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AFB  ®
Technology News for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
From the American Foundation for the Blind
 November 2001 Issue  Volume 2  Number 6

News

Games for the Holidays

Just in time for the holidays, the following is a compilation of some new computer games of interest to people who are visually impaired.

Bavisoft offers Grizzly Gulch Western Extravaganza, a virtual world created from sound imagery. Bavisoft is in the final production stages for a Halloween-theme game and asports game package, which is scheduled to be to released before the end of 2001. Contact: Bavisoft; Web site: www.bavisoft.com.

CrissCross Technologies offers CCT Solitaire, a speech-friendly version of the traditional solitaire card game. Download a free copy at www.crisscrosstech.com.

ESP Softworks just released a pinball game that features six different theme tables and ambient sound effects for a cost of $25.95. An arcade-style game Monkey Business costs $29.95. Contact: ESP Softworks; web site: www.espsoftworks.com.

Independent Living Aids (ILA) offers two video games: Little Red Riding Hood and Automobile Driving Simulator Game/Software Kit. Contact: Independent Living Aids; phone: 800-537-2118 or 516-752-8080; web site: www.independentliving.com.

MindsEye2 has an educational computer game, Crossword Fun for Kids, for blind children aged 5-12. The $35 game features 70 puzzles. Flies By Night is a $15 action game. Contact: MindsEye2; web site: www.mindseye2.bigstep.com.

GMA Games offers Shades of Doom Version 1.0, Lone Wolf Version 3.0.2, and Trek 2000 Version 5.0. Contact: web site: www.GMAGames.com.

Accessible Games offers three types of games: Accessible Internet Games, Accessible Games SV (self-voicing), and Accessible Games, as reported in the September 2001 issue of AccessWorld. Contact: Accessible Games; web site: www.gamesfortheblind.com.

Jim Kitchen offers free downloads of speech-friendly DOS and Windows games at: www.simcon.net/jkitchen.

Partnerships

Sendero Group stopped manufacturing the GPS-Talk 1x on October 1, 2001, due to insufficient sales revenue, according to Michael May, the company's president and CEO. To ensure that portable GPS technology reaches consumers, Michael May joined forces with Pulse Data International and Human Ware to provide GPS technology with BrailleNote and VoiceNote personal data assistant products. Sendero and GPS-Talk dealers will continue to support Sendero's products according to existing warranty agreements. For more information, contact: Michael May, Sendero Group; phone: 530-757-6800; web site: www.senderogroup.com.

Electronic Vision Access Solutions (EVAS), a computer access solutions company for people with visual, physical, or auditory impairments, has teamed with Dell Computer Corporation to provide computer systems designed for people who are visually impaired or who have other disabilities. Among the types of products EVAS Dell will distribute are: EVAS Dell Xtra Series Systems, speech synthesizers, screen readers, magnifiers, reading systems, voice recognition systems, braille notetakers, refreshable braille displays, braille translators, braille printers, and tutorials. For more information, contact: EVAS; phone: 800-872-3827; web site: www.evas.com/dell.

Award for Software

TECSO, an educational software producer based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, was awarded the Canadian National Institute for the Blind's (CNIB) 2001 Winston Gordon Award for its series of interactive tutorials for people who are blind or visually impaired: Listening to Windows 95 and 98, Listening to the Internet, and Listening to Word. The Winston Gordon Award, which includes a 24-carat gold medal and a cash prize of $15,000, recognizes significant advances in or applications of technology in the field of blindness and visual impairment. For more information, contact: TECSO; phone: 514-590-4218; web site: www.tecso.com.

Technology Prize

The Organización de Ciegos Espanoles [Organization of Blind Spaniards] (ONCE) invites submissions by December 31, 2001, for its second ONCE International Prize in Research and Development for New Technologies for the Blind. The prize recognizes innovative research and its practical application for computers, telecommunications, and biotechnology that results in improved quality of life for people who are blind or visually impaired. One winner will receive $160,419 and two runners up will receive $53,473. Prizes will be awarded by the end of June 2002. Submissions will be accepted in English or Spanish. For more information, contact: ONCE;phone: 011-34-91-577-3756; web site: www.once.es.

Government Site for People with Disabilities

In October 2001, the Labor Department of the U.S. Government launched www.Disability.Direct.gov, as part of President George W. Bush's New Freedom Initiative, which is intended to increase education, employment, and housing opportunities for Americans with disabilities. DisabilityDirect is designed to offer services online at the local, rather than the federal, level. For more information, contact: U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Public Affairs; phone: 202-693-4650; web site: www.dol.gov.

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