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Technology News for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
From the American Foundation for the Blind
 July 2002 Issue  Volume 3  Number 4

Access World News

Want to Be a Trainer?

Lighthouse International developed a new program to teach others how to use assistive technology, develop strategies for teaching people with visual impairments, and set clear training objectives and goals. The Lighthouse International Assistive Technology Instructor Training Program is for users of adaptive technology who are unemployed or underemployed, computer technology instructors, and teachers of people who are visually impaired. The 10-week program, which is open to up to six participants per session, includes four eight-hour classes a week and independent lab work. After formal instruction is completed, participants will complete a six- week internship. One-week follow-up institutes will be held periodically to update program alumni on latest technological developments and refresh their skills. Program graduates will possess the competencies to provide services as either an independent consultant or through an agency. The program costs $6,300. For more information, contact: Glenda Such, director of computer training programs, Lighthouse International; phone: 212-821-9337; e-mail: <gsuch@lighthouse.org>.

Read All About It!

Two books were recently published on workplace accommodations for people with visual impairments. A Practical Guide to Accommodating People with Visual Impairments in the Workplace was recently published by the Computer Center for Visually Impaired People at Baruch College, City University of New York. The book is intended to serve as a reference for employers who are considering hiring employees with visual impairments, and offers information on reasonable accommodations, low-tech devices, assistive technology, and sources of information. The book is available in print or disk for a cost of $11.95. For more information, contact: Computer Center for Visually Impaired People, Baruch College, City University of New York; phone: 800-490-6609 or 212-802-2140.

Accessible Technology in Today's Business: Case Studies for Success was recently published by Microsoft Press in conjunction with Microsoft's Accessible Technology Group. The book is intended to encourage businesses to utilize assistive technology to provide people with disabilities the tools they need to work. The book includes a discussion of the business value of providing accessible technology; information about current assistive technology products; and case studies that showcase solutions implemented in healthcare, retail, manufacturing, government, and financial organizations. The 256-page book was written by Gary Moulton, LaDeana Huyler, Janice Hertz, and Mark Levenson. Available in print, with accompanying CD-ROM, the cost is $34.99. For more information, contact: Microsoft Press; web site: <www.microsoft.com/MSPress/books/5588.asp>.

How to Construct Accessible Web Sites

Constructing Accessible Web Sites, by Jim Thatcher, Cynthia Waddell, Shawn Henry, Sarah Swierenga, Mark Urban, Michael Burks, Bob Regan, Paul Bohman was published in April 2002. The book was written for web professionals who would like to learn how to create and retrofit accessible web sites. It includes discussion of the technologies and techniques that are used to access web sites, and the legal stipulations and precedents that exist in the U.S. and around the world. This practical book includes step-by-step examples that are supported by a Section 508 checklist. The 400-page book is published by Glasshaus and costs $49.99. For more information, contact: Jim Thatcher, Accessibility Consulting; phone: 512-306-0931; e-mail: <jim@jimthatcher.com>; web site: <www.amazon.com>.

Listen and Learn

Verbal View of Windows XP, by Peter Duran, is a tutorial of the Microsoft Windows XP operating system that is designed for beginner and intermediate computer users with visual impairments. The tutorial has 37 chapters and is offered in print, braille, PC-formatted Word or text files via e-mail, and on tone-indexed two-track audio cassettes. The costs are: $120, braille; $55, e-mail; and $95, cassette. For more information, contact: BRL Inc.; phone: 877-993-4994 or 770-716-9222; e-mail: <comments@wyfiwyg.com>; web site: <www.wyfiwyg.com>.

Online Technology Mall

In May 2002, Serotek launched an online shopping mall service for the Freedom Box Network, an Internet portal that provides content and services specifically for the disabled community. The new addition to the site is designed to enable subscribers to shop by voice command. The Freedom Box Network is an online subscriber service available to owners of the Freedom Box, which offers browsing software, speech-recognition and audio technology designed to allow users to access and navigate e-mail and the Internet by using voice commands. In addition to the online shopping mall, the services offered by the Freedom Box Network include e-mail, news and information services, employment searches, entertainment, browsers, and Internet-hosting services. In the future, Serotek plans to offer document scanning, Internet chat, online banking, and an online movie channel featuring films with narrative description on the Freedom Box Network. The cost for Freedom Box and access to its network costs $999-$1,499. For more information, contact: Serotek; phone: 877-661-3785; web site: <www.freedombox.info>.

Accessible Games

"Alien Outback" is the newest arcade-style computer game from ESP Softworks designed to be accessible to people who are visually impaired. Released mid-June 2002, the game's hero is Busha Bob, an Australian man enjoying the finer things in life, when the outback is invaded by aliens. The game features include over 20 levels, sound effects, and real-time score reporting. The cost for the CD-ROM game is $29.95. For more information, contact: ESP Softworks; web site: <www.espsoftworks.com>; e-mail: <sales@espsoftworks.com>.

On the Move

Pulse Data/HumanWare has moved. The new contact information is: Pulse Data/HumanWare, 175 Mason Circle; Concord, CA 94520; phone: 800-722-3393; web site: <www.humanware.com>.

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