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AFB  ®
Technology News for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
From the American Foundation for the Blind
 October 2010 Issue  Volume 11  Number 6

AccessWorld News

Landmark Technology Access Bill Heads to President Obama's Desk

On September 28, the House passed the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, which is now headed to President Obama to be signed into law. This landmark bill will expand access to modern communications technologies, including smart phones, television programming, and more. AFB's public policy team contributed to the passage of this legislation and has participated in several media interviews. Thank you to Mark Richert and Paul Schroeder for all of their hard work on this.

The bill has received a good deal of recent press coverage:

Landmark Technology Access Bill Heads to President Obama's Desk

New Rules to Make Technology More Accessible

Congress Acts to Give Blind Better Web, MP3 Access

Digital Miracles

Digital Miracles, LLC, has announced that washable audio labels are now available for sale on its website. The labels are read by the Digit-Eyes application (app) for the iPhone and enable people without vision to label clothing permanently and record detailed information about the garment. That information is then played back when the label is scanned again with the iPhone app. The company announced that it now also offers preprinted audio labels as a convenience for customers who don't have access to a printer or who prefer that someone else do the printing.

"Our customers let us know that identifying clothing is one of their most important labeling needs," reported Nancy Miracle, president. "With the introduction of our soft, washable, bleachable, and dryable labels, laundry becomes a snap and confusion in the closet a thing of the past. A number of our customers also told us that they don't have access to a printer or simply prefer the convenience of buying preprinted labels. Now, we have both types of labels available for sale."

The standard, self-adhesive "quick-response" Digit-Eyes barcode labels are best suited as temporary labels or for labeling items that will stay dry, such as folders, compact discs, and containers. The washable Digit-Eyes barcode labels were specifically created for garments and can be permanently attached to clothing.

Charlie Hamilton is New Vice President of Sales for North America at Dolphin Computer Access

Dolphin Computer Access announced the appointment of Charlie Hamilton as vice president of sales for North America, based in Princeton, New Jersey.

In keeping with Dolphin's North American market strategy, Hamilton will be tasked with driving growth, as well as adding value for existing customers, Dolphin's network of dealers, and the regional teams.

A 25-year veteran of the software industry, Hamilton's career history includes both small and large company management, with significant time spent at Oracle Corporation and BMC Software. More recently, he managed North American sales and operations for a small international company.

Charlie Hamilton can be reached via e-mail at charlie.hamilton@dolphinusa.com or by phone: 201-400-8111.

News from Sendero

Sendero has released the second free patch upgrade for Sendero Maps on the PC. Changes from Sendero Maps Version 2010.1 to Version 2010.2 include: (1) An upgrade to the latest SQLite Engine (3.7.0.1) for address and point of interest lookups. (2) An upgrade to the latest Richmap Engine (4.5.1) for map access and route creation. (3) Automatic odometer reset to 0 when a previous route is loaded.

It is strongly recommended that owners upgrade to the latest version (2010.2) for compatibility between Sendero Maps and Sendero GPS on various PDA platforms. To get the new version of Sendero Maps, owners should log into their GoSendero account and download the new software.

AFB Announces Call for 2011 Access Award Nominations

The American Foundation for the Blind has issued an invitation for nominations for its 2011 Access Awards. The Access Awards honor individuals, corporations, and organizations that are eliminating or substantially reducing inequities faced by people who are blind or visually impaired. Some of the previous award recipients include Apple, Inc., Google, Code Factory, Ski for Light, and Canon USA, Inc. The awards will be presented on March 11, 2011 at the Josephine L. Taylor Leadership Institute at the downtown Seattle Renaissance Hotel.

Nominations for the AFB Access Awards should illustrate an exceptional and innovative effort that has improved the lives of people who are blind or visually impaired by enhancing access to information, the environment, technology, education, or employment, including making mainstream products and services accessible. The effort should be one that has a national impact or can be a model for replication on a national level. Additional information about the Access Awards and past honorees can be found on the AFB website. Letters of nomination addressing the above criteria should be e-mailed to Marc Grossman, with AFB 2011 Access Awards Committee in the subject line. Nominations must be received no later than October 29, 2010. Product brochures, patent applications, and other materials of support substantiating the nomination should also be sent by the above date. Materials submitted in support of a nomination will not be returned.

Revised ADA Regulations

On September 15, 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice published its revised rules regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The new ADA regulations cover both public and private entities and take on numerous issues, including talking ATMs, ticketing for accessible seating, effective communication, and service animals. The new rules take effect on March 15, 2011. Compliance with the new 2010 Standards for Accessible Design will be required as of March 2012. For more information on the revised rules, please visit the Department of Justice's ADA website or read updates on the Lainey Feingold blog, which tracks legal issues related to disability rights.

ATIA to Host Town Hall Meeting

The Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA)/Low-Vision Special Interest Group will host a town hall meeting at ATIA's 2010 Chicago Conference. The meeting is being held to identify challenges facing individual users and support professionals with regard to assistive technology. There will be an open forum where attendees are invited to discuss resources needed for individual success, provide feedback to vendors, and engage in general dialogue.

The meeting will be held October 28, from noon to 1 p.m. in Utopia B Room, Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center. Please RSVP online if you plan to attend. All stakeholders, including educators, assistive technology specialists, rehab professionals, workplace specialists, occupational therapists, researchers, vendors, consumers, families, and caregivers, are invited to attend.

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