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AFB  ®
Technology News for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
From the American Foundation for the Blind
 March 2004 Issue  Volume 5  Number 2

AccessWorld News

CCTVs at Home and on the Go

The Aladdin Rainbow is Telesensory's newest line of color video magnifiers. Each magnifier has a 14-inch monitor, a large depth of field for viewing three-dimensional objects, and a smooth, nonglare reading table that supports heavy books. The CCTV is sold in three configurations. The Rainbow has six settings, including full color, black and white, and several selectable foreground and background colors. The Rainbow Pro features an added tint and color saturation control, vertical and horizontal line markers, and shadow mask to help track text. The Rainbow Elite offers an array of image-control features, such as adjustable tint and brightness, auto focus with manual override, and professional features, including line markers and highlighting and three color-select viewing modes (yellow letters on a blue background and green or amber letters on a black background). The cost for the Aladdin Rainbow line ranges from $2,695 to $2,995. For more information, contact: Telesensory, 520 Almanor Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94085; phone: 408-616-8700, extension 3293; web site: <http://www.telesensory.com/about5-22.html>.

The Flipper Stand was recently released by Enhanced Vision for its portable Flipper and FlipperPort closed-circuit television (CCTV) products. The Flipper is an auto-focus, full-color portable video magnifier that rotates 225 degrees with a magnification range of 6x to 40x near; 1x to 24x distance. The FlipperPort has lightweight glasses that connect to the Flipper device and display images from the camera unit. The Flipper Stand is designed to elevate the Flipper up to 15 inches above a flat surface, such as a desk or table, and rotates left and right. The stand also converts to a desktop video magnifier when the Flipper camera is pointed down toward the table. The Flipper system is battery-operated and can be connected to a television or monitor. Pricing for the Flipper product line ranges from $1,395 to $1,795. For more information, contact: Enhanced Vision, 17911 Sampson Lane, Huntington Beach, CA 92647; phone: 888-811-3161 or 714-374-1829; web site: <http://www.enhancedvision.com>.

Online Computer Training by Carroll Tech

The Carroll Center for the Blind recently launched Carroll Tech, an expansion of its Computer Training Services program. Carroll Tech offers online classes in the use of computer applications with a screen reader, Freedom Scientific's JAWS for Windows, or with ZoomText, a screen magnifier by AI Squared. The center plans to offer 24 online classes in 2004. Each six-week course makes use of online manuals, streamed videos, e-mailed exercises, auto-graded quizzes, and audio chat sessions. Available at the introductory, intermediate, and advanced level, the classes cover the use of the Microsoft Office applications, Outlook, PowerPoint, Access and Excel. Thanks to donations from the Gibney Family Foundation, Lions Clubs International, and the Boston Foundation, the current cost to take each six-week class is $50. For more information, contact: Brian Charlson, vice president, Computer Training Services, Carroll Center for the Blind, 770 Centre Street, Newton, MA 02458; e-mail: <charlsonb@carroll.org>; web site: <www.carroll.org>.

Make Sense of Microsoft XP

National Braille Press recently released two books about XP, the newest Microsoft operating system and related applications. What's Different About Word XP? is a reference card that answers the basic questions for people who are switching from another version of Word to Word XP, including how to use the Microsoft Office clipboard, how to manage styles, and how to perform a mail merge function. Written by Sharon Monthei, the author of Word Wise 2000, this title also includes step-by-step instructions for configuring Word XP to work well with speech and braille. The publication is available in braille (one small volume) or PortaBook for a cost of $5. Windows XP Explained: A Guide for Blind and Visually Impaired Users is a thorough introduction to Windows XP for new users or for those upgrading from a previous version. Written by Sarah Morley, the text describes basic computer terminology and Windows concepts, such as the desktop or the Start Menu, introduces more advanced Windows XP functions and features, and includes a comprehensive listing of keyboard commands. For readers who find graphics helpful, a collection of large-print and tactile screen illustrations is available for an additional cost. The book is available in braille, large print, cassette, and disk for a cost of $20; a set of all four formats sells for $75. For more information, contact: National Braille Press, 88 St. Stephen Street, Boston, MA 02115; phone: 888-965-8965 or 617-266-6160; e-mail: <orders@nbp.org.>; web site: <http://www.nbp.org/xpexplained.html>.

AFB Announces 2004 Access Award Recipients

On Friday, March 5, The American Foundation for the Blind will present its 2004 Access Awards. AFB's Access Awards honor individuals, corporations, and organizations that are eliminating or substantially reducing inequities faced by people who are blind or visually impaired. This year's recipients will be Janet Barlow, Billie Louise Bentzen, and Lukas Frank for working to standardize audio pedestrian signals; IBM Corporation for promoting accessibility throughout its company and in its products; and Allison Driver and Scott Strauss of Spiegel and McDiarmid for helping improve cell phone accessibility. The awards will be presented at a ceremony held in conjunction with the 18th Josephine L. Taylor Leadership Institute in Washington D.C. For more information on AFB's Access Awards, contact: Jim Denham, chair, AFB Access Awards Committee; phone: 304-523-8651; e-mail: <jdenham@afb.net>.

Free Exhibition for Visually Impaired People and Their Families

On April 6, 2004, the Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB) will host Vision 2004, its 12th exhibition on education and employment issues for people who have visual impairments, their families, and those who work with them. Vision 2004 will take place in London, England, is free to enter, and is open to visitors of all ages. Exhibitors will include technology companies, special schools and colleges, social services, voluntary societies, disability nonprofit organizations, and retail businesses. There will be live musical performances by blind and partially sighted people and two free workshops for children who are blind and visually impaired on music and art. For more information, contact: Vision 2004 Hotline, RNIB; phone: +020 7391 2315; web site: <http://www.rnib.org.uk/vision2004exhibition>.

Personnel Changes

As of January 30, 2004, Larry Lewis has resigned as vice president of blindness sales for Pulse Data HumanWare and is no longer employed by the Pulse Data Group. He has taken a position with Tieman BV, a Netherlands-based provider of adaptive braille cells and refreshable braille terminals. Lewis will serve as vice president of blindness sales to establish and manage a blindness division for Optelec, which is owned by Tieman. Vinnie Rappa, Pulse Data HumanWare's current vice president for low vision sales, will assume Lewis's position on February 1, 2004. For nearly three decades, Rappa has taught orientation and mobility, directed programs at Helen Keller National Center, worked as a sales representative for assistive technology for people with visual impairments, and managed sales oganizations with several of the industry's leading companies. For more information, contact: Pulse Data HumanWare; phone: 800-722-3393 or 925-680-7100; web site: <www.pulsedata.com>. Optelec USA; phone: 800-828-1056; web site: <http://www.optelec.com>.

The Story of My Life is Free Online

With the expression, "It is with a kind of fear that I begin to write the history of my life," Helen Keller began her autobiography, The Story of My Life. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the publishing of the book, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has made the original text available free online. First appearing in 1903 to critical acclaim, the most popular of Keller's works remains a widely read classic of American literature. The fully accessible online version is accompanied by historic photographs from AFB's Helen Keller Archives and interesting facts about the book and Keller. Visit <www.afb.org/mylife> to read this groundbreaking and thought-provoking work. For more information, contact: The American Foundation for the Blind; phone: 212-502-7600; web site: <http://www.afb.org>.

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Copyright © 2004 American Foundation for the Blind. All rights reserved. AccessWorld is a trademark of the American Foundation for the Blind.

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