Thursday, April 26, 2007

Monday, April 16, 2007

Magic Pro Scripting Edition Released..

I don't know if I agree with the info in this press release completly as you can do a lot with Supernova Pro for labeling and customizing the program.. However anytime you are given more control over the Assistive Technology you own is always a good thing in my book. Check out the press release at the link below to know more about the paid upgrade for Magic 10x users.

Window Eyes 6.1 Released!

Okay Vista fans it's finally here. Run out and get this full version of GW Micro's Window Eyes and read those Windows Sidebars. Amaze your friends with the power of 6.1 in what ever flavor of Vista you choose.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

More Press Bits From The Inbox

And then there is more from the never ending Inbox of press releases and newsletters.

Hi CSUN Graduates!

I hope that all of you had a safe and effortless journey home, and you’ve come back with many new ideas, tools, and friendly colleagues. I want to thank you very much for finding the Dolphin Computer Access booth amidst a packed exhibition hall. I appreciate you taking the time to view a product demo, grab software literature, or enter a Dolphin software prize draw. If you were not one of lucky winners, you can always get our products the old-fashioned way, via the internet.

I would like to encourage you to visit our website,, to find more information on the products you saw on Dolphin’s booth, as well as download demos to try the software for yourself. If you are interested in purchasing our products, please visit our dealer section to find a dealer near you. You can also contact Dolphin directly at or 1 866 797 5921.

As a final reminder, if you were interested in any of our access software, including Hal, Lunar, LunarPlus, and Supernova, Dolphin will be giving a free CD license to every customer who purchases a Dolphin Pen version of the same product. To learn more about this offer, visit

Thank you again for taking the time to talk with the Dolphin crew.

New Embosser Technology for the New Millennium

Tactile Display Corporation proudly announces Triple Impressions. This embosser and printer combination is based on well-established software and hardware technologies. Triple Impressions concurrently produces braille text, smooth continuous tactile graphics, and printed text! Braille dots, tactile graphics, and the visual lettering are all inked on the backside of translucent mylar sheets so the ink is protected from tactile reading but is visible for sighted readers. The transcriber can adjust the specific pressures for depth of embossing so other materials - braille paper and foils - are embossable. A free Grade 2 braille translator that meets NLS standards is an integral part of the software. You have to feel it to believe it!

More Details

Teamwork made Triple Impressions development possible. Ioline Corporation (Woodinville, WA), a leader in vector graphics plotters, modified its high resolution hardware so print, braille, and continuous tactile graphics could be drawn. Symbol Graphics (Corona, CA), a leader in computerized sign making programs, modified its ADA sign production software to allow intermixed tactile graphics, print and braille text. Simple drag and drop editing allows scaling of tactile graphics and on screen adjustment of print and braille placement. The Grade 1 and Grade 2 braille translation software from Braille Research & Literacy (Fayetteville, GA) lets users interactively enter, edit and spell check all text with automatic space adjustment. Enabling Technologies (Jensen Beach, FL), with 36 years of embosser technology experience, is the exclusive US reseller of Triple Impressions; they offer on-going support for this easy to use computerized print, braille, and tactile graphics production system.

Free samples are available upon request. Just e-mail us your postal address, and we will send you samples. Due to demand please allow 4 weeks for delivery.


Shipping Wt. 77 lbs

Shipping Size 25"D x 50"W x 15"H

Operating Space 42"D x 44"W x 12"H

Sheet Size 17" x 11" to 17" x 28"

Quieted for office environment operation.

For more information contact:

Peter Duran

Tactile Display Corporation

110 Commerce Drive, Suite 210

Fayetteville, GA 30214

Tel: 770-716-9222

Fax: 770-716-9599

Email: <>

Knowbility News: Spring 2007 Issue

In this issue:

* Welcome
* Cool design/coding marathon…jump in! <>
* Early Bird discount for Access-U extended to April 15th
* Derek Featherstone's Access-U preconference
* Charles Chen explores WAI-ARIA Live Region Markup
* AIR-Interactive winners: all of us!
* CSUN assistive tech conference - open source is big news.
* Online fundraising success
* More accessibility news…

This newsletter is also available on the knowbility website <> .

Welcome to the Spring 2007 Knowbility Newsletter

Sharron Rush Pretty exciting times in the world of web accessibility. From the sheer number and size of institutions interested in accessibility to the quality of work being done by individuals and organizations, accessibility is becoming a must-have skill. We at Knowbility feel fortunate to have access to so much good work and to be able to share it with our community - including you!

Read on to learn more about the open source accessibility work featured at the 2007 CSUN conference with contributions from Mozilla, IBM and others; also check out the results from AIR-Interactive at the SXSW Interactive Media Festival; updates about WCAG 2.0 status; details and plans for several of this year's Knowbility events: A Designathon/Codeathon in April, Access-U in May, keynotes in California and Mexico, and another California Web Accessibility Conference in January of 2008. As always, we hope to hear from you too and learn much more about how your accessibility work is going.

Until then,
Sharron Rush
Executive Director

Cool Design/Coding Marathon…Jump In!
Designathon Join the fun, put your open source skills to work, and help your community! On April 14th and 15th, Knowbility will join the League of Technical Voters (LoTV) to produce the Designathon/Codeathon 2.0. It is a coding effort aimed at building usable, accessible, open source web tools for use by the non-profit community. Things kick-off with Designathon on April 14-15 with a goal of laying the foundation, in terms of usability, accessibility, functionality and graphical interface design, for the software that will be created at the Codeathon the following week. The Codeathon is a 24-hour lockin at which programmers will implement designs created at the Designathon - or their own.

There are just 3 criteria for Designathon/Codeathon projects:

* Non-Profit relevance: Software should be useful to Non-Profit organizations.
* General relevance: Software should have a wide variety of applications to different organizations and situations, rather than tailor-made for one specific organization.
* Open Source: All software developed will be open source…benefits are meant for the npo world!

Sign up and view further details <> at <>

Early Bird Discount for Access-U extended to April 15th

AccessU Due to popular demand (and the time lag in getting purchase orders processed), we are pleased to extend the Early Bird discount for Access U until April 15th. Sign on today for two days of accessibility classes - many of them hands-on - that can be found no here else.; From basic to just-emerging standards and techniques across all platforms, Access-U delivers. Registration, class descriptions and instructor bios <> online <> .

Derek Featherstone offers AJAX accessibility workshop in conjunction with Access-U.

Derek Featherstone Derek is one of the world's most respected advocates and practitioners of accessible Ajax and other scripted applications. He will offer a full day workshop on May 7th as a pre-conference session. Held at the legendary Alamo Drafthouse and including lunch, snacks and a post session cocktail party, it is a full-day look at accessible scripting - what works, what doesn't, and where we are going. Access-U attendees receive a $100 discount, group rates are also available and you can register for Derek's session <> on his website.

WAI-ARIA Live Region Markup - Making AJAX Truly Accessible

By Charles L. Chen

Charles Chen Imagine a world where AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript And XML) is accessible to people with visual impairments. I don't mean simply swapping in a non-AJAX page to make it work for screen readers; I mean real accessibility that enables real time updates to be spoken to the end users and lets them use the AJAX page itself.

That utopia is much closer to real life than you may realize. The W3C WAI-ARIA (Web Accessibility Initiative - Accessible Rich Internet Applications) live region markup will make it possible for screen readers to understand the updates coming from AJAX and present them in a sensible manner to the user. This markup works by allowing web developers to create accessible containers adding WAI-ARIA properties to the dynamically changing parts of their website. These properties tell the assistive technology how the changes should be handled.

The most important concept that the WAI-ARIA live region markup introduces is "politeness". Live regions can have live="off", live="polite", live="assertive", or live="rude". "Off" will indicate that the changes to the live region should not be announced; this is useful for AJAX web pages that have a ticking clock that changes every second – announcing the time every second will not make the page any more accessible and is likely to annoy the user. "Polite" is the setting that should be used for most live regions; it tells the screen reader to announce the update when the user is idle – the announcement should not interrupt users who are busy reading through the page or typing in a blank. "Assertive" is stronger than polite; it tells the screen reader to announce the update at the first possible moment – in other words, if the user is reading a sentence, then as soon as that sentence is done, the update should be announced. "Rude" is exactly what it sounds like; it will interrupt the user immediately.

The WAI-ARIA live region markup also introduces the concepts of "atomic" and "relevant". Atomic="true" tells the screen reader that if any change is made to any part of the region, the entire region must be presented to the user. For example, if a cell contained stock price change information which included "up"/"down", the number of points, and the percentage, then that cell should be "atomic" since when there is a change, all three pieces of information should be presented to the user. "Relevant" tells the screen reader whether it should announce additions, removals, changes, or some combination of the three.

Best of all, despite being quite new, the WAI-ARIA live region markup has already begun to pick up momentum. Although WAI-ARIA has not been implemented in some of the larger screen readers such as JAWS and Windows-Eyes yet, Fire Vox (a free screen reading extension for Firefox) already has support for WAI-ARIA. This means that if you were to create an AJAX web page with WAI-ARIA right now, you will be able to check its accessibility by trying it in Fire Vox, and users on Fire Vox will be able to experience the benefits.

Since WAI-ARIA is still very young, it is not finalized yet and the WAI-ARIA working group <> is happy to receive feedback. This is a great opportunity for web developers who understand the value of accessibility to learn about the upcoming standard for accessible AJAX, practice using it, and even help shape it.

Note: AJAX is a way of using JavaScript to maintain a connection between the user and the server. As things change, the updates are sent from server directly to the user, without refreshing the page. Google Apps, Yahoo! Finance, and CBS Sportsline are all examples of web pages that use AJAX. AJAX has traditionally had an accessibility problem because the updates were either not recognized by screen readers, or they were not spoken in a sensible manner.

AIR-Interactive (AIR-Interactive) results and who was that masked man at SXSW?

Air Interactive March madness means SXSW in Austin and Knowbility dove right in. It started on Friday at the Bourbon Rocks on 6th Street, home to the Refresh World at <> SXSW <> , organized by Erica O'Grady, where the panel discussion of how UX (User Experience) and Accessibility tie into branding, marketing, & social media was, well…refreshing. The official interactive fest started on Saturday but Sunday and Monday were the big accessibility days…panels included: Accessibility Wars: A Report From the Trenches, which summarized the current WCAG 2.0 draft and reactions to it. Bob Regan of Adobe and Shawn Henry of the W3C joined Sharron for a lively discussion punctuated with video of some of the world's best know standardistas. And there was "Accessified! Practical Accessibility Fixes Any Web Developer Can Use" by Ian Lloyd, and another practical look at "Moving Large Corporations Towards Accessibility" by Chris Massey and Glenda Sims, aka the Goodwitch. Finally Derek Featherstone explored the rich terrain where "Ajax Kung Fu Meets Accessibility Feng Shui."

The Accessibility Internet Rally Interactive (AIR-Interactive) is Knowbility's annual accessible web contest held in conjunction with SXSW. In the weeks before the festival, AIR participants from Chevron, Convio, Frog Design, Segars, TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality), as well as several teams of independent web folks, were working hard creating sites for local artists and musicians. Judges agreed that the 2007 sites <> were the best ever and proudly gave trophies to Frog Team One, Team Convio Alternators, and Team Elemental Blend.

Our thanks to the participants:

* Team Web Carpenter (Mickey Chapman, Lydia Harkey, Rahki Ahuja, Node McMillen, and Joe Ignemmo)
* Magnificent Seven (Keith Townsend, Doug Boyer, Weining Zhao, Carol Weeks, Shanna Howard, Marh Esther Garza, and Firew Mekonnen)
* Frog Design Team 1 (Carl Antone, Liz Hunt, Matt Howell, Kyle Crouse, Neil Epstein, Jonathan Cho, and Arik Avila)
* Frog Design Team 2 (Skip Baney, Bryan Walker, Erik Swedberg, Tim Paciolla, Paul DeVay, and Stephen Hall)
* Chevron IDC (Chris Massey, Melissa Simons, Joe O'Bryant, and Brandon Martin)
* Elemental Blend (Timothy Segars, Joshua Segars, and Brandon Burkett)
* Convio Alternators (Jennifer Hodges, Brandy Reppy, Jesse Hodges, Don Roach, and Shara Kilarski)
* The Eclectics (Rahul Vaduka, Shirley Crossland, Rajvi Shah, Amy Gelfand, Kanta Ahuja, Jeff Lin, and Susan Marks)

We were especially pleased this year to host the awards alongside the Dewey Winburne Community Service Award <> . The Dewey is given each year during SXSW for outstanding Community Service through Interactive Media. The nomination itself is a great honor - each year there are ten "Deweys" nominated. 2007 Dewey nominees were:

* Brenda Adrian (St. Edward's University)
* Shahed Amanullah (
* Donny Branam (Austin Student Digital Film Festival)
* Rodney Gibbs (Amaze Entertainment)
* Bobbie Guerra (Texas School for the Deaf)
* Kathy Keller (Texas Parks and Wildlife Department)
* Joyce Lauck (
* Pat Pound (Governor's Committee for People with Disabilities)
* Harvey Smith (Midway Games)
* Stefan Wray (

Top honors went to Shahed Amanullah (


CSUN assistive tech conference - open source is big news.

California State University at Northridge The California State University at Northridge (CSUN) has hosted an annual conference on assistive technology (AT) <> every March for more than twenty years. It is always an astounding exhibition of new technologies and a place to identify trends in research and development. 2007 was no exception. Knowbility presented a well-received paper highlighting pilot results for our ATSTAR program <> , the online series of teacher training modules to help classroom teachers make preliminary assessment and implementation decisions for their students with disabilities. After four days of exhibits and presentations, we were most struck by the level of dedication and cooperation around ensuring that highly interactive Internet applications - those often referred to as Ajax, ARIA, or Web 2.0 - are accessible. Presentations by the W3C, Mozilla, IBM, Sun, and Adobe demonstrated emerging open source solutions for some of the currently most inaccessible problems on the web. These companies and others have embracing the open source/open standards model as a way to harmonize development tasks and meet global accessibility requirements. The level of commitment to accessibility is exciting and quite encouraging.

For background and links to current work:

* Roadmap for Accessible Rich Internet Applications <> (WAI-ARIA Roadmap)
* Sun joins IBM for Ajax development <>
* IBM's Open Source Portal <>

Demonstrations of work in progress on from Becky Gibson, Charles Chen, Aaron Leventhal, and others will soon be available on the CSUN website as the papers are published. We will keep you posted.

Validation06 Fundraiser confirms the importance of Knowbility programs to our community - thank you!

Validation 06

Fundraising is an ongoing challenge for all nonprofit organizations and Knowbility is no exception. The last quarter of 2006 saw the first ever launch of an online fundraising effort called Validation06 <> . While we did not quite meet our goals, we were pleased by the response, particularly from board members, former board members, and our wonderful volunteers. We would like to thank the following people for their contributions to our online fundraiser:

Our fundraiser was boosted by 100% participation by the generous Knowbility Board members:

Knowbility Board Members
Brad Richardson, Chair Lloyd Campo
Jason Pariso, Chair Elect James Caldwell
Richard Fox, Treasurer Richard Hopkins
Sharron Rush, Executive Director Wendy Pursch
Greg Businelle Hazel Sanchez

Donating staff members include Jim Thatcher, Annie Hudson, Teenya Franklin, Mike Rush, Kim Leno, and Aimee Ronn.

Thanks as well to former Board member Jon Carmain and his wife Linda who showed great leadership in contacting former board members for the creation of a board fund to benefit Knowbility programs. Other previous members of the board responded generously - thank you!

On behalf of millions with disabilities who are served by this work, Knowbility recognizes the importance of each one of you who donated to the Dewey Winburne celebration at SXSW and online during the Validation06 effort:

A heartfelt thank you to all the Dewey Winburne Contributors for making the celebration of Dewey's vision for technology inclusion a joyous event:

Dewey Winburne Contributors
Gary Chapman Monica Roesch
Teresa Ferguson Roger Steele
Hugh Forrest Dale Thompson
Jim Butler Dr. John Slatin
Josefina A. Hughes

And thanks to Validation 06 Table Sponsors Mike Rush and Brad Richardson for leadership in our great online experiment and also to the following table sponsors and guests:

Dr. Jim Thatcher and Contributing Guests
Diana Seidel Tom and Cathy Laws
Andi Snow-Weaver Sara Lyford and Robert Pyeatt
Shannon Rapuano Caroline Hadley
Daesene Willmann Kristin and Michael Asthalter

Teenya Franklin and Contributing Guests
Jennifer Hodges Kayla Bigham
Brenda Adrian Cousett Ruelas
Kathy Keller Michael C. Sekora
Jon Wiley Charlie Musta

Becky Myers and Contributing Guests
Peg and George Nevers Greg and Susan Nevers John Harris

Annie Hudson and Contributing Guests
Teresa Ferguson Aimee Ronn
Jeff Heiberg Marjorie Matthews

Sharron Rush and Contributing Guests
Ronald L. Hicks Ana Sisnett
Melanie Rush Davis Candice Moore
Anita Harkey Grady Hillman
Carol Biedrzycki Tish Rush
Ken Case Mildred Maples
Charlotte McCann Tom Dunbar

Through these efforts, Knowbility received over $30,000 to help us continue to raise awareness of the need and methods for accessible technology. If you share our belief in the critical importance of technology access, please consider making a donation to Knowbility <> today. Thanks very much!

The California Web Accessibility Conference 2008 (CalWAC)

By Annie Hudson

Knowbility is once again pleased and privileged to bring the CalWAC <> conference to California State University in January 2008. This year's planning committee has begun meetings to determine the exact date and location, to be announced soon.

What is CalWAC?

The California Web Accessibility Conference is a project of California State University, and the High Tech Center Training Unit of the California Community Colleges in partnership with Knowbility, Inc., to promote accessible Information Technology in higher education. The conference brings together world renowned accessibility experts and webmasters from university and community colleges throughout the state of California for an intensive two day series of learning sessions on accessible information technology tools and techniques.

What classes are offered at CalWAC?

The CalWAC conference offers hands-on accessibility workshop sessions, produced by Knowbility - the nation's leading trainer on IT accessibility policy, practice, and validation. Classes include practical instruction from basic accessibility awareness and resources to advanced assessment techniques, project management, and working with specific technologies such as Flash and PDF. As conference attendees learn more about accessibility requirements and techniques, there are also opportunities for conference sponsors to demonstrate their products in focused settings.

Last year's CalWAC in Long beach filled up fast, as testament to the enormous amount of interest and energy around the important need to make technology accessible to all. So, be sure and watch for CalWAC3 announcements for date and location, as well as registration info – all coming soon at!

A Slew Of Humanware Press Releases

Here are 3 releases post CSUN.

April 3, 2007

Concord, California -- HumanWare, the global leader in assistive technologies for vision, today announced the launch of the Nemeth Tutorial, from Dr. Gaylen Kapperman and Jodi Sticken of Northern Illinois University, for the BrailleNote mPower family of notetakers for the blind.

"I'm very happy to collaborate with HumanWare to develop the Nemeth Tutorial on the BrailleNote mPower," said Dr. Kapperman. "Many of us have worked for years to make Nemeth code instruction available for both teachers and students. We have conducted extensive testing, written new lessons and re-tested, all to make this a highly effective tutorial for Nemeth code."

The Nemeth code is the leading code for representing mathematical symbols in Braille, used in the United States, Canada and New Zealand. Learning the Nemeth code is crucial to blind students and adults who want to perform mathematics, opening doors in education and employment.

The tutorial is presented in 18 chapters with lessons covering everything from the basics of writing numbers up to statistics. Each lesson is broken down into four parts: an explanation of the lesson and reading, writing and proof-reading exercises.

The BrailleNote mPower family are the leading notetakers in education and employment for the blind. BrailleNotes are found in greater and greater numbers in schools as well as in work and everyday activities, where the speed and productivity that BrailleNote enables make a life-changing difference.

"We are excited about this new addition of the Nemeth Tutorial for blind students and adults for the BrailleNote mPower", said Dominic Gagliano, HumanWare USA VP for Blindness Sales. "Our relationships with school districts, teachers and students continue to grow stronger. With the Nemeth tutorial, the BrailleNote mPower is a powerful tool to aid students to excel in math and science and meet competitive graduation and college entrance requirements."

The Nemeth Tutorial is available as an option for the BrailleNote mPower BT and QT only, running the latest version of KeySoft.

To find the HumanWare sales office near you, visit

April 4, 2007 Concord, CA

HumanWare is pleased to announce the launch of myReader2, the next generation of the low vision auto-reader originally launched in 2004. myReader was a breakthrough reading machine when it was first introduced. myReader2 improves upon that technology with multi-page storage capability, improved page processing and low contrast improvements, together with user interface upgrades allowing even greater freedom and comfort for sustained reading.

myReader2 new features

Multi-page storage. The breakthrough feature in myReader2 is multi-page storage. Users can capture up to 10 pages, then read through them as quickly or slowly as desired. An additional three reference pages can also be stored and used again and again.

Easier user interface. myReader2 has a simplified user interface, based on extensive hands-on user testing, that makes the most-needed features easier to access.

Improved page processing. myReader's key capability is recognizing columns and word breaks on a page and converting all of the text into a single stream. myReader2 improves on this, handling a wider variety of pages quickly and easily.

Low contrast improvements. myReader2 does a better job of handling low contrast paper/print combinations found in many publications.

"myReader has been an amazing breakthrough for thousands of customers here in the US and around the world," said Vinnie Rappa, Vice President of Sales for Low Vision Products at HumanWare USA. "It's a 'reading machine' that has brought learning, productivity and simple joy to so many. myReader2 will make that promise a reality for thousands more."

Easy page viewing. With myReader2, the user can simply capture a page image, then pan around the image onscreen -- no need to move an X-Y table around. All with flexible features like image resizing, contrast and color controls.

"Auto-reader" capability. myReader2 can process the captured image and convert it into a flexible stream of words. This allows myReader2 to display the text in a single column, a single row or a word at a time -- no panning left to right, up and down to read.

Compact, flexible, attractive unit. myReader2 has the same size and shape as the original myReader -- a single, compact, folding unit with a built-in color LCD screen. myReader2 is easy to transport to and from school, home and office.

myReader2 is available now from HumanWare. Current users of the original myReader can call HumanWare for information on upgrading to a myReader2. Call HumanWare at 800-722-3393 for more information.

April 10, 2007, Concord, CA
HumanWare US announces more options and improved pricing for its SmartView Xtend line of video magnifiers.

HumanWare is pleased to announce it has added an additional monitor option, included an upgrade with the unit and improved pricing on the SmartView Xtends. The SmartView Xtend is now available with a 20 inch flat panel LCD monitor. "The 20 inch monitor gives our customers another option when purchasing a SmartView Xtend," said Vinnie Rappa, Vice President for Low Vision Sales at HumanWare US. "We've had many requests for a larger monitor and now we are able to offer one that has the same high quality as our 17 and 19 inch monitors."

Along with the larger monitor, HumanWare has lowered the prices of all monitors by $100, effective April 1, 2007.

HumanWare has also decided to include the Module 1 upgrade free with all new SmartView Xtends, effective April 1, 2007. All Xtends include auto focus, brightness control, and high contrast/false colors features. Module 1 includes all the features of a basic unit plus the lines and blinds, page locator, and magnification preset along with a remote, giving the user more control as they read.

The new options and better pricing make the SmartView Xtend the smart choice for those with low vision who want a more versatile video magnifier.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

More Vista Tips Links

I want to thank Joseph for leaving this one in the comments section of my last Vista tips post.

The Super Site For Windows has another installment in their reader submitted Tips Section.

And Extreme Tech has a Speed Up guide for Vista on line. Be aware that the curve on this particular article goes from novice to registry/services hacs mid way through.,1558,2110595,00.asp

Monday, April 02, 2007

Updated JAWS 8.0 And Magic 10.5 For April 2 Now Online

Note that this isn't an April Fool's joke one day later. On the front page of the Freedom Scientific site you will find the news for both updates. Or you can click on the appropriate links below.

JAWS 8.0 4/2/07 Update

Magic 10.5 4/2/07 Update

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Even More Stuff From CSUN...

I am still finding things I had not reported on yet from the piles of stuff I amassed at CSUN. Below are some resources I nabbed at the “Intro to Assistive Technology” session. I am more of a low vision/blindness specialist and these links below are great for research on other disabilities.

AT Basics

Switch In Time-Music Creation For The Disabled

AT Star

Assistive Technology Consideration Resource Guide

Alliance For Assistive Technology

And ..

I recently saw a very simple TV remote that is perfect for really young or an older person with disabilities. It has one button for the power, one wheel for the volume and one wheel for the channel selection. It’s larger than a normal remote and it’s bright as well making it hard to lose for those with low vision. Check it out at the link below.

Sweet Release Of Press: The Inbox Must Be Clean! Edition

Sweet Release Of Press: The Inbox Must Be Clean! Edition

It's all in the title my friends. This stuff has been clogging up my inbox and I am in a mood where everything must go. And I pass the savings on to you.

Clarity Introduces the JUNIOR!
Press Release For Immediate Release
Clarity Announces

Minden, NV - March 27th, 2007 - Introducing the new Junior ultra portable video magnifier. Offered at the lowest price in its class at only $695. The Junior enables you to read on the go or perform simple household tasks with ease. You will clearly see price labels, menus, phone numbers, prescription labels, favorite recipes, bus schedules, or bills and receipts. Writing with the Junior is easy, too. Simply tilt the camera to the stable "Writing" position, and begin writing anything from checks to Christmas cards. The small size fits easily onto your belt or in a handbag.

* Weighs only 11 ounces
* Lowest price on the market
* 4 inch viewing screen
* Video output for use with larger screen of your choosing
* 3x to 9x Magnification
* 4 viewing modes (including 1 color select)
* Tactile Controls allow for ease of use
* Includes wrist strap and carrying case
* 3 hour battery life
* One year warranty (optional two year)
* 30-day money back guarantee

To find out how to place your order, contact your local Clarity dealer or call us at 800-575-1456.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

IBM Makes Software, Web, Accessibility Push
By David Needle

You might take using a computer for granted, but for millions of people, it's a challenge. One in five individuals, or over 54 million Americans, has a disability that makes it difficult to see a computer screen or navigate the Web, according to IBM.

Specialized, usually expensive, software and hardware solutions have long existed. And in recent years, certain helpful facilities have been built into mainstream software, like magnification for the visually impaired.

But IBM wants to broaden development for the needs of the disabled at a fundamental teaching level. A recent survey of 200 two and four-year U.S.
universities commissioned by the computer giant found that the majority of faculty do not teach accessibility in the classroom.

Today IBM announced an initiative to give teachers wider access to learning material about assistive technologies. Six university partners have signed on to start and the U.S. Department of Education is also supporting the initiative. IBM is building a worldwide repository of materials it said will enable student developers to make software more accessible to those with disabilities and the aging population.

"To create a truly inclusive society, all forms of information technology need to be more accessible," said Dr. Bonnie Jones of the U.S. Department of Education. "If we can't do this, people with disabilities land on the wrong side of the 'digital divide.' We have to capture the intelligence and imagination of our next generation of IT developers now."

The University of Illinois, California State University at Long Beach, Georgia Tech, University of Toronto and the Rochester Institute of Technology are some of the universities who are already working with IBM to build a repository of repeatable learning materials to incorporate into everyday computer programming classes.

In one example, the University of Illinois recently added an online course out universal Web site design that includes accessibility for people with disabilities.

"What's so exciting to me, and so important, is trying to get ahead of the curve and influence colleges around the world to change the way they teach,"
said Benjamin Kepner, program director, marketing and strategy for the IBM human ability and accessibility center.

"The result is going to be that IBM, or let's say AT&T, Verizon and other companies, will be able to employ people who understand accessibility, it's not an afterthought. Once you build accessibility into your products, that means giving millions of people, productive, fulfilling work," Kepner told "It can also mean more Web sites will be created that consumers can access."

Kepner spoke during his attendance at the 2007 Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference at the California State University at Northridge.
IBM awarded prizes to three students who won a contest related to the Open Document Format for interoperability.

Daniel Millington (Capitol College), Chase Pritchett (University of Oklahoma), and Yang Liu (Tsinghua University in China), wrote computer code that checks word processing documents that adhere to the ODF to determine whether they are accessible. The students contributed their code to the open source community via

Separately, Kepner mentioned other accessibility projects in which IBM is involved. For example, one software/hardware product IBM co-developed with another firm is designed to help people with tremors better control a computer mouse. Another, ViaScribe, is being used by 15 universities worldwide. Used in conjunction with a microphone, ViaScribe is speech recognition software that course instructors can use to get their spoken words on a computer screen so the deaf and hard of hearing can follow along.

To IBM's surprise, ViaScribe proved valuable to more than those with hearing loss. "We've created a mine-able resource that students can use look up lectures on the Web," said Kepner. "As we develop more of these technologies, there will be a larger societal benefit."

ZoomNews customer edition, March 2007

New ZoomNews Audio Edition

Give your eyes a break! Try out the new ZoomNews Audio Edition and the ZoomNews Audio Player on our website at

ZoomText 9.1 – Expanding Your View and More

Picture of ZoomText 9.1 product box

With the domestic release of ZoomText 9.1 just a few weeks away, we want to remind you of the exciting new features coming your way – features that will allow you to improve your productivity in all of your applications. If you’re the type that just can’t wait, you’re in luck. The ZoomText 9.1 beta is still available for you to download and use. And it’s free!

Want to try it out? Click here to download the free ZoomText 9.1 Beta software <> .

Here’s what you can look forward to in ZoomText 9.1:

* New Dual Monitor Support. ZoomText’s new dual monitor support allows you to utilize two monitors to “expand your magnified view”. At any magnification level you can now have twice as much information in view at all times. You can also use the second screen to share a magnified or unmagnified view of your desktop with another person or group. Note: Dual Monitor Support is available in Windows Vista and XP only.

* New Focus Enhancements. The new Focus Enhancement feature makes it easy to locate and follow the control focus when you tab and arrow key through menus, dialogs, tool bars, and other application controls. When a control has focus, a bright, colorful rectangle or underline is placed around or under the control, making selection of controls much clearer.

* Support for Windows Vista. ZoomText 9.1 offers robust support for the new Windows Vista operating system, allowing you to take advantage of Vista’s improved security, stability and of course, it’s fresh, eye-catching user experience.

* New Windows Vista Logon Support. ZoomText's new logon support provides essential magnification and screen reading features when logging into Windows Vista.

* Support for Microsoft Office 2007. ZoomText 9.1 is ready for the new look and feel of Office 2007. In Word, Excel and Outlook, all of the new user interface components are tracked and spoken with the clarity you’ve come to expect in previous versions of Office.

* Support for Adobe Acrobat 8 and Adobe Reader 8. ZoomText's reading tools, including AppReader and DocReader, allow you to create and read documents in the latest releases of Acrobat and Reader.

* Support for Mozilla Firefox 2.0. ZoomText offers advanced support for Firefox 2.0, allowing you to accurately navigate and read complete web pages. In addition, you can use ZoomText’s Web Finder and Text Finder to quickly locate the links, controls and text that you’re interested in.

Dual Monitors Are a Wish Come True.
by Cathy Gettel

I’ve been using ZoomText for two years and like many of you, I’ve always wished I could see more of what I’m working on. I want to have the text large enough to read, but I want to see more of my work at one time. You might think it sounds like I want to have my cake and eat it too. Well, yes; that’s exactly what I want!

To my delight, Ai Squared has granted my wish. With the advent of ZoomText 9.1, I can now connect two monitors to my computer and see twice as much as I was able to see before. And let me tell you, it makes a huge difference in my life. I have monster spreadsheets I use to keep track of sales, including columns for the company names, monthly sales, year-to-date sales and notes. It makes for a lot of panning back and forth. But with ZoomText 9.1, I can use the new Dual Monitor feature in what is called “Span View”, and see all of the columns at once. Note: I use ZoomText at 2 times magnification.

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of dual monitors, you may be thinking “How does that work?” Imagine two monitors side by side on your desk, together displaying a wider magnified view of the screen. ZoomText takes care of splitting the magnified view between the two screens automatically. All you have to do is appreciate the difference. The image below will help you picture what the dual monitor Span View can do for you.

On my system, when I use the dual monitor span view, the ZoomText user interface is split across the two screens. If I were working with only the left hand monitor, I’d have to pan the magnified view to see the right half of the ZoomText user interface. With two monitors, I can see the whole ZoomText program at one time.

With two equal size monitors set to the same resolution, the image split is seamless. I usually have the edges of my monitors touching so there is no space showing between the two. In no time, my brain adjusted so that I can ignore the monitor frames and concentrate only on the work in front of me.

Occasionally, I work side by side with one of my coworkers writing articles for ZoomNews and copy for our product brochures. With a simple hotkey, I can switch to “1x View”, allowing me to have one screen magnified for my needs, while the other is unmagnified for my fully-sighted coworker.

I can also set the dual monitor feature to “Clone View”, which is very useful when I’m training other ZoomText users. With Clone View, both screens display identical magnified views. I can spin one monitor toward my audience and have the other monitor facing me. This helps me maintain the student/teacher feel rather than having everyone gathered around me trying to see one monitor, and making me feel as if I’m in their way.

In order for ZoomText to work in dual monitor mode, you must have a system running Windows Vista or Windows XP. You must also have either a dual-head video card or two video cards. To run two external monitors on a laptop you’ll need a docking station that accepts two monitor cables. I can tell you from personal experience, it’s a joy to go from only viewing my laptop screen, such as when I’m traveling, to my desk where I slip the laptop into its docking station and turn on both of my monitors.

If you’ve been wishing for more of what you buy ZoomText for, check out the new dual monitor feature in ZoomText 9.1. In “span view” you’ll see more of the magnified image. And for greater productivity in sharing situations, whether you share with people who are fully sighted or low vision, the “1x view” and “clone view” options is just what the doctor ordered.

The ZoomText 9.1 beta is available now for download from the Ai Squared web site, The official product will begin shipping in the U.S. and Canada in April. Look for the International version in May. Perhaps Ai Squared has granted your wish too.

Editors note: Cathy Gettel is Ai Squared’s Dealer Network Manager. She is not a person with low vision, but rather a person with “over 40 eyes” who appreciates working with the world-leading magnification software.

Scott Webb Gives Nickelodeon A Creative Vision

In 1981, Scott Webb was a new college graduate ready to take on the world. One morning while reading the newspaper, he covered one eye and realized he couldn’t read with the other. He scheduled an appointment at an eye clinic and was told there was nothing wrong with his eye. Technically, that was right. It was the optic nerve that was causing the 23 year old to lose his central vision. Within a month’s time, Scott was unable to drive.

Working as a free-lance production assistant in the fledgling cable TV business, Scott had a dream job: reporting to Fred Seibert, who was the first creative director of MTV (Music Television). Scott was encouraged to learn as much as he could about all aspects of video production. Suddenly, faced with rapidly failing eye sight due to a diagnosis of Leber’s Optic Atrophy, he had a decision to make. Filled with dread, Scott went to Fred’s office and explained, “I have an uncorrectable problem. I cannot read, drive, really do anything.” Scott was ready to give up. Looking back he was unsure about just what he was ready to give up. Perhaps his job, maybe his life. Things were looking pretty bleak.

Scott was shocked when instead of commiserating and saying goodbye, Fred told him in no uncertain terms, “You have a lot of problems. You’re lazy, disorganized, and irresponsible. Go work on those things, if you have trouble with your eyesight after you solve those real problems, let me know.” Suddenly, hopelessness was replaced with determination and drive. Knowing Fred believed in him and would do whatever was necessary to help overcome his eyesight problems, Scott set out to prove Fred did the right thing that day.

In the mid-80s Scott’s mentor, Fred Seibert, was asked to rescue the floundering children’s network, Nickelodeon. Again Scott was able to lend his talent to Fred’s mission. Together, the Nickelodeon team turned the lowest rated cable network into a first place phenomenon. This time Scott honed his skills at writing and producing on-air promotion.

During his time at Nickelodeon, Scott’s hardware magnification solution failed to keep up with technology. A friend did some research and discovered ZoomText version 7. Not only could the software magnify what was on the computer screen, but ZoomText could read the applications that Scott used, and most importantly read his documents and email. In the years that followed, ZoomText added more features allowing Scott to increase his productivity. With ZoomText doing its job, Scott could concentrate on his. As a result, Scott Webb has remained a loyal customer.

Reminiscing about his Nickelodeon days, Scott remarked, “At the heart of Nick is the understanding that it’s hard to be a kid in a grown up world. We pulled that concept into every aspect of the business.” By the late 80s, Scott was the creative director and involved in everything that happened at Nick. He was the vision of Nickelodeon!

A lot of healing occurred during the Nick days, Scott recalls, “That time was very important to my own character building. It allowed me to process what had happened. That’s when I came to understand there is a difference between sight and vision. I have a real problem with my sight, but vision comes from someplace else. Recognizing the difference was transformational for me.”

There were times when Scott was afraid he’d never have a family. He was unsure he could be an adequate father. But then the learning and growth made possible by his years at Nick gave him courage. He and his wife Jessica have two sons; Noah, 12 and Joshua, 7. When asked about usable sight, Scott responded by saying, “I have enough sight to shoot hoops with my boys”.

In 2000 Scott opened his own media consulting company, Afterlife, specializing in branding, marketing and programming projects for cable companies. These days, while many media companies are moving to broadband, ZoomText allows Scott to stay connected to the evolving business.

One of Scott’s favorite ZoomText features is Mouse Wheel Zooming. By simply holding the Control key and moving the mouse wheel backward or forward, he can adjust ZoomText’s magnification on the fly in order to see the work of his artists, designers and video editors.

Assistive Technology has come a long way since that day in 1981 when Scott was diagnosed. More importantly, Scott Webb has come a long way from the man who “just wanted the problem to go away” to the man who has made the most of life in spite of being low vision. Nickelodeon fans are just part of a huge group of people who are indebted to Scott. He credits Fred Seibert for taking a chance on a young man with “a lot of problems” and helping him to succeed in the visual world of television.

Tech Tip: Getting Ready for Windows Vista and ZoomText 9.1

Picture of Windows Vista logo

ZoomText 9.1, now in beta and shipping this April, offers robust support for the new Windows Vista operating system, allowing users to take advantage of Vista’s improved security, stability and of course, it’s fresh, eye-catching user experience.

If you’re planning to purchase a new Windows Vista system, your system will be ready to run ZoomText 9.1 right out of the box. But if you’re planning to upgrade your current XP system to Windows Vista, make sure your system is capable of running the desired version of Vista and that you have the required hardware configuration to support ZoomText.

Can your Windows XP system run Windows Vista?

To find out if your current Windows XP-based system has the hardware required to run Vista, download and run the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor. You can get to the download page by clicking here

or by following these steps:

1. Go to

2. Select Can your current PC run Windows Vista?

3. Select Download Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor.

Once you have run the Upgrade Advisor and determined which versions of Windows Vista your system will support, go back to and select “Plan for an Upgrade” to learn more about your Vista upgrade options.

Can the system you’ve upgraded to Windows Vista run ZoomText 9.1?

To run ZoomText 9.1 in Windows Vista, we recommend that you have a system equipped with the following hardware:

* 1.5 GHz processor
* Minimum 1 GB RA
* Minimum 25 MB free disk space. Note: An additional 60 MB required for each NeoSpeech synthesizer.

If you have any additional questions about running ZoomText 9.1 in Windows Vista, feel free to contact Ai Squared’s Product Support Department.

Infogrip's Assistive Technology Update

Table of Contents

* lomak
* Compass
* MyTobii

Contact Info:
Infogrip, Inc.
1794 E. Main St.
Ventura, CA 93001
805-652-0880 fax <>