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AFB  ®
Technology News for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
From the American Foundation for the Blind
 June 2011 Issue  Volume 12  Number 6

Letters to the Editor

Readers Offer Feedback on the May Issue and Thoughts on Vision Restoration

Dear AccessWorld Editor,

Thanks once again for another informative issue. I have not yet read every word of the May issue, but I do not think you made mention of a high-tech gadget that has been of interest to many older Americans with low vision, the Lime Lighter low vision music-reading device. The Lime Lighter makes it easier for people with low vision to read magnified music notation while performing it.

It would be great if you would mention the Lime Lighter in a future issue as a follow-up to this issue focusing on technology to help older people. AccessWorld included a mention of the Lime Lighter after CSUN 2010, but another mention in the context of help for older people would seem appropriate.

The Lime Lighter helps people with low vision read standard staff notation more easily. You can magnify the music up to 10 times the original size and display it on Lime Lighter's 20-inch flat-panel, touchscreen. You can advance the music measure-by-measure or line-by-line with the Lime Lighter's pedal, and mark up your music by writing on the screen with the special stylus. It also comes with music-scanning software.

Any readers interested in learning more about this product can watch a 3-minute YouTube video.

Regards,
Bill

Dear AccessWorld Editor,

In the May issue of AccessWorld, the Milestone 312 review by J.J. Meddaugh was good but not completely accurate. The writer said you could not lock the keypad and yet here is the write-up in the Milestone 312 manual about locking the device:

3.1.2. Keyboard lock.

If you are on a journey and want to place Milestone 312 in a bag or a pocket or your kids love to push all the buttons on Milestone, you can lock the keyboard to avoid unintended inputs. To lock the keyboard keep the "Mode" button pressed and then in addition press the "Rec" button. By doing this all functions of the device disable. This is indicated by the message "Keyboard locked." To unlock the keyboard, press the same combination of buttons.

Thanks,
Ryan

Author's Response:

Dear Ryan,

Thank you for reading my review of the Milestone 312.

I am sorry there was some confusion about my reporting in the article. I believe the article is factually correct as written.

In the article, I wrote, "It's still not possible to lock the keypad of the unit while playing or set bookmarks in the audio player."

While it is possible to issue a lock command as stated in the manual, my point in the article was that the lock command cannot be performed while playing audio or other recordings. This prevents you from starting a book and then locking the keypad so that the book won't be accidentally stopped.

I hope this clarifies the statement, and thanks again for writing. I always appreciate readers' comments!

J.J. Meddaugh

Dear AccessWorld Editor,

I just wanted to drop a line, contrary though my line may be, about the Blind Driver Challenge.

While I believe there may be invaluable information to be gained about how to present visual information to blind people from the Blind Driver Challenge activity, there seems to be a philosophical problem that goes with this work that I'd like to bring up. While many blind folks are not believers that technology can overcome the limitation to allow a blind person to drive, I'm skeptically hopeful. It might work, but seems unlikely. That aside, the idea that blindness organizations should not support vision restoration such as artificial vision because it gives people false hopes is contrary to how I live my life. While I don't see artificial vision coming in the next few years, we should support this work as much, or far more than, things like the Blind Driver Challenge. Restoring vision to those who want it is a better solution than all the alternatives I know of. Just because some may misinterpret claims of success, or save themselves awaiting a "cure," or [feel] that a "cure" assumes there is something wrong with blind people does not preclude working on such solutions. The benefits of artificial vision far outweigh all of the above issues. Let's not throw out the baby with the bath water.

Thanks,

Allen

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