A couple of months ago, a friend asked for my help, his sight loss had worsened and he could not see enough to play bridge online, the commercial screen readers for webpages don’t work properly on any bridge platform so since the pandemic started he had to give up on the game.
Could I do something about it?
Well I thought I could, I asked a couple of questions online, and the moment I mentioned it was for helping people with a disability I got a lot of good advice from expert programmers, I also tried to enlist my brother to do the record voices and again he gladly joined, the team from RealBridge who had been reluctant to allow anyone to do anything related to their code also changed their mindset and not only allowed me to go on, but also gave me support. It just seems that on this times of need, everyone wants to collaborate when it is for a good cause.
Everything has been rolling pretty well and now I can announce there is a working version that anyone can use for free. The idea behind is pretty simple, the program detects all cards and bids on screen and reads then out loud, some automatically and some upon request from keyboard commands, also the program allows the user to select cards and bids using keyboard.
Basically it allows you to enjoy a game of bridge without using your screen or mouse at all. With some help provided from your partner/assistant via microphone, as they usually also do on real life when partnering together.
Using the program is very simple once installed, but installing it might require help from someone who knows about computers. To help them start I’ve set up a very detailed explanation on this webpage: https://bridgegod.com/accessibility.htm
The program works right now on 2 platforms: RealBridge and Bridgegod.com (mainly used for testing against robots). But it is a work in progress, I plan to add more voices to help differentiate each suit and also want to try to play with stereo to give cards and bids some space allocation, also now that BBO has microphone I might attempt to make it usable there as well. On any case all feedback I can get from people trying it is more than welcome.