The VON Coalition

man at computer screen using ASLCool Tools - Find your own voice!

Innovative and often free Internet enabled voices services. They aren’t a telephone replacement – but often something entirely different. They are examples of what happens when MacGyver meets VoIP. For 100 years we have answered our phones, now they can answer to us.


Innovations in Assistive Technologies

VoIP and disability access 

See how VoIP is Connecting people with disabilities to new opportunities.

How a blind adventurer is using Skype as his “eyes.” Watch Ed Gallagher.

How the Washington School for the Deaf is taking advantage of VoIP.

How the National Federation of the Blind is benefitting from VoIP.



  This news segment "Blind Ambition", features Skype user Ed Gallagher who is blind but uses a Skype enabled webcam to allow him to dail, ride bike, a shop. Ed set sail on an un-chartered course to create a remote guiding system designed specifically for the blind. A webcam mounted on Eds forehead is used over the Internet with free VoIP software Skype. Its an an inspiring example of how VoIP applications are enabling people to do things never before possible.  

NFB Logo and tagline - Voice of the Nation's Blind

National Federation of the Blind Newsline makes news available anytime anywhere to those who can’t read print.  With over 50,000 subscribers, NFB’s offers a free newsline using a VoIP phone service to enable voice access to over 150 newspapers and magazines.   It provides free 24/7 newspaper reading line for major newspapers like the New York Times, USA Today and many others. This also enables those who cannot read conventional print to have access to all content offered on NFB-NEWSLINE® when traveling throughout the United States twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. It uses voice synthesis to allow users to change voice speed, spell out, or search for words.  It also includes TV listings.

Hear a demo.



Hear what people are saying. Create and listen to free audiobooks and podcasts. Start your own audiobook project, or help out with somebody else's. All you need is a phone to do the recording.



Listen to the Wizard of Oz here: 



Send e-mails by voice.  Jott converts your voice into emails, text messages, reminders, lists and appointments. Talk to Jott : call  (866) JOTT-123/(866) 568-8123.  And with Jott links, users can call Jott and leave voice-to-text messages to a variety of social networking applications from twitter, to Yahoo! groups, blogger.


SpinVox logo

So you can always speak freely. SpinVox captures spoken messages and cleverly converts them into text. It then delivers your message to a destination of your choice – e-mail inbox, blog, social network, or personal memo. Giving you the power to Speak Freely.

See: How it works

CallTTY 2.0

Give your computer TTY/TDD access.   Add TTY/TDD (Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf) capabilities to your computer’s VoIP program via a sound card, without the need for a TTY modem.  CallTTY enables TTY capability to any VoIP application on your computer that connects with the phone network. For example, CallTTY can be used to communicate with phone TTY devices via SkypeOut (for outgoing calls) or SkypeIn (for incoming calls) Internet-phone service without any additional hardware.

[Screenshot of CallTTY]



E-mail by voice. EarthLink's Email by Phone services will support those with impaired motor coordination, the blind or those with a general inability to use mobile web devices. Keypad interfaces are replaced with simple voice commands and the visual display is replaced with text-to-voice translation which reads the information to the user from any telephone connection without requiring any additional hardware. Users can listen to, save, delete, forward, and compose messages with voice or keypad.


Speaker logo

Text to Speech to VoIP.  A new Text-To-VoIP Plug-In for MorphVOX Pro allows you to speak over the Internet or soft-phone using customizable text-to-speech voices. Essentially it lets you type phrases/words, it converts the text-to-speech, and then plays it over your PC's VoIP connection. This plug-in allows you to type text messages to your friends over voice clients such as Ventrilo, MSN, Skype, softphones, World of Warcraft Voice Chat, Counter-Strike and other VoIP-enabled games. The plug-in is helpful for people who cannot speak with their own voice or who would like a text alternative to communicating with voice.

text-to-voip screen shot

CallWave logo 

Voicemail to text.  Read your voicemail.  Save time and save your messages. CallWave Voicemail-To-Text gives you total control over the way you receive, respond to, and save your mobile voicemail messages.   And CallWave works with any phone, on any network, on any computer, anywhere in the world.


Mobivox logo

Call friends and family around the world merely by saying their names.  Mobivox provides a local access number.  When called, Voxgirl recognizes your number and asks who you want to call.  Just say the name of the person you want to call.  You can call landline phones, mobile phones, or Skype users. You can also add a call me button to your e-mail and keep your phone number private.  You can also send e-mail or SMS with your voice.  Mobivox turns your voice into text, just say “send email.”


Vocera Communications logo

One button communication.  Vocera – which is becoming commonplace in hospitals – is a wifi enabled VoIP device that allows people with physical disabilities to press one-button, say a name, and be connected – much like a Star Trek communicator.  There's no need to remember phone numbers. Simply say the name, title, or function of the person you need to reach and Vocera connects you instantly to the people and information you need.

Vocera handset

Learnit lists logo


Learn a new language.  You can now use a VoIP application to learn a foreign language. There are now more than 20 language pairs offered by learitlists.

VoIP wake up call app

A wake-up-call service that leverages the SIP standard to allow you to schedule wake-up-calls. The software app called “Wake up Easy VoIP Service” simply registers as a SIP extension to your existing SIP-based IP-PBX, waits for inbound extension calls, plays a prompt, you enter your wake-up time, and voila', the system will call you at the designated time.


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