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AFB  ®
Technology News for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
From the American Foundation for the Blind
 March 2002 Issue  Volume 3  Number 2

Access News

Mt. Everest Climber to Provide Advice on Freedom Scientific Products

Erik Weihenmayer, best known for being the first blind man to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, was appointed chair of Freedom Scientific's newly created Product Advisory Board; he will also serve as company spokesperson. As chair, Mr. Weihenmayer will meet with the board and company managers three to four times a year to provide feedback on product ideas and suggest enhancements to existing products. Mr. Weihenmayer used a Braille 'n Speak notetaker during the Mt. Everest expedition to provide web updates to those tracking his progress as he ascended the mountain. For more information, contact: Freedom Scientific; phone: 800-444-4443 or 727-803-8000; web site: www.FreedomScientific.com.

Internships for Teens Who Love Technology

The American Foundation for the Blind's (AFB) National Technology Program will begin recruiting in March 2002 for its fourth summer internship program, the 2002 Product Evaluation Laboratory Student Internship Project, which is funded by the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation. High school students with visual impairment are invited to apply for two positions at the AFB Product Evaluation Lab in New York City, two positions at the AFB National Technology Program in Chicago, IL, and two spots at the AFB National Literacy Center, in Atlanta, GA. Applicants must be residents of the city in which the internship will take place. Applications are available. For more information, contact: Mark Uslan, AFB, 11 Penn Plaza, Suite 300, New York, NY 10001; phone: 212-502-7638; e-mail: <muslan@afb.net>; web site: <www.afb.org>.

Cassette Tutorial

The VIP's Introduction to Computers is a three-hour cassette guide designed to help blind or visually impaired people who do not own a computer decide if buying a computer is right for them. The guide costs $20. For more information, contact: John Wilson; phone: 011-44-113-257-5957; e-mail: <jwjw@onetel.net.uk>.

Updated Web Site Accessibility Analysis Tool

Bobby Worldwide, the newest version of the Center for Applied Special Technology's (CAST) web-based web site accessibility analysis tool, is available. A single user copy costs $99, a site license costs $3,000 per server, and a multiple server site license costs $2,000 per server for 10 or more servers; additional pricing options are also available. For more information, contact: CAST; phone: 978-531-8555; e-mail: <cast@cast.org>.

Tired of Folding Your Tens and Twenties?

Note Teller 2 is the newest version of Brytech's bank note reader. The handheld device is designed to speak, in English or Spanish, the denomination of new and old U.S. paper currency. The new version is designed to scan faster, use less energy, to weigh less than previous versions. The cost is $295 plus shipping. Enhanced Note Teller 2 is designed to provide tactile output through vibration of the denomination of new and old U.S. currency; speech is not included. The cost is $325 plus shipping. Owners of previous Note Teller editions may upgrade their old units to recognize the newly designed currency by shipping their old Note Tellers to Brytech for a cost of $85. For more information, contact: Brytech, 600 Peter Morand Crescent, Ottawa, Ontario, K1G 5Z3, Canada; phone: 800-263-4095; fax: 613-731-5812; web site: www.brytech.com.

Magnify This

Scan and View, a new magnifier, was released in February 2002. Scan and View works with a USB flatbed scanner to offer a fixed resolution view of printed or photographed information. Among its features are: color or black-and-white viewing, 24X magnification, image rotation, and large navigation button. The cost is $79.95. For more information, contact: Premier Programming Solutions; phone: 517-668-8188; e-mail: <info@readingandeasy.com>; web site: <www.readingandeasy.com>.

Zoom in on This

In fall 2001, Ai Squared released ZoomText version 7.1, a new version of Ai Squared's magnification and screen reading software. Version 7.1 is designed to support Windows XP, Microsoft's latest operating system, and features CompatibilityOne, support for all Windows operating systems. Level 1, which includes a magnifier, costs $395; Level 2, which includes a screen reader and magnifier, costs $595. ZoomText 8.0 is scheduled to be released in spring 2002. The newest version is designed to offer faster computer access, new magnification technology, narration of program and user activity, comprehensive reading commands, and CompatibilityOne. The pricing is the same for version 8.0. Low-cost upgrades to ZoomText 7.1 and 8.0 will be offered to all registered users; an annual ZoomText subscription plan is offered, which includes all upgrades and maintenance releases during the subscription period. For more information, contact: Ai Squared; phone: 802-362-3612; e-mail: <info@aisquared.com>; web site: <www.aisquared.com>.

Maintain Your IBM Home Page Reader

The 3.02 maintenance update is available for licensed users of IBM Home Page Reader versions 3.0 English, 2.5 English, and 2.0. Among the benefits of the 3.02 update are: expanded operating systems support for Microsoft Windows XP Professional and Consumer, 2000, Millennium, 98, and 98 Second Edition; support for Microsoft Internet Explorer Internet Browser 6.0, 5.5, and 5.0; enhanced speech performance, such as automatic reading of pure text pages, navigation of large Select Menus, and additional page navigation commands; and IBM ViaVoice TTS version 6.02 text-to-speech runtime, including support for US English, UK English, German, French, Finnish, Italian, Portugese, Brazilian, and Spanish. The upgrade is available for free download at www-3.ibm.com/able/hpr3upgrade.html. For more information, contact: IBM Accessibility Center; phone: 512-838-9735.

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