May 2014 Issue  Volume 15  Number 5

AccessWorld News

AccessWorld News

New Books from National Braille Press

National Braille Press has recently published tutorials and more will be available this summer. Anna Dresner's Getting Started with the iPhone and iOS 7 is available in Braille, eBraille (BRF), Word, or DAISY for $24. This introduction for new users of iOS 7 includes tutorials, troubleshooting tips, and resources for more information. Judy Dixon's Get the Picture: Viewing the World through the iPhone Camera , also available in Braille, BRF, Word, or DAISY, costs $15.00. In this book, Judy has applied the knowledge she has gained from months of research on iPhone photography and has put into practice strategies enabling people who are blind to enjoy creating and sharing their own photographs of the world around them.

To order books:
By mail:
88 St. Stephen Street
Boston, MA 02115-4302

By phone:
toll-free: 800-548-7323
617-266-6160, ext. 520


Perkins Announces New CEO

Perkins recently announced that Dave Power, a longtime business advisor and former software company executive, is the organization's new CEO and president. Power has worked as a business strategist and operating executive for more than 25 years.

"We couldn't be happier with the choice," said Frederic M. Clifford, Chairman of Perkins Board of Trustees. "Dave brings an informed viewpoint and innovative approach that will take Perkins and its various business ventures to the next level. His business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit are exactly what we need."

Power will oversee the company's five divisions:

  • Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Massachusetts
  • Perkins Products, which includes the Perkins Brailler and other access technology
  • Perkins Library, provider of audio, large print, and braille books
  • Perkins International, helping organizations in 67 countries build educational opportunities for children who are blind or deafblind
  • Perkins eLearning, delivering online education and networking opportunities for educators and parents of children with visual impairments

"Perkins has an extraordinary opportunity, shaped by technology advancements and the changing needs of the populations we serve," Power said. "With our leadership, our know-how, and our partners…we have a special opportunity to improve what we do today, reach new populations, and deliver exciting new products and services. I'm thrilled to take on this role."

Five years ago, Power helped develop the Perkins eLearning initiative to extend the know-how from the Perkins "center of excellence" in Watertown to other geographies through online education, webinars, and professional networking.

As CEO and President, he will look for new ways to improve services and outreach while also working closely with Dorinda Rife, the recently appointed Superintendent and Executive Director of National Educational Programs, to continue promoting the mission of Perkins School for the Blind.

In addition to his reputation as an innovative thinker and successful businessman, Power brings a personal understanding and passion for the mission and future of Perkins as the parent of a son who is deafblind and who graduated from Perkins.

A 10-member search committee chose Power after a six-month vetting process that considered more than 200 candidates. The search committee consisted of eight board-of-trustee members and two executive team members. A professional search firm, Witt/Kieffer, was brought on to help identify the best candidates and narrow the field. Additionally, another outside agency, Green Peak Partners, provided a rigorous assessment of the final candidates.

Power, who is the founder and current president of Power Strategy, Inc., is a former CEO and senior executive at several leading technology and investment firms and has advised business leaders on the essential elements of long-term sustainable growth. He has worked for companies such as Sun Microsystems, Novera Software and Fidelity Ventures. He earned BSCE and MS degrees from Tufts University, and an MBA from Stanford Business School. He is also the author of The Curve Ahead: Discovering the Path to Unlimited Growth. He lives with his wife, Helene, and their five children in Newton, Massachusetts.

M-Enabling Summit to be Held in Washington, DC

The M-Enabling Summit, a conference and showcase solely devoted to accessible and assistive mobile technology for seniors and users of all abilities, will be held June 9-10, 2014, in Washington, DC.

The Summit, organized in cooperation with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), encompasses a variety of topics from sectors including education, senior services, rehabilitation, travel and transportation, smart homes, mobile e-commerce, and emergency response. Leading solutions for those with physical, visual, and speech impairments, who are hard of hearing, and who have learning and cognitive disabilities will be demonstrated. The Summit will also review how mobile applications and services leveraging the latest accessibility innovations embedded in smartphones and tablets are playing a key role in rapidly transforming these sectors.

The program will focus on mobile accessibility innovations with 150 speakers, private sector leaders, application developers, mobile accessibility experts, and disability advocates sharing their experience.

View the complete agenda Register now

For additional information, e-mail Pat Tessler, or call 301-493-5500.

Last Call for the NIB Joseph Roeder Assistive Technology Scholarship Applications!

The National Industries for the Blind (NIB) is seeking applicants for the Joseph Roeder Assistive Technology Scholarship, a $2,500 scholarship to an individual who is blind, interested in pursuing education in computer science, information systems, or a related field, and pursuing a career in access technology. Learn more about the scholarship.

All applications and additional documents must be submitted online no later than Friday, May 16, 2014. The scholarship application is available online.

Blind Media Professionals Open Hollywood's Eyes to Watching TV

Make Media Accessible Event and Live Streaming Interactive Webcast Set for May 14--Entertainment Industry, Educators, and Disability Community Invited to Attend

Rick Boggs of Audio Eyes, LLC and his team of production professionals who supply video description for broadcast TV networks will demonstrate the process they use to produce effective video description in a May 14 event and webcast.

The event, "Inside Video Description: How Pictures Become Words," will take place from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. (PST) in Burbank at the Dolby Labs, Umlang Theater, 3601 West Alameda Avenue Burbank, CA, 91505, along with the live interactive webcast.

"This is an opportunity to bring together Hollywood executives, TV producers, educators, and a number of professionals from within the disability community to reveal state-of-the-art techniques on ways professionals with vision loss are adding value to the description production process," says Rick Boggs, whose company, Audio Eyes LLC, provides accessible media services to the entertainment community.

Boggs and his team will demonstrate his company's Quality Control Process to those attending the event as well as broadcast it online in partnership with the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP), the nation's largest free-loan educational described and captioned media library.

Josh Miele, director, Video Description Research and Development Center (VDRDC) said: "We all find ourselves wondering how to make media more usable and enjoyable for persons without sight. We wonder about the cost and the time involved in making media accessible, and how to tell whether the video description accommodation is effective and worthwhile to students and consumers."

In particular, Miele and Boggs believe this process offers the film and television industry, the creators of America's most powerful cultural and economic export, a new opportunity to make media inclusive and to work inclusively with "disabled" professionals.

A television celebrity host and a nationally renowned video description expert will lead a demonstration and discussion to review the process and to answer questions.

"Holding the event in Burbank will give executives and producers from Hollywood who attend the chance to see firsthand the live demonstration of the critical video description quality control process, with plenty of time to ask questions about how the process can impact their work," says Boggs.

He adds that blind consumers who attend the web event will be invited to submit their comments and questions live during the video description process. He also notes that those with vision loss will have an unprecedented opportunity to learn about professional opportunities in the field of accessible media.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2014 theme announced

The US Department of Labor recently announced the 2014 official theme of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM): "Expect. Employ. Empower." Observed in October, NDEAM is a nationwide campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and honors the many diverse contributions of America's workers with disabilities.

"We all have a role to play in--and benefit to gain from--increasing opportunities for meaningful employment for people with disabilities," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez. "This year's theme encapsulates this in three powerful words. It conveys that advancing disability employment is about much more than just hiring. It's about creating a continuum of inclusion. And the first step on this continuum is expectation."

This year's NDEAM theme is the outcome of a highly collaborative process. The department's Office of Disability Employment Policy began by holding a national online dialogue in which members of the public were invited to submit ideas. Facilitated through ODEP's ePolicyWorks initiative using crowdsourcing technology, this dialogue attracted 350 registrants who together submitted 126 different theme ideas. In addition to contributing their own ideas, registrants could comment and vote on those submitted by others. ODEP then narrowed the list of contenders in collaboration with members of the Campaign for Disability Employment at their quarterly meeting April 9, which was held at Special Olympics headquarters in Washington, D.C.

NDEAM traces its history to 1945, when Congress declared the first week in October each year "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In 1962, the word "physically" was deleted to acknowledge the needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and adopted its current name. Upon its establishment in 2001, ODEP assumed responsibility for NDEAM, including the selection of its annual theme.

Although NDEAM is recognized in October, its theme is announced each spring to assist workplaces, individuals and communities across the nation in planning. For more information, including specific ideas for how different types of organizations can participate, visit the NDEAM website.

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