Blind World Magazine

Download Thunder for Free.

The Fred's Head Companion.
Friday, July 14, 2006.

For many years, blind and visually impaired computer users have struggled with the cost of a screen reader. As helpful as computers are, they are useless to a blind person without a screen reader, but the average price can run around $1,000. Solutions to this problem are now being developed and you can help!

Thunder is the name given to a freeware screen reader that is available for download at

The inspiration for came from two blind people in Peterborough UK and Sensory Software Ltd in Manchester. "We see the talking computer as the gateway to literacy, learning, work and financial independence for blind people and our mission is to make the blind-friendly talking software available worldwide".

Thunder won't speak everything in Windows, it works well with Microsoft Word, Outlook Express and Windows Explorer. You must install and use WebbIE, a free internet browser for people who are blind or visually impaired to enjoy the Internet. It runs on Windows 2000, XP and Vista.


Thunder is free for personal home use, not for organisations. If is to survive and flourish, it needs grassroots partners who will promote its use, encourage training and support for local users and contribute in cash or kindness toward ongoing development costs.

Click this link to download the Thunder screen reader from visit

Michael Curran is also writing a free, open-source screen reader for windows. The current version is primitive but Michael wants input and programming assistance, It is being written in the Python language.

Click this link to visit the Nonvisual Desktop Access (NVDA) website:

End of article.

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