In this issue, Deborah Kendrick interviews Curtis Chong, longtime president of
the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) Computer Science division. Chong
discusses his 30-year career in the technology field, as well as his leadership
in advocacy for people who are blind or visually impaired. Read about Chong's
advocacy efforts as Director of Technology in NFB's International Braille and
Technology Center in Baltimore, Maryland, and how he has become one of the most
respected people in the field of assistive technology.
Gerald Weichbrodt, Senior Project Engineer at General Motors in Detroit, defines
and demystifies key terms in device connectivity. These terms are used regularly
in reference to personal digital assistants (PDAs), computers, and other
devices. What is the difference between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi? Is infrared good
for other things besides television remotes? What is Wimax? This article answers
these questions and helps you get familiar with the wonderful world of wireless.
I review VoiceOver, the new screen reader for the Macintosh OS X operating system
from Apple. VoiceOver is installed on every Apple computer shipped after April
30, 2005, as well as being a part of software upgrades. This could make
VoiceOver the most widely available screen reader in the world. Unfortunately,
VoiceOver is currently not up to the job, as it does not include the
functionality that users have come to expect from a screen reader. Read about
the program's shortcomings.
Dr. Carol Farrenkopf, Coordinator of Toronto District School Board Vision
Services, discusses how to buy a closed-circuit television (CCTV). Of course,
cost is a major consideration. However, this article highlights other factors to
be considered, whether you are purchasing a CCTV for yourself or assisting
someone else. Find out what you should know to purchase the best CCTV to meet
your needs or the needs of a client or family member.
Stephanie Bassler, vice-president of De Witt and Associates in New Jersey, shares
some of her extensive knowledge about assistive technology training. She
explains the difference between showing someone how to do something and teaching
someone to perform a task. She then goes on to describe the steps involved in
creating a lesson plan, testing a student's knowledge and discovering how well
your student has learned.
Darren Burton of AFB's Technology and Employment Center in Huntington, West
Virginia (AFB TECH), describes a new destination-based elevator control system
developed by Otis, the world's largest manufacturer of elevators, escalators,
and moving walkways. The system poses access problems for people who are blind
or visually impaired. Burton goes on to explain the work done for Otis by
AccessWorld Solutions, the consulting division of AFB, which helps corporations
and government agencies to make their products and services accessible to people
with vision loss.
Janet Ingber, author and music therapist, reviews the i.d. mate II from En-Vision
America and the SCANACAN from Ferguson Enterprises, two bar code readers. A bar
code is a series of printed stripes of various widths, in which each of the
digits zero through nine are represented by a different pattern of bars that can
be read by a laser scanner. Retailers use bar codes to record the prices of
items. Find out how these readers can help you identify cans of soup, containers
of yogurt, music CDs, and many other products.
Jim Denham, formerly of AFB's Technology and Employment Center in Huntington,
West Virginia (AFB TECH), is now national sales manager for Dolphin Products for
Optelec USA. Jim was a regular contributor to AccessWorld and a pleasure
to work with. We wish him the best in his new job.
Editor in Chief
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