Good Fax Machine for Blind People?

I am blind and plan to purchase a fax machine for personal and business purposes, and to use with the free reading service. Is there a model you recommend that would best serve the unique needs of people who are visually impaired

Ultimately, most people who are blind or low-vision find that learning to use a fax machine is no more difficult than mastering other pieces of office equipment such as photocopiers and multi-function telephones. However, some fax machine models have fewer obstacles than others.
Some fax machines have many buttons that people will rarely, if ever, use. I recommend that you select a model that has only the most important buttons front-and-center, dispensing with the more obscure functions altogether or setting them off to the side or bottom of the console, or under a flip-top.

The HP OfficeJet J4580 is a straight-forward copy/scan/fax combo for home use. It has a flat-bed as well as a 20-sheet auto document feeder and scans hands-free. Only the basic buttons are on the front display, so there is less potential for confusion in that regard. The number keypad has a raised dot on the 5 as a centering function, as do most phones. The main fax/print button is set off by itself and is fairly large at approximately half an inch in width. It costs about $95.

A less costly and more basic fax machine that includes a phone is the about-$45 Brother Fax-575 Plain Paper Fax/Phone/Copier. The numbers are quite large, as is the print/fax button, and the minor function buttons (such as redial) are set up in a fan-like shape so it may be easier to memorize their position. The 5 also has a centering dot. This machine does not have a flat bed, however.

Whichever model you choose, you may find that you wish to customize it to your specific needs. For example, if you expect that you will use the machine’s “copy” function quite often, you may want to mark that button with a Braille label maker, a bit of distinctive tape or with something more tactile such as a dot of Velcro.

Do you have a question about faxing? Send me your fax question.