Wednesday, March 28, 2007

CSUN 07 Random Links In No Particular Order

I don't have a lot of time this morning to do one of my more comment laiden posts. So here is some links to stuff I talked about before and a few new ones in there to boot.

Here is the link to Sighted's Braile Software for the Mac and Index Braille Embossers.

And here is the link to their PDF on the Trio.

Low Vision International has the Zip on this page below and I totally forgot about their new OCR solution. It's on this page as well.

Speaking of OCR the Zoomability Zoom Ex also was at CSUN and it was much improved from what I saw in 2006. Learn more about this product from the link below.

I could not find a pic of the new Hand Held Video Magnifier from Optelec, however, I did find this press release on the new Compact+.

And here is a look at the new Hand Held from Clarity called the "Junior".

Weither you know them as Levelstar or those crazy guys taking the Accessible PDA world by storm with the Icon you can find out more about both from the link below.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Nothing But Net For Magic 10.5

I have been using Magic since the old no speaking 6.22 version from years ago. Since that time Freedom Scientific has been working hard to make this program a serious brand to be reckoned with in the Screen Magnification field. And with Magic 10.5 I can say that they have really brought a product to market that not only earns it’s place but with the new Scripting Pro version they may have surpassed a few others out there as well.

Magic 10.5 is a free upgrade for those of you running 10.0. And if you take nothing else from this article today understand that this update is a steal even if you had to use an SMA. Why? Stability, Stability and stability. Not to over emphasize this too much but I found that Magic read more pages on the web than it did before and it really took something like a big Macromedia Flash page to drag it kicking and screaming to the ground. But more than that.. stability is the word of the day.

If you haven’t run Magic before or if you rely on another Screen Magnifier let me give you some reasons to delve deeper into the world of Magic. One of the neatest things that has come over from JAWS to Magic is the Links List and Forms List. If you view a page daily or if you know the name of a link you can jump to it faster with Links List. No more scrolling around hoping to land on the right link or maybe hitting another by accident. Now with Links List you can go to that fave link everytime without fail. Save yourself time and headaches by straining your eyes less on those red with green text pages.

Now if you happen to be a JAWS user... then Magic is even a better call for Screen Magnification as both now will use the Freedom Scientific Scripting language to their, and now your, advantage. It is still kind of new but the power of JAWS scripts will aid Magic in tracking and reading of programs and menus better than a Screen Magnifier by its self.

Another good feature this time around is the Magic Context Menu. It’s like a right click for your Screen Magnifiers. Make simple configuration changes from this neat tool without having to run through piles of menus via the User Interface. And of course old classic tools still are there like the Dynamic Lens or the ability to change the coloring of magnified or non magnified areas.

I can honestly say that I use Lunar, Zoom Text and Magic almost daily. And for a long time I struggled with Magic’s keys and features. But since 9.5 the program has really become something I like to use for some tasks or web reading. And with 10.5 it just gets better.

Again 10.5 is a free update for 10.0 users or you can check out the trial version from Freedom Scientific’s website. Also you should check out the overview with Dusty from the link below to learn just what else is new with Magic 10.5.

Monday, March 26, 2007

CSUN Report 5 is Alive

yeah.. I am still piling through my notes from LA. Told you guys that we would see updates this week. Here's more before I jet off to work.. why did I say jet? Ugh.. 6 jets in 12 days. You would think I wouldn't say jet or plane for weeks.

Low Vision International:
The European company introduced their new Zip Video Magnifier at CSUN this year. The Zip is a 17 inch screen based unit that can fold down into a small bag. It weighs 17 pounds and it can use AC/DC power or it can use an optional battery pack. The device uses LED lights and it has false colors and window options. I have carried the My Reader before and the Zip is lighter than that unit by some 9 to 10 pounds.

The new talking prescription reader was on display and at first glance it felt and looked like a smoke detector. It’s kind of oval and flat. I was told that it was designed this way so that it could be hung on the wall. That way it wouldn’t become misplaced or easily lost. Great idea really. The speech was of a higher quality than most devices aimed at portable use and the words were easily recognizable even on the loud show floor. The company said that CVS and Wal-Greens are moving towards adopting the microchips for use with their device and if you wish to know more or petition a store in your area check out..

The Canon IP90 was on the show floor and it was impressive. The portable color printer was small, rugged and perfect for traveling. And it’s under $250 to boot.

The company made an announcement in LA that they have added support for Excel, Power Point and Office 2007 to their lines of products. I have to say that the Serotec booth was always busy and Mike was always talking to someone. While to some that sounds tiring to a vender on the show floor it sounds like a dream come true. Here’s the press release..

Another CSUN Report Goes 4th!

Vision Technology International:
The company is replacing their line of units under the Solitaire label with newer models called “Pro”. The Pro line features a larger screen that can be fully lowered down to the X/Y table. The camera is a lot like the Select and the Pro series will feature Line Markers and Window features. The units should start shipping in the next few months, however, the unit I saw was brand new in the Prototype phase. So it could be midsummer before this one ships.

The company enters the Hand Held market with its new product called the “Junior”. The unit is kind of hard to describe. It has contours that allow your hands to grip the device. The screen is tilted up by design. Controls for zoom are on a dial while the modes are push buttons which are placed in places where you might rest your hands/fingers. The unit also sports a RCA jack for video output to any sized monitor. I will say this for it.. the design is unique that’s for sure.

Freedom Vision/Ash Technologies:
I finally got to see the Quick Look Zoom, or it might be called later the Quick Look Plus, and it is a nice hardware refresh. The first thing I noticed was that the unit was a third lighter than its older brother. The unit is now covered in a nice rubber coat which also has the added benefit of making the unit easier to grip as well. The same color modes exist and so do the contrast options. Where things have changed is up at the camera. On either side of the fold out camera you will find a really small button. One side of the camera has an enlargement button and the other naturally decreases the zoom. While I think this new addition is very welcome I also think those with Diabetes may have some trouble locating these buttons if they have severe or mild neuropathy.

Sighted Electronics:
The Trio is back and better than ever. This was my third look at the Braille Display and I like what they have done with this unit. It is lighter, the buttons are very well defined and it has a good feel overall. It can run on batteries, it has Bluetooth and built in memory. This one is on it’s way to manufacturing so keep an eye out if you are looking at new displays. The company also announced software for Braille Embossing on the Mac, however, I didn’t get a chance to learn about this product. Hopefully I will learn more next month.

Speaking of displays I had seen before.. I got another look at the ALVA BC and I still think this unit is rad. It too can run on a rechargeable battery, internal memory and it’s light enough to fit into a laptop bag. It can do Bluetooth and if you want you can configure Supernova or Window Eyes to run on the unit’s memory rather than installing it onto a PC. There is also that expantion pack for added features. The unit has been a bit redesigned since I saw it last. It feels even more sturdy than before but some may or may not like its weight for its size. And by size I mean it is small. Sliding this one into a laptop bag would be a synch.

Enabling Technologies:
This is going to sound crazy I know but one of my “Best In Show” candidates isn’t high tech. No I am not kidding read on gentle reader. The Juliet Pro could be called, like most Embossers, quite loud. You can place it inside that ATM looking enclosure but that wood and plastic bunker doesn’t really offer much in the way of sound proofing. Behold the new cabinet for the Juliet Pro. I am not kidding when I say that the sound that the embosser made was reduced by a level in the neighborhood of 60%. You can still hear it a little through the paper feed and the output slot but the team at Enabling say that they already have a solution for that too. The new cabinet was a hit I was told. Over 15 units alone were sold on the show floor during the Wednesday through Friday blocks. Check this one out if you have this embosser. You will be glad you did.

G.W. Micro:
The Indiana based company wasn’t just all about their software division at CSUN this year. The new Voice Sense had its own coming out party. The unit is small, compact and fits in a pocket. Yes you have heard that before with the Humanware PK, however, this time you really can fit it in a shirt pocket and forget it is there. The Braille input felt solid, the wireless connectivity might make the unit wet with drool and battery life is going to rock. If you don’t have to have a Braille display on your PDA you might want to check this one out soon.

The redesigned Icon Dock was on the floor and it was popular. So popular that a particular ACB Radio Personality decided to pick one up during their time at the show. The new dock felt good and the materials themselves feel sturdy/well constructed. The Icon software has been updated since I saw it last at NFB in Dallas and you can hear some of the new features in the Main Menu presentation from a few weeks ago. This is one to watch for if you are looking for a PDA that is relatively inexpensive and is based solely in the open source movement/development.

Staying on the Open Source bandwagon.. I saw the latest build of Orca in Sun’s Solaris 11. I was blown away at how much this program has matured in the last 8 months. Orca will start being a common part of the kernel for Gnome and Solaris. And it will start seeing some development for Ubuntu and other leading versions of Linux. In the past Orca has been called slow. I think now those descriptions can be put to rest. With IBM behind it I think Orca has no where else to go but up.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Second Star To The Right And Straight On Until Austin

Please to forgive grammer and run on sentences below.. need sleep and time to put all stuff into perspective. ..

After five amazing Assistive Technology fun filled days what might you ask yourself I might do with my last night for this trip in magical Los Angeles? Was your answer laying on a hotel room couch eating pizza and watching the Dresden Files marathon on Sci Fi Channel even close? Well that’s what I am doing between sessions of packing and writing down a few ideas here on the Blog.

A good friend often tells me after our bigger meetings back home “I have to set aside some no people time”. Today I closed my eyes on the show floor a few times and I now totally get what he meant. A lot of noise, a lot of people and then there’s the warmth and smell associated with you’re fellow man… If you think that being a Product Rep is a glamorous vocation then you never stood at a booth for eight or more hours in a stuffy hotel under heat lamps. My heart always goes out to those who man their stations on Day 3 of CSUN. Just one more day my friends and you can then set your course for home..

Tonight my room is filled with folders, brochures, discs, pictures and a mouse. I have to say that giving away a USB mouse is one of the neatest things I have gotten in some time. And I could pack up my wireless mouse and save on the batteries. Overall I actually saw more this time around than my first trip to CSUN. It’s going to take me some time to process all I saw and heard. Which means you will find me making more posts over the next week or so.

I admit that I feel that the new management of CSUN got a lot of things right this year. The Online Registration was simple and responsive. The emails about the goings on and the offer to pick up my badge/program from the Alternative Media stations a little early during the Pre Conference just plain rocked. And no floppy disks this year!

When I said above that I saw this year more products than I did last year it’s mainly due to the vast amount of venders they crammed into the exhibit halls of the Marriott. Booths were smaller and more tightly compacted. Navigating between the crowds and the products was a little crazier this year. And the thought of venders showing their wears in a tent for more room in the halls is just madness to me. Because nothing brings on a good demo more than the wind, rain and the temperature that comes with LA in March. I have the hotels memorized but I would gladly move this thing to another part of town if it kept ideas like putting venders out in the open just for more space out of the realm of possibilities.

Like last year I have a few candidates for Best Of Show. All of the voices in my head haven’t voted yet and I think the poles don’t close until I am at 17,000 feet in the air tomorrow. When the poles do close rest assured I will post more on that front soon.

As it stands now I have to go sit on a suitcase full of product slicks to insure that it will fit into an overhead compartment. Man I hope TSA doesn’t want to open this bag. The number of paper cuts alone from the whirlwind of glossy paper and semi rigid cardboard is too scary to imagine.

My supreme thanks to all those behind the 2007 CSUN extravaganza.. From the staff to the venders to the sessions it was all truly amazing and a bit overwhelming. The sheer number of options for access is growing exponentially every year. What a wonderful time we live in where we can have so much choice.. and only so much money to buy it all with. I guess that’s why the great maker made credit cards and long term payment plans. Boy I have got to get a new obsession, er um, competitive admiration of techy toys. Perhaps I can give up the things that beep, flash and talk for something more quieter. Like stamp collecting. Ooo! There’s those newly repainted mailboxes for the Star Wars 30th year celebration that look like R2D2… Naah.. I don’t have a big enough wagon to get that home and I am pretty sure that would be a federal offense. Okay then… it’s back to drooling at $4,000 Video Magnifiers it is then.

Tons Of Windows Vista Tips At The Windows Super Site

I have told a lot of venders about the tips that have been appearing over at the Super Site for Windows. And I place the link to the first of five pages of tips here so the people I am talking to on the floor can find it easier.

Since you are lucky and you don't have to hear me prattle on in person let me just give you a sample of a few tips that will entice you to read the link below.

Using the Windows Key plus a number key in the number row will quick launch any program in your Quick Launch bar. The program that launches is tied to it's position in the menu. So if you have Windows Media Player in the fourth slot on the menu Windows Key plus 4 will launch the player.

Holding Control with Alt or Windows Key plus Tab will lock the Task Switching pane on screen. This is like a sticky key of sorts. If you need to hear long descriptions of multiple window or file names you can trigger this and just tab around without having to hold multiple keys down to keep focus in the Task Switching tool.

Check out these tips and more here.

CSUN 07 Report 3!

You might remember that last year was the first outing of the new CSUN management team. As with any transition with management a few bugs have to be worked out. This year is no different. The new software for registration of confrence events is not exactly working up to snuff. In three major offerings the number of people who were said to be registered did not equal the number of people who were registered. In one case the vender thought there would be 25 of us attendees only to actually see nearly twice that number in the room. For the G.W. Micro session with Doug, which was fantastic by the way, 70 people were registered. Naturally the line to get in went around the door and down the hall. I was one of 9 people that got to make it in once the 70 names on the list arrived.

One of the other stories roaming the floor is that the management of the confrence is thinking of seting up a tent in one of the hotel’s parking lots for a Pavilion styled exhibit hall. The reason for this is two fold. One being the need for more space for the venders that they just could not find room at the ins for and the other is .. well.. money. The event is getting so large and with that comes a hefty price tag. A third hotel was secured this year for the new track on Ageing. And plans to expand focus will continue if the event changes veneues, as another rumor suggests, or if they open up the tents for more exhibits.

Rather than me blab on end about some of the stuff on the floor ..

My Reader 2

Humanware Sponsors Chair..

Humanware Features Partners At CSUN

Mobile Eyes:
It’s a hand held scanner, it’s a bar code reader, it’s a video magnifier.. and so much much much more.

Like everyone else Dolphin is showing off their upcoming products for Vista. Some early builds of Supernova are on the floor and the plan is still to release in second quarter. The other focus for the company is on Alternative Format tools. Dolphin Converter allows you to take a file in one format, say PDF, and convert it to a whole host of other ones like say DAISY or MP3. Oh yeah.. Smart HAL and other Mobile Solutions are out now as well.

Yes you read that right. For the first time in a long time TSI presents new product at CSUN. And the booth is packed. I haven’t seen this new Vertex in person yet. So expect my impressions later. For now here’s the press release.

DBT 10.6 SR1 is out now and shipping. To learn more read the link below.

CSUN 2007 Report 2

As a kid growing up in the mid south I admit I didn’t see the big deal about LA and the SoCal lifestyle. However on my second trip here to LA I find that I understand Red Hot Chili Peppers songs more and more. North Hollywood Hills indeed.

Well as Kevin Rose says on Dignation “Moving On..”

Enhanced Vision:
The company is showing a new version of the Acrobat. This new version sports a 19 inch LCD panel display with a new type of Acrobat arm attatched to the top of the monitor. This new arm allows the person to still tilt the camera up for long distances, however, it also can be used more traditionally as a regular desktop Video Magnifier. The unit is still in development with hopes of shipping later this summer.
The Acrobat also has a new arm that is a bit shorter and even better at gripping tables and other services. It’s a couple of inches shorter, or so I am told, and this is said to be good for those looking to evenly distribute weight on a given surface.

I saw the new Compact Plus. And wow is it more radical than it’s older brother. First off the screen has more contrast and brighter colors than the first Compact. The camera can be tilted up like others in the Hand Held arena, however, the unit also has a fold out lever that can be used for alternative reading. It’s like putting your fave Hand Held on a stick. I was told by the reps on the floor that this feature would be good for those who can’t reach their arms up high enough to read the objects on a higher shelf. The person can even use the new Snapshot feature and then use the handle to reach those higher places for spot reading. The new Compact has three levels of zoom like the Nemo. But unlike the Nemo you can alter a saved image by either zooming in or out without losing the original Snapshot.

G.W. Micr:
My “Best of Show” from 2006 is back with a new add on accessory. The Sense View now has an external camera that fits into the Accessories Expantion Port on the right side of the unit. The camera is very small and it allows owners to write small notes or sign documents/checks. It’s said that this new device will not drain the battery in a bad way. Good thing too as a longer battery life is one of the Sense View’s best features for people on the move with no power outlets.

Freedom Vision/Ash:
The Liberty Solo units now use the camera style found with the Fusion. And the new Quick Look Zoom is being shown on the floor as well. This one has been hard to get to and I hope to have some impressions on it in another update. Oh and the Opti is back and this time you can use Zoom Text with it which has been a very big issue with this PC/Laptop Assisted Video Magnifier.

Notes From CSUN 07 1

It’s day 4 for me here in LA and I think I am finally easing up on the jet lag. Of course I fly out Saturday. So no rest, ironically, for the wicked.. I hope I can even string sentences together at work Monday.

Anyway.. let’s get to some of the things I saw and heard on the florr at CSUN 2007.

Ai Squared:
Scott Moore did two presentations yesterday. Both were kind of lackluster, however, they were informative. Zoom Text 9.1 has new Dual Monitor support. This feature is fantastic , however, it’s not easy to describe. To that end Ai Squared is looking to have a possible flash, WMV would be so much better, video on line to explain some of the benefits of running ZT on two monitors. Basicly you can run two monitors side by side giving 2 or 3x users a larger display to see at one time. Or you can have a 1x view and a 5x view, or what ever size desired, on the other monitor. This rules for those of us who have to do Power Point presentations to non visually impaired peers.
It should be noted that 9.1 will ship with a note about Office 2007. Ai Squared has detected an issue and Microsoft will be adding a hotfix to correct this known problem in the future. But for now some tracking issues may occur in Office 2007 and 9.1. I’ve been using 9.1 and 07 for a while now and I really don’t notice this too much. But it’s nice to know that MS is still listening to AT Venders from the point beyond the beta sessions.
9.1 is said to possibly be shipping in two weeks barring any unforeseen issues. It’s considered a minor update and it is priced lower than the prices it took to upgrade yourself from 8.1 to 9.0.
Also.. Zoom Text 10 was mentioned. No feature set, no price or anything like that. Just a mention..

Freedom Scientific:
The new Topazs, Topazi?, are on the show floor. These new refreshed systems sport white LED lights. And man do they make a visual difference. The newer units also have more color options and come in a 21 inch monitor to boot. While the Smartview Xtend also comes in a 21 inch flavor it’s seen as more of a custome order rather than a standarde option as found with Topaz.
Naturally Eric did a presentation on JFW and Vista. It’s a common theme among venders this year and you can’t swing a service dog by it’s tail without hitting a vender, a session or a person just mentioning Vista. Eric showed off JAWS performance in Vista and he mentioned that a new build should be on the main page this week. Possibly Tuesday.
There is a new version of the SARA on the floor and I heard it was to ship in June. More on that later.
Nothing new for the Pac Mate. I guess I am still under embargo on that for a while longer. But let me just say that Pac Mate does have some neat updates coming. Mabye by summer conventions?
Magic 10.5 is of course up and out on the web. This is a “no brainer” update if you are using Magic now. And it’s also a good partner for JAWS 8.0 if you are a user of both Screen Reader and Screen magnifier programs. There is now a Professional Scripting Edition out and I hope to have more on that later.
Both JFW 9 and Magic 11 are in the works. 9 should arrive by October and 11 may arrive in the summer.

The company showed off a few new Braille Displays. The Easy Braille is one of many units that are USB powered on this year’s show floor. It’s hard to describe but there is kind of a concave feel to the display. Your hands can rest in a curved or more natural stance and this is cool once you get used to it over time. Handy also has a new display that senses the weight of your fingers and adjusts it’s firmness accordingly. I have some documentation on this and after I read it I might be able to describe it better in another report.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Sweet Release Of Press Rides Again!

Here's a bit of releases on what's going on at CSUN. I am posting raw so forgive the html links that don't work .. no time to be super critical today I am affraid.

Oh and here's a bit on Dolphin that I saw on Jeff's blog..


Freedom Scientific Product Drawings and Informative Sessions at CSUN

(St. Petersburg, Florida, March 16, 2007) – During next week’s CSUN Convention in Los Angeles, California, Freedom Scientific will conduct two separate daily drawings on March 21, 22, and 23. Each of these days, we will award to one winner an OPAL™ portable video magnifier and to another winner a copy of MAGic® Pro-Scripting Edition. You must be registered at the convention to have a chance to win and claim your prize.

To pre-register for the drawing, choose the link below.

Drawing for an OPAL or MAGic Pro-Scripting Edition at the CSUN 2007 Convention, March 21-23, 2007 <>

Visit booths #250 and #266/267 to see Freedom Scientific products for individuals who are blind or have low vision.

Visit booths #262/263 to see the latest in the Learning Systems Group products – WYNN™ and TestTalker™.

At the Learning Systems Group booth, you’ll see how studying online has never been easier! WYNN™ 5.1 includes new Web browsing and studying features, such as Highlighting live on the Web and extracting highlighted material, and, of course, WYNN's patented WebMasking feature that masks out everything but the current text element.

WYNN 5.1 also boasts RealSpeak™ Solo voices for more human-sounding speech. The new version of WYNN supports DAISY and NIMAS-conformant files, enabling students to read and study using these important formats.

Mark your calendar for the following informative Freedom Scientific sessions:

Wednesday, March 21

Time: 9:20 AM - 10:20 AM

Topic: JAWS® for Windows© and Microsoft Vista™: A demonstration of JAWS 8, including the newly-added RealSpeak™ Solo Synthesizer.

Presenter: Eric Damery

Room: La Jolla B Room (Hilton)

Thursday, March 22

Time: 8 AM - 10 AM

Topic: MAGic® or JAWS Speech? Choosing the Solution for My Magnification Needs: Explore speech options from no-speech to using the full screen-reading capabilities of JAWS. Speech settings, visual synchronization, and sound indication of control information will be covered.

Presenters: Eric Damery and Dusty Voorhees

Room: Chicago/Dallas Computer Lab (Marriott)

Friday, March 23

Time: 3:05 PM - 4:05 PM

Topic: PAC Mate™ Accessible PC: Participants will learn about the extensibility afforded by the use of a mainstream operating system and usability made possible through JAWS for Pocket PC.

Presenters: Jonathan Mosen and Ron Miller

Room: Boston Room (Marriott)

Saturday, March 24

Time: 10:40 AM - 11:40 AM

Topic: Mastering MAGic for the IT Trainer: Choosing and implementing technology involves more than knowing product features. This session covers topics important for recommending, training, and deploying MAGic as a low vision solution.

Presenters: Dusty Voorhees and Dan Clark

Room: Chicago/Dallas Computer Lab (Marriott)


De Witt & Associates Announces
New Products and Prizes at CSUN 2007!
Come and visit us in the Marriott Saddle Brook Room, Booth 408 to see our new products for 2007!

• Teaching the Internet with JAWS 7.0 and above! This Courseware Title is completely updated with an easier to use format and new lessons on using Bookmarks and JAWS’ latest navigation keys!
• Getting Started Using System Access from Serotek. This new title provides lessons in everything from Internet, to Word, to E-mail using Serotek’s exciting new Screen Reader technology.
• Come and see the revolutionary new VPOD for individuals with print related learning disabilities. The VPOD allows you to read text as MP3 files and to plug into any computer and use a full suite of products including: Scan and Read Pro, Talking Word Processor, Talking Dictionary and much more!

Stop by Booth 408, Saddle Brook Room, in the Marriott for a free pen and business card holder and you could win one of these prizes instantly!

Color Teller
Microwave Oven
System Access “Key to Freedom”
$100 gift certificate towards any Serotek product Premier Assistive Technology’s Literacy Pack Premier Assistive Technology’s PDF Equalizer PC Talking Typing Tutor

De Witt & Associates, Saddle Brook Room, Booth 408


Dear Customer:

Our 7-Level Communicator is now on sale on our website at <> !

Two versions of our most popular communicator are on sale from March 15 to April 15. Choose the 7-Level Communicator in Blue or Black. Regularly priced at $299.95, they are now available for $259.95...a $40.00 savings!

Hurry, the sale ends April 15, 2007!

Steven E. Kanor, Ph.D.

Enabling Devices o 385 Warburton Avenue o Hastings-on-Hudson o NY 10706
800-832-8697 <>


Hello Conference Friends,

The countdown has begun to the 2007 Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference. In just a few days, speakers, exhibitors and attendees will be coming together for the largest event in the world to find out what’s on the horizon for assistive technology and disabilities.

We’d like to take this opportunity to provide you with some updated information and last minute reminders.

It’s not too late to reserve a seat in the General Session of your choice. Many attendees are taking advantage of our new on-line reservation system and we encourage you to confirm a seat in the workshop you’re interested in. This is your chance to make your own personal schedule, and have it printed for you when you get your name badge.

Registration & Check-in Hours are:

Sunday, Marriott 5:30-7:30 pm

Monday, Marriott 8:00 am-4:30 pm

Tuesday, Marriott 8:00 am-8:00 pm

Hilton 3:00-8:00 pm

Wednesday, both locations 6:30 am-4:00 pm

Thursday, both locations 7:30 am-5:00 pm

Friday, both locations 7:30 am-5:00 pm

Saturday, both locations 7:30-10:00 am

When you arrive at the conference, you may proceed to “Self-Service Check-in” if you have pre-registered and paid. You will be able to access the check-in system and have your name badge printed on-site for your convenience.

We’re sure you’ll want to attend our Welcome Reception on Tuesday, March 20 at 5:30 p.m. in the Marriott. In addition to mixing and mingling, you will be treated to a wonderful performance by Jessica Callahan, the singer who serenaded us so beautifully last year, we had to invite her back for an encore! One other item on the agenda that night will be a surprise award to “someone” you may all know!

Don’t forget to save time for our Exhibit Halls, filled with an overwhelming display of products and services you’ll want to check out. Open to the public on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, you will be dazzled by the variety and volume of cutting-edge technologies and innovations.

Although there may be some minor union activity at the Hilton, we want to assure you that this situation will in no way cause any disruption to our planned activities, sessions and program. Entrances to the hotel will not be blocked and we anticipate that any activity, if it occurs, will be orderly and respectful.

Please be sure to come to the exciting new Aging Track at the Renaissance Montura Hotel. We are certain you will not only receive valuable information, but possibly some surprise “keepsakes”!

We have many other exciting events and special topical sessions in our conference schedule this year. We look forward to seeing everyone at the Conference next week and hope you will, as always, enjoy the event as much as we do!


Topic: Incorporating Mobile Speak Pocket into Day to Day Living
Presenter: Larry L. Lewis, Jr., Founder and President, Flying Blind LLC.

This week, the Accessible World International Tek Talk online training event is proud to present a demonstration of the many features of Mobile Speak Pocket, the first screenreader released for persons who are blind that runs on a wide array of Windows Mobile PDAs and cellular phones. Drawing upon his extensive background in product evaluation, training, and deploying adaptive technologies for consumers in a variety of educational and vocational settings, Larry Lewis will take the audience on a tour of his PDA while demonstrating how he uses this software to access an otherwise inaccessible device to perform a variety of tasks. Finally, he will conclude by illustrating how Mobile Speak Pocket offers users refreshable Braille access if they elect to use the BrailleNote as a Braille input/output device in conjunction with their PDA. He'll also be debuting HumanWare's Braille Connect Series of refreshable Braille displays as an alternative for users in the market for an affordable, portable line of Braille displays that can interact with mainstream PDAs.

Date: Monday, March 12, 2007
Time: 5:00 p.m. Pacific, 6:00 p.m. Mountain, 7:00 p.m. Central, 8:00 p.m. Eastern and Tuesday 00:00 GMT.
Where: Tek Talk Online Conference Room
Approximately 30 minutes prior to the event, go to, and select "Enter the Tek Talk Room". Then, when the sign-in screen appears, enter your real name and press Enter.

Tell all your friends to join us. There is plenty of room for everyone.
Archives of all training events and sign up information for the two Tek Talk mailing lists are available at:


Coming to CSUN this year?
Bring your Boardmaker software CD for a quick and easy upgrade to new version 6 for Windows!

<> Upgrades for Boardmaker, Boardmaker Plus! and Boardmaker with Speaking Dynamically Pro start at just $89.10—a special only available at CSUN.

See you at CSUN!

Boardmaker with
Speaking Dynamically Pro <>
Boardmaker Plus! <>
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Boardmaker <>

teachtown <>
Not attending CSUN this year?
Check our Events page to see where we'll be next! <>

What's New with Acrobat?

As a result of feedback from customers like you, we have enhanced the most versatile video magnifier – Acrobat. Incorporating the same rotating camera for reading, writing and magnifying images at any distance, this 3-in-1 auto focus video magnifier continues to lead the way in flexibility.

Now offering a smaller and more stable arm and clamp, you will definitely notice the improvement in stability therefore; this will dramatically reduce vibration. The new arm which is 4” shorter in total length uses a more stable solid post which can only be used with the clamp that accompanies it. These improvements along with the wonderful features currently offered have definitely set the Acrobat apart from the competition. We appreciate your suggestions and will continue to enhance our products for your maximum benefit.

Acrobat Image

For more information click here <,qgfi,15l6,a2pj,21hl,ed1d,e5vc>

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The CSUN Blogging Begins Again... Hopefully!

I am packing up my laptop for another CSUN. If all goes well you will see, hear and probably skip some of the next few days of information I post here. And if you are really unlucky I will read you some of my poetry first. Okay Vo'gon jokes aside. This laptop has blown two motherboards since Thanksgiving. One more and I get a Best Buy gift card. So I may be disappointed if this trip kills it a third time, however, a post tax return shopping spree does sound nice.

I don't have time right now to explain why I have been so silent for the last two months. Part of it is due to me being under embargo with just about all the major players in the industry. I have been in a few closed door meetings and the temptation to say what I know during this time of year is best dealt with by me being unusually quiet. Odd I know but it is all for the best.

Another reason is that I am still under four betas at the moment. That takes up a lot of friggin time as everyone is on "crunch time" to have their best and brightest on the shor floor. If I have down time in the hotel this week I will say more on that a bit.

So hopefully I will be reporting along with Jeff Bishop and a few others out there on the interweb all the goings on from CSUN this week. And if all doesn't go well? It's a shame all of you won't be able to come to the Ranger Station HQ to see my new television newly purchased from Best Buy and their wonderful return policy. Ha!