My wife is blind

ErvinM

Hi,

My wife is blind and has expressed an interest in learning/playing chess. Are there any accessible features in www.chess.com to allow blind people to play chess? She has a screen reader called Dolphin Supernova (if that helps). If not, are there any plans to make chess accessible to blind people on www.chess.com? If not, can I suggest that you do?

Also, if www.chess.com cannot help, does anyone know of some free chess software for blind people that I can download? Thank you. Ervin.

Steinar

I'm no expert on this, but I think if she's not a chessplayer already, it's going to be very hard to learn to vizualize the board just like that.

It's probably much better to start out playing games on a physical board. There are special boards for blind people that let you feel the board without knocking pieces over. I remember playing a blind guy, long ago, on such a board at a chess club in Barcelona. There was a small hole on each square and each piece had a small pin that fit those. Occassionally I forgot to announce my moves, and he would just feel the board quickly, determining what move had been made. He beat me.

planeden
Steinar wrote:

I'm no expert on this, but I think if she's not a chessplayer already, it's going to be very hard to learn to vizualize the board just like that.

It's probably much better to start out playing games on a physical board. There are special boards for blind people that let you feel the board without knocking pieces over. I remember playing a blind guy, long ago, on such a board at a chess club in Barcelona. There was a small hole on each square and each piece had a small pin that fit those. Occassionally I forgot to announce my moves, and he would just feel the board quickly, determining what move had been made. He beat me.


that board just sounds cool. 

ErvinM

Thank you for your help so far. I was thinking about buying a board as described and I will check out the web sites mentioned. Cheers!

kco

and let us know how is going .

Lawdoginator

Great question and very helpful responses! 

BigFuzzyOne

Those boards also have raised squares for one color and recessed for the other, I'm not sure which is which color, but it helps players tell exactly where a piece moved to.

ErvinM

I purchased the board and it arrived today. We have started our first game. She is doing OK. I am still on the lookout for software that has an audio component for her. I also have to visit the web-sites mentioned by Richard (thanks Richard - hope you are doing well) I have yet to try www.chess.com and other software with her screen reader. I will keep you posted.

17000mph

Ray Charles used to play chess, and if I'm not mistaken, he held a ranking, and was fairly good. One thing that helped him was that he had sight during his childhood, so it was easier for him to visualize the board, pieces and moves.

WinboardforSpeech

Winboard for JAWS (and now NVDA) has been out for some time now. It shares all of the functions of the new super powered Winboard and XBoard releases under the leadership of H.G. Muller with the approval of Tim Mann, who participates from time to time. Winboard 4.5 for JAWS and NVDA can be operated entirely by keyboard and automatically interfaces with these two screen readers. We seek to add the Window Eyes reader and others. NVDA is a free open source screen reader that has matured and is well spoken of. Input from users of other readers at the Winboard Forum will be most beneficial toward these ends. Within the programs setup file documentation is available including a quick start doc, which is best to get up and playing the installed engines (Fruit, FairyMax and MaxQ for Chinese Chess) or to get to FICS or ICC for a real match with a warm body ;) What follows are links to the download page at the Winboard Forum and then a download page at Sourceforge. Questions and comments are welcomed. Good Chess to you! Dave Acevedo Project Administrator.

http://www.open-aurec.com/wbforum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=51528&start=1

 

http://sourceforge.net/projects/winboard45forja/?source=directory

Vivinski

member Batgirl had a blog about someone who was developing a chess board for blind people. Might want to look that up, maybe it'll be interesting to you.

Edit, wow totally missed this thread is 2 years old.

MrEdCollins

Ervin, did your wife ever learn how to play?

Rammland

Hi All, I'm totally blind myself and I've just registered with chess.com. As yet I can't find a way to play on this site and I was interested to come across this thread. I have tactile chess boards but I'd really like to be able to use this site and the most noticable thing on this thread is the deafening silence from any representative from chess.com itself. Making playing chess accessible should not be dificult, and I'd love to know their thinking on this matter so, chess.com, let's hear your position on including blind people in your community please?

Talk soon, John

BobyPescado

So is it possible to play now?

superchessmachine
BobyPescado wrote:

So is it possible to play now?

probably not

jbolden1517

There is a whole chess federation for people with visual disabilities.  http://www.ibca-info.org/ .  There is a USA branch: http://www.americanblindchess.org/  .  They list blind friendly chess programs.  Blind chess sets are not expensive ($18-45).  

As far as free software I guess: http://www.omninet.net.au/~irhumph/bgchess.htm is worth a shot.  But heck given how much time chess takes why not pay if you find one that's good?  

Tallosar

Speaking of making things more accessible, I’m looking for a good tactile set/board for use in the upcoming IBCA World Championship (sponsorship permitting). Though I normally play on a larger, standard set/board, this event requires all participants to use adapted equipment, so I’m having to acquire some. The thing is, most blind sets are rather small—13 to 15 inches, max—but I’m thinking of finding one closer in size to a standard, regulation board and set. Thanks.

-2018 U.S. Blind Champion