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AFB  ®
Technology News for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
From the American Foundation for the Blind
 May 2011 Issue  Volume 12  Number 5

Editor's Page

AccessWorld Recognizes Older Americans Month in May's "Tech for All" Issue

Lee Huffman

Dear AccessWorld readers,

May is Older Americans Month. For almost 50 years, Older Americans Month has promoted the contributions made by elder citizens to American society and has raised the nation's awareness of this population's unique set of needs. Given that the population of aging Americans is rapidly expanding, we think it's important to discuss issues of particular relevance to older people, including those who experience vision loss.

Regardless of age, Americans with vision loss will rely heavily on technology, information, and access to resources to achieve and maintain independent, active, and engaged lifestyles. This issue of AccessWorld focuses on the technology and resources that may be most beneficial to those losing vision later in life, though there is plenty of information here that will be useful to people of all ages.

Darren Burton evaluates the Kindle for PC with Accessibility Plugin, which will be of interest to the avid readers among us. Morgan Blubaugh's article, "Tips for Buying a Computer and Optimizing its Display for Computer Users with Low Vision," provides information about what to look for when purchasing a computer, especially if you will be running screen reading and/or screen magnification software. If you don't need a full-fledged screen magnifier, but could still benefit from optimizing the display features, you will find step-by-step instructions in this article to do just that.

If you're concerned about staying connected to family and friends, read Morgan's evaluation of the Jitterbug J cell phone. Also in this issue, Morgan and Bradley Hodges evaluate Guide software, which is designed to provide an easier-to-learn and -use alternative to basic applications on both Windows and Mac computers. If learning to use popular e-mail or word processing programs is giving you trouble, Guide may be the solution.

The AccessWorld team is also happy to have Pris Rogers and Neva Fairchild, both from AFB's Center on Vision Loss, joining our roster of authors this month. Pris's article walks you through the treasure trove of online resources available at AFB's Senior Site, and Neva gives a tour of the Center on Vision Loss in Dallas, which among other things houses complete build-outs of an accessible apartment and office that provide walk-through, hands-on examples of how people with vision loss can work and live independently. If you live in or will be visiting the Dallas area, please call the Center to schedule a tour.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome any new readers who may have found AccessWorld by linking through AFB Senior Site or other sites--we hope you will come back every month for your technology news!


Lee Huffman


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Copyright © 2011 American Foundation for the Blind. All rights reserved. AccessWorld is a trademark of the American Foundation for the Blind.

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