Freedom Scientific Thinks You’ll Pay Them $600 For Voiceover Training. Please Prove Them Wrong

Being either no longer content with or increasingly unable to continue conning people out of thousands of dollars in up front costs and upgrade fees for its own overpriced especially by modern day standards screenreading products, Freedom Scientific has pulled out its giant testicles, slammed them down on a hopefully reinforced table and presented the world with its plan to make money off of the Voiceover screenreader, which comes standard and free with the purchase of anything Apple spits out, it should be noted.

Media Contact: Brad Davis
800-444-4443 or 727-803-8000
Freedom Scientific Announces Apple iOS Training Bundle
(St. Petersburg, Florida – March 03, 2016)
Freedom Scientific has released the Apple® iOS Training Bundle, a new training solution specifically designed to teach people with visual impairments how to use VoiceOver® and Apple iOS on devices such as the iPhone® and iPad®.
This solution, provided in DAISY audio format, contains over 10 hours of high-quality one-on-one training on a 2-GB SD card along with a PLEXTALK® portable DAISY book player. All training is performed by certified instructors from Freedom Scientific, the leading worldwide provider of assistive technology products, such as the JAWS® screen reader, for those who are blind or have low vision.
“After the success of the JAWS Training Bundle, we wanted to address another popular customer request, so we created this training bundle for VoiceOver on Apple iOS devices,” said Matt Ater, Vice President of Services. “We designed this training both as a starting place for new VoiceOver users and for those experienced users who want more advanced training.”
Training includes setting up an iPhone, using gestures and Siri®, and important apps including iTunes®, iCloud®, Safari®, Calendar, and the App Store.
“This training will allow people to gain complete control over their iOS devices,” said Jonathan Mosen, the instructor featured in the audio tutorials. “The portable delivery system means customers can learn to use the iPhone or iPad and VoiceOver even when they don’t have access to in-person training.”
The Apple iOS Training Bundle is available for purchase immediately. It costs $599 and ships on a 2-GB SD card along with a PLEXTALK portable DAISY book player. For more information, please visit or call Freedom Scientific at 1-800-444-4443.

My immediate reaction upon hearing this news was “$600?!!!!!!!”, followed closely by “Are you people shitting me right now?”,with a sprinkle of “Get fucked!” hot on its heels. And then I started to get a little sad, because whether I like it or not, these sons of bitches are going to get away with this scam. Why? Simple. They can charge whatever they want for anything they choose, and some agency somewhere is going to pay them for it. A lot of agencies, actually. Things are slowly starting to change, but the prevailing thought even in 2016 when comparable technology exists for lower or no cost is that Freedom Scientific are the JAWS people and since that’s the talking thingie, we must need this so will fund it regardless.

Even by FS standards, this is a seriously egregious money grab. I’m hardly a Voiceover Ninja, but I’m not bad. And when I was learning things and deep in my I want to throw this cocksucking thing off the balcony and forget I ever heard its name phase, not once did I say to myself “boy, if only there were a training program basically as costly as this phone in my hand that could help me learn how to double tap this bitch like a fucking pro.” And you know why I never said that? Because no person of sound mind would ever say that.

Listen, everyone. You do not need to buy this. And you should not buy it, because buying it is only going to encourage them. I’m not entirely sure what the lay of the land is at this exact moment since I did the bulk of my Voiceover learning back in 2012, but I guarantee you that you, like me, can do your own learning for a hell of a lot less than $600. Go and Google the words Voiceover training manual right now and be amazed. The results are filled with links to helpful resources, some of them free, that will almost certainly give you everything you need. And before you find yourself sold on the prospect of the added PLEXTALK, I want you to Google cost of PLEXTALK when you’re done with the Voiceover manuals. You can find various models through various shops, and while it’s hard to get an exact price, I keep seeing numbers in the 3 and 400 dollar range. Or hell, if you really want some Voiceover practice, make it your mission to find your way to the App Store and search for a DAISY app. That’ll force you to flick, tap, type, probably edit a little because typing is really goddamn hard at first and target places on the screen to find the right information.

When it came to figuring out Voiceover, I always found that the best lessons were the ones that had me accomplishing a goal, and all they ever set me back were those tiny little app fees. And when I say tiny, I mean orders of magnitude tinier than $600. And when I got stuck, I’d ask a friend. You’ll be amazed how many people have iPhones and are willing to help if you ask. And unless they have shares in FS, all of those people are going to tell you exactly what I’m telling you right now. Learning Voiceover is going to take time, but there’s no way in hell that it needs to take $600 out of your pocket in the process.

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    1. I wondered about that too. How is it one-on-one training when they’re just sending you a semi-modern equivalent of those old training tapes you used to get with JAWS? If this were really one-on-one training, they’d have somebody calling me, Skyping me or coming to my house. This is really no different than listening to one of the zillion podcasts floating around out there that covers this exact thing, other than it costing more, of course.

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