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Technology News for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
From the American Foundation for the Blind
 July 2006 Issue  Volume 7  Number 4

AccessWorld News

New Partnership to Distribute Mobile Speak Pocket and Mobile Magnifier

Code Factory of Barcelona, Spain, has announced that HumanWare will now be the primary distributor for Code Factory's Mobile Speak Pocket and Mobile Magnifier products. These products provide access for consumers who are blind or visually impaired to off-the-shelf technology such as PDAs and mobile telephones. With Mobile Speak Pocket and Mobile Magnifier, a person who is blind or visually impaired can purchase an off-the-shelf PDA and have speech or magnification access to such applications as Pocket Word, Pocket Outlook, Pocket Excel, Pocket Messenger, the Audible Player, Pocket Skype and more.

Jonathan Mosen, who will serve as HumanWare's product marketing manager for Mobile Speak Pocket, said in a recent press release that the company will be "bundling Mobile Speak Pocket with a range of hardware, including some exciting new braille technology."

Mosen further stated that the new partnership will be particularly beneficial to blind customers of cellular networks using the CDMA standard. While text-to-speech access has been available in some mobile phone environments for some time, it will now be extended to customers of such services as Sprint, Verizon, or Telecom New Zealand. HumanWare promises to continue distributing and developing all its existing line of products. For further information, visit <www.codefactory.es> or <www.humanware.com>.

Braille, Ink, and Graphics from One Machine

ViewPlus Technologies of Corvallis, Oregon, has recently introduced the Emprint printer, which combines the embossing of braille and an HP inkjet printer in one machine. Microsoft Office files can be produced with braille and print on the same page or separately. Graphics can be produced as tactile graphics incorporating colored ink, thus providing both tactile and visual information to a student or professional with a visual or learning disability. When producing both braille and print text on one page, the print can be placed either above or beside the corresponding braille characters. The Emprint can use any weight paper, from standard office copying paper to heavier paper traditionally used for braille embossing. The unit comes with braille translation software, and sells for $5,995. For further information, visit the ViewPlus web site at: <www.ViewPlus.com> or send an e-mail to <info@ViewPlus.com>.

WYNN 5 Software Released

The Learning Systems Group of Freedom Scientific has released WYNN 5, an enhancement to the popular text-enhancing software for students with learning and other print disabilities. WYNN 5 assists students with reading Internet content and gives them study tools to help them learn in a Web-based environment. WYNN 5 brings all of the support tools of a literacy program into the Internet environment. Students can have text read aloud to them, can access dictionary and thesaurus help, use spell checking, highlight text as desired, and manage notes. A patented new feature called WebMasking allows the student to highlight text by word, line, or sentence, while blocking out all advertisements and distracting material.

The program now offers the option of highlighting several areas of text and incorporating all into a single document with one mouse click. E-mail and online forms can be spoken as well as highlighted. To learn more about WYNN 5, visit <www.freedomscientific.com>.

Dolphin Releases Version 7.01

Dolphin Computer Access has announced the release of version 7.01 of their access software for screen readers and screen magnifiers, which promises to offer advanced new features for the program, providing access through braille, speech, or screen magnification. The company's Supernova, Hal, Lunar, and LunarPlus products all incorporate the new features.

Hot keys used with other screen readers have been added, so that a new Dolphin user can explore the program using familiar commands. Version 7.01 is available for use on desktops, laptops, networks, or Citrix networks. Also available is the Dolphin Pen, a USB device that provides customers with a portable tool for accessing computers anywhere. For further information, visit the Dolphin web site at <www.dolphinuk.co.uk>.

New Listserv for Blind Electronics Enthusiasts

A new listserv has been launched for the purpose of sharing information among blind users of various off-the-shelf devices. Users are invited to report on the accessibility--or lack thereof --of such devices as cell phones, cordless phones, MP3 players, DVD players and other stereo components, satellite radios, and home appliances such as microwave ovens, dishwashers, and clothes dryers. To join the list, visit <www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/electronics-talk> or send e-mail to <electronics-talk-request@nfbnet.org> and put the word "subscribe" in the subject line.

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Copyright © 2006 American Foundation for the Blind. All rights reserved. AccessWorld is a trademark of the American Foundation for the Blind.

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