[Nfbc-info] Fw: New toys for us

Jennifer Boylan jaboylan at sbcglobal.net
Wed Dec 16 01:25:38 UTC 2009

--- On Sun, 12/13/09, Jack Varnon <aw.varnon at yahoo.com> wrote:

From: Jack Varnon <aw.varnon at yahoo.com>
Subject: Fw: New toys for us
To: "z.Judy R Hamilton" <jrhamilton51 at earthlink.net>
Date: Sunday, December 13, 2009, 1:53 PM

FYI and to share with others.
----- Original Message ----- 

A cutting edge navigation tool that promises to make travel much easier and 
offer a lot more independence for blind and deaf-blind travelers was 
launched at the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) conference 
October 29 through 31 in Chicago, Ill.
The system is called ClickAndGo Wayfinding Maps and it offers detailed 
narrative route descriptions that help vision impaired people successfully 
find their way to unfamiliar destinations. The maps are free to users and 
can be accessed by telephone.
"This is modeled after the popular "directions? feature of Yahoo, Google, 
and MapQuest maps," said inventor and mobility specialist Joe Cioffi, who 
has 28 years experience teaching blind and deaf-blind clients white cane 
techniques. "With Internet maps, sighted users select a starting point and 
destination from a drop-down menu and then click "go" for driving 
"We adapted ClickAndGo Wayfinding Maps by adding the options of voice output 
or Braille that literally walks blind and deaf-blind people through the 
route to the destination with customized "mobility-friendly? walking 
directions," Cioffi said.
Rather than depend on strangers for directions, blind ATIA Conference 
attendees picked up a telephone or will use a computer to access a website, 
give their point of origin and destination, and hear specific directions to 
help them find their way independently to the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel 
and Convention Center?s registration desk, interior restaurants, ballrooms 
and function rooms, restrooms, guide dog relief areas, and other 
A caller may hear, for example: "After entering through the main doors, the 
flooring changes from carpet to tile. There are two elevators along the 
right side wall, 25 feet away. The elevator call button is located between 
the 2 elevators. Enter and press floor 2. Exit on floor 2 and walk straight. 
In 10 feet you will reach entry doors separating the elevator foyer from the 
main hallway. After these doors, walk straight 5 feet and turn right. You 
are now facing a 20 foot wide hallway, and straight ahead in 70 feet you 
will reach the double doors of the hotel ballroom."
The directions can be downloaded on a notetaker for later access.
ClickAndGo Wayfinding Maps are mainly intended to help vision impaired 
travelers more easily orient themselves and move through airports, schools 
and universities, hotel and convention centers, public parks, amusement 
parks, tourist destinations, and other public places. But Cioffi also offers 
customized narrative walking directions for outdoor landmark-to- landmark 
route travel. All directions and point of interest information can be 
downloaded through ClickAndGoMaps' fully accessible website as both web 
pages and MP3 downloads, or obtained by using the company?s voice activated 
technology with a standard telephone.
The system has been praised by users such as Ken Rodgers, who is blind and a 
Master's candidate at Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of 
Minnesota, and the Past Minnesota Chapter President of the American Council 
of the Blind. Rodgers said the system offers a level of detail that is 
unparalleled by any other service or technology today.
"The CickAndGo narrative mapping technology is absolutely phenomenal!" said 
Rodgers who tested the product at the University. "It's easy to use and will 
revolutionize the way I find unfamiliar destinations without the fear of 
getting lost. Talk about maintaining my independence! "
Cioffi is the owner of InTouch Graphic which also produces tactile/low 
vision maps for people who are blind and vision impaired. ClickAndGo 
Wayfinding Maps will be offered free to users. Cioffi is hoping to market 
the product to participating institutions such as airports and hotels that 
wish to accommodate their customers as well as comply with the Americans 
with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. The ADA offers some tax incentives and 
under certain conditions, reimburses businesses up to $15,000 for 
adaptations that encourage accessibility of public accommodations.
For more information, contact Cioffi at 612-220-6657.



Amazon's Kindle to get audible menus, bigger font

By Jessica Mintz

Associated Press
Posted: 12/07/2009 01:55:11 PM PST
Updated: 12/07/2009 03:47:24 PM PST

SEATTLE - <http://Amazon. com>Amazon.com will add
two features to the Kindle e-book reader to make
the gadget more accessible to blind and vision-impaired users.

Monday's announcement comes a month after
Syracuse University in Syracuse, N.Y., and the
University of Wisconsin-Madison said they would
not consider widely deploying the device as an
alternative to paper textbooks until Amazon makes
it easier for blind students to use. Both
universities bought some Kindles to test this fall.

The Kindle has a read-aloud feature that could be
a boon to blind students and those with other
disabilities including dyslexia, but turning it
on requires navigating through screens of text menus.

Amazon said Monday it is working on audible
menus, which would let the Kindle speak menu
options out loud. It's also working on an
extra-large font for people with impaired vision.
The additions should reach the Kindle next summer, Amazon said.

Chris Danielsen, a spokesman for the National
Federation of the Blind, said Monday that the
organization doesn't know enough about the new
features to say whether they adequately address
concerns of the blind community. But, he said,
it's a good sign Amazon is expressing commitment to improve the Kindle.

Amazon released this year the $489 Kindle DX, a
large-screen model aimed at textbook and
newspaper readers. Several colleges including
Arizona State University are testing the gadget
this academic year and sending feedback to the company.

The federation for the blind, which is based in
Baltimore, teamed up with another advocacy group,
the American Council of the Blind, to sue Arizona
State in an attempt to block it from using the
Kindle as a way to distribute electronic
textbooks because the devices can't be used by blind students.

It also filed complaints with the Justice
Department against five other schools
participating in the Kindle trial with Amazon:
Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, the
Darden School of Business at the University of
Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., Pace University
in New York, Princeton University in Princeton,
N.J., and Reed College in Portland, Ore.

Syracuse University and the University of
Wisconsin were not among the pilot-test schools.

Danielsen declined to comment when asked if
Amazon's proposed changes would lead the federation to abandon its



Just in time for christmas!

Just in time for that New Year's party!

Jump right on over to the ACB Store and hit a bull's eye with the brand new
Audio Dart Master!

We all had a great time playing audible darts at the 2007 Minneapolis
convention in the Recreation Zone. Only problem was that it was impossible
to buy a talking dart board that voiced everything the blind player needed
to know about his game.

The new Audio Dart Master talks, and it talks everything you need to hear.
Lots of options and lots of games; perfect for home, schools, rehab centers,
or even dart leagues.
https://www. acb.org/cgi- bin/acart/ acart.pl? &page=products90 0-recreation. htm&session=!SESSION!

Visit the ACB Store now and follow the Recreation and Leisure link to check
out this fantastic product. We got a chance to try it out at the Kentucky
Council of the Blind convention last month, and it was the hit of the
exhibit area.

When you purchase an Audio Dart Master, dart board stand, and Audio Dart
Master Customization through the ACB Store, you get a great game are
supporting ACB at the same time.

So check it out and let's start having lots of fun with audible darts.


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