Mermaid Celene (celenehighwater) and I met for an interview about Radegast. My first question for Mermaid was, “Which viewer do you use for Second Life?” She responded, “I use Radegast. It is a text-based viewer that allows the blind to use Second Life.”
My next question for Mermaid was if the program is helping her out. “Without Radegast, I could not use Second Life. It is the only viewer that is text-based for the PC,” she replied, “I have been using it for seven years and I would say that it has given me a nice Second Life experience. I fish, volunteer, participate in gatherings, shop, etc.”
I wanted to know about the wonderful things about Radegast. Mermaid told me, “Radegast is a light-weight client, meaning it doesn't take a lot of processor power to run. It works seemlessly with the user's screen reader. So it makes getting around in-world easier because you aren't having to learn to use anything other than the viewer itself. It reads the objects sighted people usually see with their eyes. As long as they are labeled with labels that tell us what they are, we are able to get a great picture of what is around us. That allows us to interact with objects and people. We dance, we swim, and we can shop for items in-world.”
I wanted to know if Mermaid would recommend Radegast to people, especially people with vision problem. “Oh absolutely! We have a growing community of blind and visually impaired users in Second Life and an active community of sighted SL users committed to helping them live their best Second Life. This includes accessibility awareness, projects, assistance and anything else they need. Virtualability.org is a great resource for the disabled real world community looking to enter Second Life.” replied Mermaid, “Second Life is so much more than a "game." It is a virtual community of educators, social events, non-proffits too. The opportunities are endless, even for the blind and visually impaired user.”
As the interview came to an end, I thanked Mermaid for the interview. I'm glad that there is a program out there that is designed to help people with vision problem when it comes to Second Life.