, Microsoft Office should finally become
fully accessible to Voiceover users on the Mac platform. If and when that
happens this may finally signal for me the decision to go full time the Mac
route and leave Windows behind.

Other things to consider is that the support for third party devices is much
more limited on the Mac, I have scanners which the Mac cannot connect to,
even with the third party utilities like Vue Scan, and also the amount of
Freeware software and utilities is more limited on the Mac platform. For
example I have not been able to source a free bulk rename  utility on the
Mac which is anywhere nears as powerful as the free Bulk Rename utility, and
you will have to pay for things like tag editors though you can do quite a
lot for free in itunes.
What the Mac does offer with it dual boot, or Virtual Machine options with
VM Fusion is the opportunity to have the best of both worlds with the
ability to run Windows when necessary anyway. It is quite an expensive way
of running Windows though and you would need to be clear what expense  is
involved. You would need to buy Windows plus licences for your office
applications etc. plus VMware Fusion at about £60 if you wanted to go this

I cannot comment on Duxbury as I do not  use it but there are several
braille users on the MacAccess list.

David Griffith

-----Original Message-----
From: Bcab [mailto:bcab-bounces at lists.bcab.org.uk] On Behalf Of Sandra
Sent: 07 May 2014 13:42
To: BCAB Discussion List
Subject: [BCAB] Apple Macs.

Hi all,

Sorry to be a pain again but have any of you used or got an apple Mac
laptop?  How accessible are they for totally blind people and does the
Duxbury system work with the Mac pro?  I know there is probably a Mac news
group- but I thought this also would be a good place to ask my question with
it being a computer question.

Thanks.  I am still busily reading through all your comments and I must
admit you people are being very helpful.

I haven't quite decided what  I am going to do as yet.  All I know is that
at some point I have to make a decision.

Thank you everyone.
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