Monday, November 19, 2007

A Boat Load Of Zoom Text News

Ai Squared has been very busy in the past couple of months with lots of announcements. Many of them I have known about for awhile but that old friend the NDA kept me from running on at the mouth about things. Then when it all went public I didn't post the news. So in an effort to catch up on both old and new announcements I plop this post down today. Oh and big shout out to all my peeps down in Vermont. The changes on the Ai2 news page are worth crowing about. See what I am talking about at this link.

Here is a cornucopia of news in one big post.


ZoomNews customer edition, September 2007

Table Of Contents

New ZoomText USB

ZoomText Survey and Prizes

User Story: Susan Reed

The Ai Squared Forum

In The News

ATIA 2008 Conference

ZoomText USB Coming Later This Month

ZoomText USB Drive Image

Computers have become increasingly ever-present in our lives, and so has our need to access and use them everywhere we go - at home, school, work, and even in libraries and other public facilities. This need for public computer access is no different for users of ZoomText. To make ZoomText readily available to individuals that need it, Ai Squared is introducing the new "ZoomText USB" - ZoomText delivered on a USB memory drive that users can conveniently carry with them, install, and use at any time.

ZoomText USB provides these important key benefits:

  • Access on any computer
    With ZoomText USB you can plug in and run ZoomText on any system without having to purchase additional licensing.
  • Portable and always within reach
    The ZoomText USB drive fits in your pocket or around your neck (on the included lanyard), so it’s always with you when you need it.
  • Easy to use
    Just plug in the ZoomText USB drive and ZoomText automatically starts up. If ZoomText is not installed, the friendly setup program is launched and you’ll be up and running in minutes. Note: Admin rights are required for first time installations.
  • Plug-and-Play license management
    Since the serial number is tied to the ZoomText USB drive, there are no serial numbers or license activations to worry about.
  • Take your settings with you
    Your personalized ZoomText configuration settings are saved to your USB drive and are automatically loaded each time you plug in and start ZoomText.

ZoomText USB is set to release later this month. Once we are officially set to release, we will be sending out another email which will explain ZoomText USB more in depth and include pricing information. Stay tuned!

ZoomNews Survey & Prizes

Picture of MoneyThe last survey was such a huge success thanks to YOU! We value your opinions and feedback highly and hope that you will find this second survey just as interesting.

In this issue, we are surveying about portable magnifiers. Everyone who completes the survey will be entered into a drawing to win one of two $50 VISA check cards AND as a bonus, you’ll receive an email containing a coupon for $50 off any order placed in the month of November that includes one of the portable magnifiers that we carry – the Nemo or the Max!

You have until November 21 to complete the survey so get started now and good luck in the drawing!

Launch Survey

Results of Previous Survey

Lynn Evans ImageThe September survey polled our users about their ZoomText settings. Almost 700 people completed the survey! If you are interested in the results, please visit the survey results (PDF FILE). The results are also broken down by eye condition here: Results by condition. You can see the results in graphical or in text form.

We'd like to congratulate both Bowen Dees and Lynn Evans for winning the September drawing. Each won a $50 gift certificate to

The picture to the side is Lynn hard at work at the computer, teaching in his computer lab. Fill out the survey above and maybe your picture will be the one to appear in the next issue!

Driving With Stargardt's


Almost 20 years ago, Susan Reed started to notice that her eyesight was deteriorating. Soon after that, she learned that her failing vision was due to Stargardt’s Disease, a hereditary macular (central retinal) degenerative disorder. Even though Susan is considered high functioning, she had to leave her job as a nurse because she couldn’t see well enough to perform her job properly. In the early 90s, she went back to college and pursued a degree in business.

Susan was left disheartened when she had to give up driving shortly after leaving her nursing job. She began seeing a low vision specialist in Baltimore who informed her that there was a law in the works which would permit certain low vision people to drive with the help of bioptic telescopic lenses.

With a renewed sense of hope, Susan applied to the program, earned a learner’s permit, was tested and passed the daytime driving test. In doing so, she became the first person in Maryland to get a license under this law! As long as she stayed violation free for a year, she could then take the nighttime driving test. This more intense test involved driving for 45 minutes on the Baltimore Beltway with 3 examiners in her car – to think I was nervous during my driver’s test! Susan passed with flying colors, but doesn’t like to drive at night and feels much more comfortable during the daytime. The law requires that she be retested every year and thus far, her eyesight has remained at a level that permits her to keep driving.

“I tend to view my eye condition as more of an inconvenience than an impairment,” says Susan. “It’s a stumbling block to work around, but I don’t let it stand in my way.”

She truly hasn’t let her condition get in her way – Susan worked for 7 years as an office manager for the fundraising company Joe Corbi’s Pizza Kits. In fact, this is where she was introduced to ZoomText and has been a user ever since. She motivated herself to relearn the computer skills that are vital in the business world, now that she could see the screen again.

“I choose to focus on things that I have control over,” states Susan. “Since vision loss is not something that you have power over, it’s important to take things in your own hands and turn your life around. ZoomText has let me do just that.”

While she was working as an office manager for Joe Corbi’s, Susan and her husband Steve set up their own construction business run out of their home. Her husband and son Greg did the construction work while Susan managed the office.

About three years ago, Susan changed jobs and started work at Lily Pons Water Garden in Adamstown, MD. Susan had always enjoyed water gardening as a hobby, so this job was perfect for her. She has 2 water gardens at her own home – a small 600 gallon pond and a much larger 1600 gallon pond – both with waterfalls.

She still kept up with all the bookkeeping at their construction company until last year when her duties as Sales Manager and Events Coordinator at Lily Pons began to take up most of her time. Lily Pons is an aquatic plant farm with a showroom stocked with everything you would need to put in a backyard water garden. Susan is in charge of a sales staff of 5 and is the go to person for technical questions about the mechanics involved in water gardening. She definitely keeps busy – what with planning weddings on the grounds and coordinating the annual British car show, among many other activities.

Currently, she is working on the new Lily Pons website which is set to go live very soon. Susan credits ZoomText and says that there is no way that she could do her job without it. While Susan uses ZoomText at 5x magnification every day at work, her normally sighted coworkers love to use it at 2x power. It relaxes their tired eyes, a result of working at the computer all day long. “At Lily Pons, I’m really in the public eye,” says Susan. “It’s a great opportunity for me to be an advocate for the visually impaired.”

Water gardening is a seasonal business and Lily Pons closes for the winter and reopens again in March. During the off time, Susan switches gears to basket weaving. In fact, after our phone interview, she was headed to her mom’s house in Pennsylvania where they both teach basket weaving classes together. Their work is often displayed at craft fairs as well. “I’ve always been an ‘artsy' person,” says Susan. “When my vision went, basket weaving was perfect for me because it’s big enough for me to see.”

In her spare time, Susan enjoys four wheeling and loves riding around on ATVs. In addition to their son, Greg, Susan and Steve also have 2 daughters, Jennifer and Meredith and two grandchildren, Ethan, 5, and Lexi, 2. Pictured above with Susan is Garnet, their Doberman that they recently rescued and they also have 3 cats! Life is certainly busy at the Reed household, and we are glad ZoomText has allowed Susan to work at a job that she enjoys so much. If you are interested in learning more about Lily Pons, please visit their website at

Ai Squared Forum

Rome Wasn't Built In A Day

Have you been to the Ai Squared forum lately? It’s been around for a while – of course, not quite as long as the Roman Forum pictured over there – it’s been up on our website since 2004. Maybe you visit it often or perhaps you have no idea what I’m talking about.

The forum is an online meeting place for ZoomText (and BigShot) users. It allows you to interact with Ai Squared employees and your peers in order to share knowledge and news about Ai Squared products. When you post questions or comments about our products, you’ll receive feedback directly from us. Additionally, you can contact your fellow users through instant messaging and email.

You can read all the topics posted without registering, but as soon as you’re registered, you can post new topics and join in the many ongoing discussions. There are a variety of different topics of conversation including Technical Issues, ZoomText with Other Programs, ZoomText and Vista, Legacy Products, and the Large Print Keyboard, among others. The forum is a great place to talk about ZoomText issues and features, and a place to get help.

You can explore the forum at Registering only takes a few minutes and it will give you access to the additional features not available to guest users such as private messaging, emailing to fellow users, Usergroup subscription, and more. If you’re already a registered user and haven’t visited the forum in a while, take a look at all the ongoing discussions and join right in.

Whether you’re the one with the questions or the answers, check out the Ai Squared forum today!

New announcement imageIn The News

In every issue of ZoomNews, we will present a few links to articles that we’ve come across that would be of interest to our users. Check them out:

Cooking Without Looking – a television show that teaches people about low vision cooking.

Smart TV Remote For Visually Impaired - An Australian inventor has come up with a new universal TV remote control designed for those with declining eyesight or disabilities.

New $5 Bill – Scroll down the page to see the low-vision feature of the new bill.

Different Visions at Space Camp – 115 kids with vision impairments spend a week in space-camp training.

It’s Better in the Dark – Read a review of the restaurant O.Noir located in Canada where all the wait staff is visually impaired and eaters dine in the dark.

ATIA 2008 Conference

Don’t miss the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) 2008 Conference, January 30th through February 2nd, 2008 in Orlando, Florida – the premier educational and networking event in assistive technology.

The ATIA 2008 Conference features the latest products and services, showcasing more than 125 exhibitors, in one of the most comprehensive exhibitions in the industry. If you attend this event, you’ll have the chance to learn about products available to help those with low vision, hearing loss, and learning disabilities among others.

While this is a professional industry show, it is open to consumers who are interested in exploring innovative assistive technology products and participating in hands-on workshops. Attendees span a wide array of professions including business, government, education and consumer market professionals from across the globe.

If you are in the area, the exhibit hall is open to the public with free admission from 2pm to 5pm on Friday, February 1st and again from 9am to 12pm. on Saturday, February 2nd. If you are interested in attending the entire show, please visit for more information on the ATIA 2008 Conference and for registration information. Register by November 26th and save!

Stop by Ai Squared’s booth #1012 to see our new and soon to be released products: ZoomText Lite, ZoomText USB and ZoomText Scripting Edition.

Ai Squared company logo

Ai Squared
P.O. Box 669
Manchester Center, VT 05255
Tel: (802) 362-3612
Fax: (802) 362-1670

© Copyright 2007, Ai Squared, All Rights Reserved.
Ai Squared and ZoomText are registered trademarks or trademarks of Algorithmic Implementations, Inc.


ZoomNews customer edition, September 2007

Ai Squared has teamed with EVAS to create the NEW ZoomText Workstations!

Ai Squared Partners with EVAS and Dell to offer ZoomText WorkstationWe are excited to announce a new product line of ZoomText Workstations, created by EVAS, for home, work or school. Ai Squared has teamed with EVAS to offer a complete plug & play low vision workstation solution for the visually impaired.
Each Workstation is ready to use and comes fully integrated with ZoomText, application software, and peripherals installed and configured!

EVAS ZoomText Workstations: Quality, Performance, Prompt Delivery, Outstanding Value, all in a total solution that runs right out of the box.

ZoomText Workstations are sold and supported by EVAS

Serving people with disabilities since 1979.

Standard ZoomText Workstation

ZoomText Workstation with one Monitor

Click Here for more details.

Click Here to Purchase a Standard Workstation.

  • Dell Optiplex PC
  • 19" Flat Panel Monitor
  • ZoomText Magnifier/Reader 9.1
  • ZoomText Large-Print Keyboard
  • Microsoft® Office 2007 Basic
  • EVAS Classic Menu for Office
  • All-In-One Printer
  • 3 Year Warranty
  • AVG Anti-Malware

Dual-Monitor ZoomText Workstation

ZoomText Workstation with Dual Monitors

Click Here for more details.


Click Here to Purchase a Dual Monitor Workstation.

  • Includes all above features with 2 - 19" Flat Panel Monitors

Box shot of ZoomText Magnifier/Reader

Every ZoomText Workstation is pre-installed with ZoomText 9.1, and features Dual-Monitor Support.

Ordering Information
* Offer Valid Until December 24th, 2007

EVAS company logo

Phone: 1-800-USA-EVAS 800-872-3827

  • Click Here to Ask Questions about the ZoomText Workstations.

Ai Squared company logo

Ai Squared
P.O. Box 669
Manchester Center, VT 05255
Tel: (802) 362-3612
Fax: (802) 362-1670

Blue Banner

© Copyright 2007, Ai Squared, All Rights Reserved.
Ai Squared and ZoomText are registered trademarks or trademarks of Algorithmic Implementations, Inc.


ZoomText Scripting Edition Beta available

With great excitement, Ai Squared has recently started work on the newest edition to the ZoomText product family - ZoomText Scripting Edition, scheduled for release by early next year. ZoomText Scripting Edition will make it possible to customize the behavior of ZoomText as well as other applications, providing for enhanced functionality and automation of complex and routine tasks. With the power of ZoomText Scripting Edition, users will realize greater productivity and success, especially in workplace environments.

We have just reached code complete and need feedback from experienced scripting professionals. If you have scripting experience and are interested in testing the ZoomText Scripting Edition, go to to learn more about the project and how you can participate.

On the ZoomText Scripting website, you’ll be able to interact directly with our development team to guide us in our efforts to make this project the most beneficial to you. Visit now. We look forward to working with you!

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