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Technology News for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
From the American Foundation for the Blind
 May 2002 Issue  Volume 3  Number 3

Access World News

Learn Something This Summer

The Center on Disabilities at California State University,Northridge (CSUN) is pleased to announce five, one-week Assistive Technology Applications Certificate Program (ATACP) workshops for the summer of 2002. The program involves 52 hours of online instruction, 40 hours of live instruction, and an eight-hour certificate project. This multi-venue configuration meets the 100-hour requirement for a Certificate in Assistive Technology. ATACP 2002 is being offered June-August 2002 at various locations in the United States. Applications are available from CSUN's College of Extended Learning and the Center on Disabilities. For more information, contact: Kirk Behnke, Center on Disabilities, CSUN; phone: 818-677-2578; e-mail: <kirk.behnke@csun.edu>; web site: <www.csun.edu/codtraining>.

Touch the Stars

BrailleStar 40, the newest braille display by HumanWare began shipping in March 2002. $5,595 will buy you a refreshable braille terminal that is designed to offer real-time, online access via a PC. The battery-operated BrailleStar is also designed to offer portable information management through a "scratchpad" that operates whether connected or disconnected from the host PC. The scratchpad allows users to take notes and stores up to 4,000 pages of downloaded text, which can also be read, edited, and resaved on the scratchpad function. The BrailleStar's other features include: USB and serial ports, lightweight design, and a backpack or shoulder bag. For more information, contact: HumanWare, Pulse Data International, 6245 King Road, Loomis, CA 95650; phone: 800-722-3393; fax: 916-652-7296; e-mail: <info@humanware.com>.

You Heard?

Talking ATMs have finally arrived in New Jersey. The machines have been popping up all over the United States, in the south, midwest, and west coast. In winter 2002, First Union Bank and Fleet Boston Financial announced the availability of more than 40 talking ATMs at branches in New Jersey. For more information, contact: First Union; phone: 800-ASK-FUNB (275-3862). Fleet Boston Financial; phone: 617-346-4000.

Free Résumé Software Demo

TECSO offers a free download demo of its résumé-creation software. Résumé Workshop is designed to help visually impaired people with varying levels of computer experience generate professional-quality résumés and cover letters. The program features built-in text-to-speech narration, interactive CD-ROM, sample résumés, pre-formatted résumé output styles, and automated print and export functions. The cost is $29.95. For more information, contact: TECSO; phone: 866-590-4218 or 514-590-4218; e-mail: <info@tecso.com>; web site: <www.tecso.com>.

Braille, Anyone?

Duxbury Systems recently announced its plans to release Duxbury Braille Translator (DBT) WIN 10.4 and the current release of MegaDots 2.2 on CD-ROM.

DBT WIN 10.4 is a multi-platform, multi-language braille translator. The new features of version 10.4 include: a braille Table of Contents generator; Braille Authority of North America (BANA) textbook translation table; a Swift feature, which is designed to translate and emboss straight from MS Word; and support for MacroExpress.

MegaDots 2.2, the newest version of Duxbury's DOS braille translator for volume transcribers and producers, is available on CD-ROM for the first time.

The new features include: compatibility with all versions of Windows and the capacity to import eBook, Daisy/NISO, XML, HTML, and SGML files; an improved installer; and new JAWS script files. MegaMath and BeginnerBraille, two software programs, are offered as add-ons to MegaDots in the MegaDots-Complete package. MegaMath provides tools for creating Nemeth Code material and Beginner Braille allows the user to choose which grade 2- braille contractions to use in translations for students. A single-user license for MegaDots 2.2 costs $595; MegaDots-Complete costs $895. For more information, contact: Duxbury Systems; phone: 978-692-3000; e-mail: <info@duxsys.com>; web site: <www.DuxburySystems.com>.

Free Nemeth Tutorial

Freedom Scientific offers a free program of 18 self-study lessons designed to help people learn Nemeth Code, the standard braille code for mathematics and science notation in North America. The program is designed to combine speech and braille code and operates with the Braille Lite 40, 2000, M20, and M40 only. The program is offered for free download at: <www.freedomscientific.com/fs_nemeth/>. For more information, contact: Freedom Scientific, Blind/Low Vision Group; phone: 800-444-4443 or 727-803-8000.

Free Toolbox for Mathematical Data Analysis Software

Smith-Kettlewell Display Tools (SKDtools) version 1.0 is free accessible toolbox software for Matlab, mathematical data analysis and statistical results representation software, which provides engineers and scientists with a way to inspect graphical data sets and graphics. Version 1.0 of SKDtools is available for free download at <www.ski.org/skdtools>. For more information, contact: Joshua A. Miele; phone: 415-345-2113; e-mail: <jam@socrates.berkeley.edu>; or Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center; web site: <www.ski.org>.

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. Bobby Worldwide offers new analysis and end-of-use features that help web masters analyze their sites using Section 508 and Web Access Initiative's (WAI) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Among the improvements to Bobby, the new version is designed to: test an increased number of pages in a single session; analyze pages according to WAI Conformance levels A, AA, or AAA; provide more user-friendly analysis reports; and test pages that use Secure Socket Layers. Bobby Worldwide is available as an online server or for download from <www.cast.org/.bobby>. A single-user copy costs $99, a site licence 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>.

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