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Technology News for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
From the American Foundation for the Blind
 March 2009 Issue  Volume 10  Number 2

AccessWorld News

CSUN Highlights Aging Population

The CSUN conference, which takes its name from its sponsoring organization, the California State University at Northridge, has been one of the most revered events showcasing assistive technology for people with disabilities for more than 20 years. At its 2009 event, March 16-21, CSUN will host its first DATE (Design, Access, Technology, and Education) Symposium, examining the particular issues of elderly users of assistive technology. Held on March 20, the DATE Symposium will open with an address by Gail Sheehy, renowned author of the book Passages and current AARP ambassador, and will close with a presentation by Dr. Mary Furlong, an authority on marketing to the baby-boomer generation, as well as on aging and technology. A complete list of sessions and speakers for the DATE Symposium has not yet been released as of this writing, but early registration for this event is recommended. CSUN 2009 will take place at the Los Angeles Marriott and Renaissance Montura hotels. For more information about the DATE Symposium and other CSUN events, visit www.csunconference.org.

More on the Phone That Reads

knfbReading Technology has announced the release of version 6.1 of its knfb Reader Mobile, the software that runs on the Nokia N82 mobile phone. The new version has added text translation in up to 16 languages, more reading voices, and noticeably faster recognition time (reading now beginning within about five seconds after a picture of the printed page is snapped).

The company has also added the Nokia 6220 as a platform for operating the knfb Reader software, a phone that is slightly less expensive and, to some, more tactilely friendly. The overall cost of the product has also been lowered. A single-language license for English now costs $995, while a version with three languages sells for $1,295. This amount does not include the price of either the Nokia N82 or Nokia 6220 classic mobile phone.

For more information, contact a local dealer or send an e-mail message to Lisa Galloni at lisa@knfbReader.com.

KeySoft 8.0 for PK and mPower Users

HumanWare has announced the release of KeySoft 8.0 in March for the PK and mPower models in the BrailleNote family. This upgrade promises a host of exciting new features. KeyChat, according to a company release, will allow users to use popular instant messaging services to communicate in real time with others, writing and reading conversations in one's preferred grade of braille, as well as downloading and unpacking books directly from BookShare, playing audio books from Audible.com, and accessing various other services. KeySoft 8.0 will include a 90-day free trial version of the popular Sendero GPS software, inviting customers to download maps of choice from the Sendero site. (A GPS receiver is required to take advantage of this particular offer.) Users with SMA agreements can use one SMA upgrade credit to receive KeySoft 8.0, and pricing for those who purchase it outright will soon be available.

For more information, visit www.humanware.com.

A Little Entertainment

Having difficulty making friends who do not have disabilities understand what makes the Web accessible or not? David MacDonald produced a hilarious four-minute video on YouTube that provides some fun insights, both audio and visual, into what technology and following Web Accessibility Content Guidelines can achieve.

For a brief trip to the lighter side, visit the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines theme song at www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtuna2AWvqk&feature=channel_page.

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Copyright © 2009 American Foundation for the Blind. All rights reserved. AccessWorld is a trademark of the American Foundation for the Blind.

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