Sunday, November 26
Thursday, November 23
Wednesday, November 22
Saturday, November 18
Thursday, November 16
Sunday, November 12
Greetings. Here's interesting information about tonight's Marlaina program on ACB Radio Mainstream. This announcement was sent out via email last week, thus the refernce about next week. Enjoy.
Because I think next week's Marlaina program, heard November 12 in NorthAmerica and 13 elsewhere, is so exciting I want you to have plenty of noticeso you can plan to join us.
My guest next week will be Jim Kutsch, President of The Seeing Eye. Jim isa guide dog handler, and is working with his sixth guide, Anthony.
Jim joined The Seeing Eye staff in September, 2006. As President, he isresponsible for the professional leadership of The Seeing Eye.
Jim has a very rich career history. Prior to his current position he wasvice president of strategic technology with Convergys. Beginning in 1979 healso served in various positions in the technology field with AT&T UniversalCard Services and AT&T Bell Laboratories.
Jim received his Ph.D in Computer Science from the University of Illinois in1976 and was Assistant Professor of Computer Science at West VirginiaUniversity until 1979. He is currently serving as Vice President of theNational Industries for the Blind's Board of Directors as well as being amember of Freedom Scientific's Product Advisory Board.
I believe we will all benefit from spending time with Jim, and learning howhe developed his education and career at a time in society when adaptivetechnology was scarce and mostly a dream in the minds of a few brilliantpeople.
All this and more is up for grabs on the next Marlaina, heard on ACB RadioMainstream.
It all starts on Sunday night at 8 PM Eastern, 5 Pacific, which is Mondaymorning at 1 Universal. The program will replay for 24 hours, and ofcourse, is available via podcast from the ACB Radio replay page. As always,we'll take your calls at our toll-free number, 866 666 7926.
Please save this message and click the link below on Sunday at 8 PM Eastern,5 Pacific or Monday at 1 Universal to listen. I can't wait to spend timewith you there! Feel free to distribute this message to others whom youthink may be interested.
As always, thank you so much for your continued support of my ACB Radiowork!
Marlaina LiebergTo listen to the show, just click this linkhttp://www.acbradio.org/pweb/index.php?module=pagemaster&PAGE_user_op=view_page&PAGE_id=8&MMN_position=14:14
Saturday, November 11
For Immediate Release
Christchurch, New Zealand
November 7, 2006
HumanWare releases Concise Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus for BrailleNote
Both children and adults who use HumanWare's industry-leading BrailleNote
family of products now have the option of the world's most popular
dictionary and thesaurus at their fingertips.
The Concise Oxford Dictionary on BrailleNote gives the meaning of a word,
speaks it aloud with correct pronunciation, and much more. It includes the
word's full definition of entries with additional advanced search features.
The Concise Oxford Thesaurus provides convenient lookup of synonyms and
antonyms. The Dictionary and Thesaurus combination is available in either
US English or UK English.
KeySoft is the software which powers all models of BrailleNote. From any
KeySoft application, whether you are in the KeyWeb Internet Browser, the
Book Reader or Word Processor, the Dictionary and Thesaurus are easily
accessed by one easy key stroke.
"Customers are very excited about the product," said Dominic Gagliano,
HumanWare's Vice President of Sales for Blindness in the US. "We've
received particularly positive feedback from educational and rehabilitation
customers. This release demonstrates our continued momentum in developing
software for our products for all segments of our market."
The Concise Oxford Dictionary is based on the largest language research
program in the world. Its up-to-date entries are backed by the unrivalled
new words research of Oxford University Press.
Running on the BrailleNote family of products, the Concise Oxford
Dictionary and Concise Oxford Thesaurus can be accessed by QWERTY keyboard
or Braille input, and read and heard by both Braille and auditory output.
The entire contents of the Concise Oxford Dictionary are automatically
integrated and expand the functionality of the KeySoft Spell Checker, from
which the user can easily reference the Dictionary.
The Concise Oxford Dictionary and Concise Oxford Thesaurus are available
today. They run on the latest version of HumanWare's industry-leading
software for the blind, KeySoft 7.2 Build 47, on BrailleNote mPower,
VoiceNote mPower or BrailleNote PK, as well as other BrailleNote Classic
models. The price is $195. To order, call 800-722-3393.
Thursday, November 9
Dear loyal and patient Bookshare.org volunteers,
The press announcement below was sent out for release this
morning. Many of you have done a tremendous amount of work in
building Bookshare.org, a library of accessible books that reflect
your interests. Congratulations on your achievement.
Thanks from everyone at Benetech.
BOOKSHARE.ORG PUTS 30,000 ACCESSIBLE BOOKS
ONLINE FOR DISABLED READERS
Thousands of Volunteers Select and Scan Bestsellers For the World's Largest
Accessible Online Library
Palo Alto, Calif., November 8, 2006 - Bookshare.org announced this
week that its network of volunteers has succeeded in scanning
30,000 books creating the world's largest accessible online
library. Thousands of Bookshare.org volunteers, including educators
and librarians, select their favorite books and legally convert
these texts to digital formats that can be used by people with
print disabilities such as dyslexia and visual impairment.
The entire Bookshare.org online library can be downloaded to
Braille printers, portable Braille devices and software that reads
aloud in a synthesized human voice. Among the titles are
bestsellers including Criss Cross, the 2006 Newbery Medal winner
for children's literature. Information about the latest titles can
be found at
"There are thousands of people who couldn't read this literature
without something like Bookshare.org, it opens up a whole new world
to them," says Bookshare.org volunteer Matthew Devcich, 16, of
Chantilly, Virginia. "You are helping people across the nation and
it's a great way to learn today's technology."
Devcich, who has a visual disability, created an Eagle Scout
leadership service project that organized 21 mostly teenage
volunteers to scan and proofread 24 books. Devcich listens to the
Bookshare.org ebooks which allow him to reduce eye strain while he
reads the text online in an enlarged font. "It helps me read a
great deal faster," says Devcich.
The subscription-based Bookshare.org digital library is the first
literacy program developed by Benetech, a nonprofit based in Palo
Alto, California. "It's people like Matthew who have made 30,000
books available at Bookshare.org today," said Janice Carter,
Director of Benetech's Literacy Programs. "Thanks to the ongoing
support of the Bookshare.org volunteer community, we continue to
add about 100 new books each week."
The Benetech literacy team will present their library of accessible
books and periodicals at the annual conference of The International
Dyslexia Association conference held at the Indiana Convention
Center in Indianapolis, Indiana from November 8-11.
Wednesday, November 8
Also, in the updates category, I've learned that I'm now eligible to upgrade my Blogger account to the new look and feel of blogs on Blogger. For the reader, this means keywords on all my posts. That might be an ongoing project for me, but it might very well start this weekend as well. The layout and content of the blog will stay the same, so they say, so no worries there. Until later.
Monday, November 6
Blind Americans to Cast First Secret Ballot
National Federation of the Blind to Monitor Compliance
BALTIMORE, MD, October 24, 2006: The National
Federation of the Blind announced today that it
has created a hotline for blind and visually impaired voters
to report any difficulties in casting their
ballots both secretly and independently in the
upcoming election. The purpose of the hotline will be to monitor
compliance with the provisions of the Help
America Vote Act (HAVA) relating to nonvisual
access to the voting process for the blind.
James Gashel, Executive Director for Strategic
Initiatives at the National Federation of the
Blind, said: "This election is historic because it is the
first general election since the implementation
date for the accessibility provisions of the Help
America Vote Act. I was able to vote independently and
completely in private for the first time in the
Maryland primary election last month and look
forward to doing it again in November, when many blind voters
across the nation will cast a secret ballot for
the first time in their lives. The ability to
cast a secret ballot is not only thrilling for us as blind
voters, it protects our democracy by ensuring
that nobody exercises undue influence over us or
engages in outright fraud while pretending to help us vote.
A secret vote is just as important for blind
voters as it is for every other American."
Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National
Federation of the Blind, said: "The National
Federation of the Blind led the effort to make it possible for
the blind to vote independently and in secret,
like all other Americans. We have been working
to help jurisdictions to comply with that statute by providing
educational and training materials through our
National Center for Nonvisual Election
Technology. Having worked so hard to achieve full and equal participation
by the blind in the voting process, it is our
duty to ensure that no blind American is denied
the right to cast a secret ballot, and we will take any action
that is necessary and appropriate to carry out that obligation."
The National Federation of the Blind HAVA
National Compliance Hotline will be available at
1-877-632-1940 from 7:00 AM-10:00 PM EST on Election Day (Tuesday,
November 7) and from 8:00 AM-5:00 PM on
Wednesday, November 8. Callers will be asked
where they are voting and whether they have been able to cast their
ballot with accessible equipment. The National
Federation of the Blind will analyze the data
collected and conduct any appropriate follow-up, including
assisting voters with actionable grievances in
filing complaints with the United States Department of Justice.
Passed in 2002, the Help America Vote Act was
intended to help states replace outdated voting
equipment such as the punch card machines that caused problems
during the 2000 presidential election. The law
mandates that every polling place in the nation
must have at least one voting station accessible to the
blind. As of January 1, 2006, jurisdictions
should be complying by using electronic voting
terminals, special ballot-marking devices, or vote-by-phone
systems. All of these methods use audio prompts
to read the ballot to a blind voter and allow the
voter to make ballot choices using a keypad. This technology
allows the blind to vote without the assistance
of a sighted poll worker. "Since many
jurisdictions will be using new voting equipment that is accessible
to the blind for the first time," Dr. Maurer
explained, "we feel that it is essential to
collect data on whether that equipment has been implemented and
The National Federation of the Blind was
instrumental in advocating for the nonvisual
access language contained in the HAVA and received a grant under
that statute to ensure its implementation. The
National Center for Nonvisual Election Technology
(NCNET) was established by the Federation to carry out
the terms of the grant. The NCNET has developed
an on-line curriculum and a DVD to help make
election officials aware of the needs of blind voters and
to help jurisdictions select appropriate
equipment to provide nonvisual access to the blind at the polling place.
For more information about the National
Federation of the Blind and its work on access to