KNFB Reader App for Individuals with Visual Impairments and Learning Disabilities

KNFB Reader icon

KNFB Reader app

Any of you remember the KNFB Reader used on cell phones about 8-10 years ago? Well that type of functionality using a smart phone is back, better than ever for the iPhone. Used by individuals with blindness,  learning or visual impairments, the KNFB reader was a quick, mobile access to print on the fly. And now it is back with updated technology and accessibility option of  iOS.

KNFB Reader app (iPhone/iPad; 99.), developed by Sensotec NV and KNFB Reader Technology, converts images to text with text to speech capabilities, voiceover access and voice for individuals with low vision, blindness or learning disabilities. The interface is simple and easy to use –  point and shoot controls and  verbal guidance available for individuals that have visual challenges.

KNFB Reader picWhat’s in it for the cost?

  • Options to scanning single or multiple columns
  • View finder for live view of field being scanned
  • Tilt guidance to assist the user with aligning the camera to the document
  • Automated text detection
  • Ability to capture a variety of print sources  (mail, receipts, handouts, memos and documents)
  • Synchronized highlighting with text to speech and Braille Access
  • Text navigation by character, word, line, sentence
  • Import images and documents
  • Export txt and html formatted text files to cloud storage services including Dropbox and Google Drive
  • Batch scan mode to process and read multiple pages
  • Recognize and read text in multiple languages; please visit our website for details
  • Tap and read function using standard touch or voiceover gestures

KNFB Reader pic2

My Experience

The app was generously provided  as a demo for evaluation purposes. I had the opportunity to trial the app with standard print from magazine sources as well as functionally with multiple print menus gathered from a fast food chain restaurant. Putting the app to the test, the print sources had multiple colored backgrounds, images on the pages and also had the deadly itsy bitsy print of about 8-9 point with serif font (not a popular font size for 50 something year olds, much less individuals with low vision!!).  The results of the gathered images of the print sources resulted in good accuracy of images converted to text. Taken upside down or right side up the images were converted to accessible text that was able to be understood.

One of the tests used part of an article from a professional magazine with 9 point font.  Accuracy of the 373 words recognized in the scanned part of the article  resulted in 99% accuracy. The small, dense print was accurately recognized and read aloud using text to speech and a quality voice. Testing using fast food menus with tiny and dense print and Word Art (that is always tough to recognize) managed the important information (do they have cheesy fries ?) as well as subscript print. It was quite impressive and a very functional addition to your app collection if you need speech output access to print on the fly.

A Quick Start Guide and the User Manual is easily available in the saved documents of the app providing text to speech to support the apps use.  As a sighted person, this is an easy to use app with great recognition. Options of using voice over controls on an iPhone or iPad makes this a great option for individuals with visual challenges .

For more information visit or contact Adaptive Technology Resources or check out KNFB website.

Have you tried this app?



About Carol Leynse Harpold, MS, OTR/L, SCLV, ATP, CATIS

OTR/L with more than 35 years experience in pediatrics, school based therapy and adult rehabilitation. Masters of Science in Adaptive Education/Assistive Technology with 20 years experience in AT in education of elementary, middle school, secondary, post secondary students and work environments for adult clients. A RESNA Assistive Technology Practitioner with ACVREP CATIS credentials, AOTA Specialty Certification in Low Vision, USC Davis Executive Certificate in Home Modifications, servicing adults and students with disabilities in employment, education, and home environments. A 2020 graduate of the University of Alabama Birmingham Low Vision Certification Program.
This entry was posted in Activities of Daily Living, App Reviews, Assistive Technology, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Learning Disability, Low Vision/ Blindness, OCR, Text to Speech, Vision. Bookmark the permalink.

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