March 2003 Issue  Volume 4  Number 2

AccessWorld News

Textbook Access

The U.S. Department of Education awarded $199,911 to the National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum, part of the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST), to develop a voluntary national file format for the electronic transmission of instructional materials. The initiative will develop technical standards for accessible instructional materials, a timeline for implementation, and a process for assessing the success of the standards. Contact: National File Format Initiative; phone: 781-245-2212; web site: <>.


IBM and Crunchy Technologies recently formed a partnership to deliver accessible information technology solutions. The companies hope the alliance will extend the reach of their assistive technology offerings by sharing service contracts and licensing agreements, and, eventually, by developing new accessibility products and solutions. Contact: IBM; web site: <>. Crunchy Technologies; web site: <>.

For Musicians

CakeTalking 3.0 for SONAR is designed to configure JAWS for Windows screen reader with Cakewalk's SONAR, which is professional, Windows-based multitrack recording software for audio and MIDI production. CakeTalking 3.0 for SONAR configures the JAWS for Windows screen reader with the Cakewalk software. The software is compatible with JAWS for Windows 4.5, Windows XP and 2000. Dancing Dots plans to release a version that is compatible with Windows98 and Millennium. The cost for CakeTalking 3.0 is $289. Cakewalk SONAR software costs extra. Contact: Dancing Dots; phone: 610-783-6692; web site: <>.

Traveling Magnifier

The Traveller, a portable electronic magnifier, is the newest offering by Tieman Group. Traveller is a portable CCTV with an adjustable screen, photo mode, two high-contrast text modes, linear zooming, an integrated writing facility, and a magnification range of 4.5X-16X. The 1.76-pound magnifier costs $1,895. Contact: Tieman Group; web site: <>. Optelec; phone: 800-828-1056 or 978-392-0707; e-mail: <>.

Computer Magnifier

Genie Pro is the newest computer-compatible video magnifier made by Telesensory. Designed for use with most computer monitors or televisions, the features include 5.5X-50X magnification, split-screen, 24 color combinations, and shadow mask, which is designed to assist in text tracking and glare reduction. Genie Pro costs $3,295. Contact: Telesensory; phone: 800- 227-8418 or 408-616-8700; web site: <>.

Phone Home

Panasonic recently received the Consumer Electronics Association's Innovations Accessibility Award for its model KX-TG2258S digital cordless phone. The phone's accessibility features include talking caller ID and large, high-contrast keypad buttons. Contact: Panasonic Accessibility, Matsushita Electric Corporation of America; web site: <>.

Spanish-Speaking Software

Freedom Scientific recently released its Spanish language version of OpenBook 6.01 scanning and reading software. Designed to provide people who are blind or visually impaired access to text and text imbedded in graphics in electronic formats like PDF, the software includes IBM's ViaVoice 6.4, a Spanish pronunciation dictionary, and optical character recognition. The software is compatible with most versions of Windows. The cost is $995. Discounted upgrades are available until March 31, 2003. Contact: Freedom Scientific; phone: 800-444-4443 or 727-803-8000; web site: <>.

Fax or e-mail information for AccessWorld News to: Rebecca Burrichter, associate editor, AFB Press; fax: 212-502-7774; e-mail:

Previous Article | Next Article | Table of Contents

AccessWorld, Copyright (c) 2003 American Foundation for the Blind. All rights reserved.