ARRL

Access to Amateur Radio for the Disabled

Introduction

Accessibility to ham radio is largely hit and miss--excellent products come and go.  Even when good products are available, it may be necessary to modify existing equipment.

Articles for the Sight Impaired

  • Meet the Swailer!
    QST January 1986, pp. 37-39
    A simple device that enables sight impaired hams to "read" an SWR meter by adjusting the transmitter/antenna tuner controls while comparing the pitch of two consecutive audio tones until they are as close as possible.
  • Amateur Radio and the Blind -- Part 1
    QST October 1987, pp. 27-31
    Feedback -- QST January 1988, p. 49
    What difficulties does a blind person encounter with Amateur Radio? What advantages and opportunities does Amateur radio offer the blind? In this series, we'll discuss subjects you may have thought of only occasionally, but you're certain to find interesting and informative.
  • Amateur Radio and the Blind -- Part 2
    QST November 1987, pp. 29-32
    Computers, speech synthesizers, software and modems -- what's involved in making them work together? Let's begin the learning process.
  • Amateur Radio and the Blind -- Part 3
    QST December 1987, pp. 28-31
    In this installment we'll ready the computer to talk to the modem. Then, we'll look at modems and some terminals software, too.
  • Amateur Radio and the Blind -- Part 4
    QST January 1988, pp. 38-40
    We'll wrap up this series with a few more comments about modems and general operating procedures. I've included a few operating tricks, too.
  • The Squawker: A Light Detector
    QST July 1987, pp. 35-37
    Technical Correspondence, QST December 1987, p.44: Squawker Checks Coax
    This simple device is an aid for a blind amateur. Sighted amateurs, however, are sure to find at least one of the applications mentioned here suited to their purpose.
  • A Talking Wattmeter
    QST July 1988, pp. 15-20
    Listen! Your wattmeter's talking to you -- if you've got the Orator hooked up to it, that is!
  • The "Beeper": An Audible Frequency Readout for the Blind Amateur (1,698,652 bytes, PDF file)
    QST September 1983, pp. 19-24
    Feedback, QST January 1984, p, 49
    A BCD-output frequency counter, a decoder and an oscillator produce a tone to tell you when your transceiver is tuned to a predetermined frequency.
  • The SHARC Audible Current Meter
    QST April 1979, pp. 22-27
    When Raymond Andrews, K0LZR, president of the Sand Hills ARC, suggested that club members design a special radio aid for blind amateurs, he got results.
  • An Audio Tone-Shift Power/SWR Meter
    QST September 1979, pp. 28-29
    Adjusting a pi network or an antenna-matching system requires visually handicapped amateurs to have a "third hand." This modified SWR indicator is an answer to that need.
  • A Morse Readout for Your Digital Dial
    QST November 1979, pp. 33-37
    Modern instrumentation has introduced new problems for the visually handicapped. What to do about dials, frequency counters or multimeters that have digital readouts? For sightless radio amateurs, William H Alliston, W3ICB offers this practical solution.
  • A Relative-Indication Audible Meter Reader
    QST March 1997, pp. 36-39
    This simple circuit allows blind - and sighted - hams to identify meter readings audibly.
  • FREQ-Mite-A Programmable Morse Code Frequency Readout
    QST December 1998, pp. 34-36
    This simple, one-evening project delivers a rig's frequency with dots and dashes.

Articles for Hams with other Disabilities

Gary Gordon K6KV describes hands free CW operating with Build a Puff-and-Sip Key.

Web Links

  • Courage Center's HANDI-HAM System
    Technology for people with physical disabilities - Amateur Radio - Shortwave Listening - Computing - Ham Radio Education -- Camps
  • Oscilloscope for the Blind
    The vOICe Learning Edition can be used in combination with a regular oscilloscope, allowing blind users to hear any oscilloscope trace.

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