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AFB  ®
Technology News for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
From the American Foundation for the Blind
 May 2012 Issue  Volume 13  Number 5

AccessWorld News

AccessWorld News

Research in Motion Launches New BlackBerry Screen Reader for Customers with Visual Impairments

Research In Motion (RIM) launched BlackBerry® Screen Reader, a free software application that helps customers who are blind or visually impaired operate their BlackBerry® smartphones by providing an audible output of displayed visual information.

"We are excited to introduce BlackBerry Screen Reader as part of our suite of accessibility solutions for BlackBerry smartphones," said Greg Fields, Senior Product Manager. "BlackBerry Screen Reader helps customers with visual impairments stay connected with the people and information that matter most to them, and is representative of RIM's continuing commitment within the accessibility community."

Key features of BlackBerry Screen Reader include:

  • Support for core applications.Users can easily access core BlackBerry applications including email, calendar, phone calls and more.
  • Speech settings. Users can customize the text-to-speech settings (volume, pitch and speech rate) and preferences for punctuation, verbosity and password security.
  • Keyboard shortcuts. Users can set speech and audio preferences quickly and easily through (physical) keyboard shortcuts
  • Accessible documentation. User Guide available in accessible HTML through a desktop Web browser.

BlackBerry Screen Reader is available now as a free download for the BlackBerry® Curve™ 9350, 9360 and 9370 smartphones.

For information about BlackBerry accessibility solutions for customers with disabilities, visit the BlackBerry accesibility website.

New Device May Help Senior Blind

The DAD device is a compact, wrist-band mounted, watch style cell phone and personal emergency monitoring system that protects and communicates wherever its user travels. If a senior needs emergency assistance, he or she can speak to a call center via its two-way voice communication feature or dial one of its three pre-programed numbers.

The DAD has a built-in (auto-answer) speaker phone which sends SMSs and e-mails to caregivers (and the emergency call center for redundant security) if an emergency occurs.

The three raised buttons across the top are programmable.

Calling in to the senior is easy: the senior may put the DAD on auto-answer or press the answer button.

DAD's GPS allows senior location and eFencing, so you can locate your loved one if he or she becomes lost.

Photo of the DAD device.

Caption: The DAD wrist band style cell phone/emergency monitoring device.

For more information about this product please contact:

Howard Sterling
E-mail: howard.david.sterling@gmail.com
Phone: 212-875-1722

About.com Addresses Interests of People with Vision Loss

Andrew Leibs from About.com has written an article entitled, Top 10 iPhone Apps for the Visually Impaired: Apps Tell Blind People Clothing Colors and Currency Denominations. While there may be some discussion over whether these are in fact the best 10 apps for people who are blind or visually impaired, AccessWorld is happy to see About.com addressing the issue of access technology.

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Copyright © 2012 American Foundation for the Blind. All rights reserved. AccessWorld is a trademark of the American Foundation for the Blind.

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