Fact Sheet: Technology Demonstrations at the Disability Network (9/21/00)
                            September 21, 2000

The technologies on display at the Disability Network for the President?s
visit illustrate both how mainstream technologies can be made accessible to
and usable by people with disabilities, as well as how specialized
assistive technologies can enable people with various disabilities to take
greater advantage of mainstream technologies.  Some of the technologies are
cross-disability in nature, while others are targeted toward a specific
type of disability.

Eye Gaze, LC Technologies.  Eye Gaze is a communication and control system
for people with complex physical disabilities, such as Lou Gehrig?s
disease.  By looking at control keys displayed on a screen, a person can
synthesize speech, control the environment (lights, appliances, etc.),
type, operate a telephone, run computer software, and access the Internet
and e-mail.  As a user sits in front of the Eyegaze monitor, a video camera
mounted below the computer observes one of the user?s eyes.  The Eyegaze
software continually analyzes the video image of the eye and determines
where the user is looking on the screen.  This technology helps illustrate
how people with complex and seemingly very limiting disabilities can fully
participate in the Information Age.  This technology will be demonstrated
by Nancy Cleveland of LC Technologies.

Electronic Books (DAISY), American Foundation for the Blind and
Time-Warner.  Time-Warner Trade Publishing and the American Foundation for
the Blind (AFB) will demonstrate the first commercial title ever to be
released to the general reading public using an exciting, new, innovative
electronic book technology.  Developed in the blindness community, this new
publishing technology promises to revolutionize reading and literacy for
all people worldwide,
including people who are blind or otherwise print disabled.  The first
publication, Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech, will be
demonstrated using both software on a PC and specialized portable reading
appliances.  Readers can see the text of the book displayed on screen (or
in braille) fully synchronized with a narrated recording; use
next-generation web technologies to surf directly to any page, chapter,
index entry, topic, or subsection in the book; and annotate the text with
their own bookmarks and study notes.  This technology is an example of how
products designed to benefit people with disabilities often have broader
applications for the general public, for example, as assistance to people
learning English as a Second Language.  This technology will be
demonstrated by Janina Sajka of the American Federation for the Blind.

Scan-able, Coded Electronic Books, Intacta Technologies.  A new application
of Intacta.code technology, in partnership with IDEAL (Individuals with
Disabilities: Enabling Advocacy Link) at NCR, allows virtually any document
or computer file to be converted into compact, printed, 2D codes.  When the
printed 2D code is run through a standard scanner, the original file is
decoded on a PC. The technology can provide persons who are blind and
dyslexic electronic access to the audio or electronic version of any
printed document, without having to access the original electronic version
of the document.  A demonstration can show how a purposely damaged and
crumpled paper, printed with Intacta.Code, can be run through a scanner
rendering a computer-based, screen-readable, version of a 200-page book,
"Equality of Opportunity: The Making of the Americans with Disabilities
Act."  With this technology, a wealth of documents can be stored, for easy
retrieval, on a simple piece of paper.  This shows how mainstream
commercial products can be used to increase access to information for
people with disabilities if engineers are sufficiently aware of the needs
and potential of people with disabilities.  Steve Jacobs of IDEAL at NCR
will demonstrate this technology.

JAWS for Windows.  Jaws for Windows (JFW) is a screen reader that speaks
everything on the computer screen for a person who is blind.  It will read
everything from web pages and email to Excel spread sheets.  The Braille
Window works with JFW to provide the user the ability to read the screen in
Braille.  This gives the user a true representation of the screen and
allows for better editing of documents, quicker access to information, and
is the only way for a deaf-blind person to access the computer.  This
illustrates how effective integration of third-party peripherals and
mainstream technologies enable people with disabilities to command popular
software applications with equal dexterity.  Sharon Regal of the Visually
Impaired Center in Flint and Luke Zelley of the Disability Network will
demonstrate this technology.

Web Accessibility & Accessible Distance Learning, Web Accessibility
Initiative (WAI) and WGBH?s National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM).
Accessibility features developed by NCAM and WAI include captioning of
audio for people who are deaf and hard of hearing, description of video for
people who are blind or who have low vision, and Web design that makes
navigation easier for people with physical or cognitive disabilities.
These can be applied in the context of entertainment as well as educational
materials.  For example, NCAM has partnered with MIT to create the MIT
PIVOT Project  (Physics Interactive Video On-Line Tutor), which makes an
introductory physics class accessible on-line by using captions and vide
descriptions.  This demonstration shows how Web sites and distance learning
through the Internet can readily be designed to be accessible to people
with disabilities, including individuals with visual and hearing
impairments.  Judy Brewer, Director of the Web Accessibility Initiative,
will demonstrate this technology.

Additional technologies on display at the Disability Network?s Access
center will include:

Cyberlink Interface, Brain Actuated Technologies.  The Cyberlink Interface
enables hands-free control of computers and electrical devices.  Brain and
body signals detected by the sensors in a headband are amplified, digitized
and transmitted to the computer to affect feedback displays, control a
mouse or an interactive video game, navigate a productivity or business
application, use a web browser, control almost any Windows application,
play musical synthesizers or sound cards, activate peripheral devices, and
adjust environmental controls.

Video Teleconferencing.  Video teleconferencing at the Disability Network,
using high-speed Internet connections, will enable users of the Access
Center to participate in distance learning opportunities.  This would also
enable people who are Deaf to communicate over the Internet by using sign
language, instead of relying upon a telecommunications relay service.

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