[nfb-talk] Blind Bargains: Portable Solutions, Innovators lead 2008 Blind Bargains Access Award Winners

David Andrews dandrews at visi.com
Mon Feb 23 21:52:28 UTC 2009

Blind Bargains: Portable Solutions, Innovators lead 2008 Blind 
Bargains Access Award Winners


Media Contact: J.J. Meddaugh
Phone: (989) 284-7915
Email: bargains at blindbargains.com

Portable Solutions, Innovators lead 2008 Blind Bargains Access Award Winners

Hundreds of votes cast for 2nd Annual Event

Kalamazoo, MI, February 23, 2008 - After much anticipation and the 
casting of hundreds of votes, the results have been released for the 
2nd annual Blind Bargains Access Awards. The awards recognize the 
achievements of companies and individuals in the assistive technology 
arena and beyond and were decided by visitors to BlindBargains.com, a 
leading online resource for the blind and visually impaired.

Leading the pack for this year is the KNFB Reading Technology K-NFB 
Reader Mobile, a software package which uses a cellular phone and 
text-to-speech technology to read printed material. Winning in the 
areas of Best Software and Product of the Year, the selection 
continues a trend of portable devices garnering top recognition by 
site readers. "Our readers have a keen eye for recognizing the most 
influential products currently available and have made some excellent 
choices," commented J.J. Meddaugh, lead webmaster for Blind Bargains 
and a contest administrator.

The HumanWare Victor Reader Stream took home the Best Hardware 
category for a second year in a row, winning by the widest margin of 
any product. Other repeat winners include Freedom Scientific's JAWS 
for Windows as best screen reader, Independent Living Aids as best 
store, and the Fred's Head Companion as best blindness-related blog.

Long a staple for free Windows-based accessible games, Jim Kitchen's 
Kitchensinc Games took home the best accessible game award for their 
rendition of Monopoly. The program has undergone several updates and 
is highly configurable. Speaking of entertainment, Blind Cool Tech 
was the winner of the best blindness-related podcast category, a new 
edition to this year's voting. It features recordings on technology, 
human interest, and general blindness subjects.

With the conversion to digital talking books by the National Library 
Service, much attention has been given to a new pilot website which 
offers downloadable recordings of popular book titles. This website 
was recognized by readers as website of the year. The best company 
honor was awarded to Kurzweil Educational Systems, makers of the 
popular Kurzweil 1000 scanning program for Windows-based computers. 
Now at version 11, it has been a mainstay in optical character 
recognition for over a decade.

Ray Kurzweil has helped to pioneer many of the technologies which 
have changed the lives for millions of individuals. From the creation 
of the first scanner to read printed text to his endeavors with 
musical synthesis, his accomplishments cannot be overlooked. Blind 
Bargains readers recognized these achievements by awarding the person 
of the year honor to Kurzweil.

The Blind Bargains Access Awards were based entirely on reader 
submissions. A nomination period was held in early January and 
followed by a voting round. It was administered by A T Guys, LLC.

For a complete list of winners and nominees, please visit 

BlindBargains.com is a premier online destination featuring news, 
deals, and articles relevant to the blind and visually impaired. 
Visitors can find the lowest prices for useful products ranging from 
technology items to household gadgets through the site, Email, 
Twitter, or RSS. Other site features include user comments, an EBay 
Auction Gateway, and a merchant search portal.

A T Guys, LLC, the assistive technology experts, offer a wide variety 
of hardware and software solutions for budget-minded consumers and 
businesses. A premier Code Factory distributor, the company's 
portfolio of products includes mobile phone and PDA software, bar 
code readers, and online services.

David Andrews and white cane Harry.

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