News about Screen Reader/2

From: Chuck Raby (clraby@US.IBM.COM)
Date: Thu Aug 07 1997 - 19:31:32 PDT

You may be already aware of our recent Version 2.01 upgrade to Screen
Reader/2. This was a significant effort which provided compatibility for OS/2
Warp* 4 and for Lotus Notes* R4.
This update for your Screen Reader/2 V2.0 can be obtained by calling
1.800.426.4832. A more detailed description can be found on the Special
Needs Systems Web page at
This 2.01 update is now also available in these languages: Dutch, French,
German, Norwegian, Spanish, and UK English.
Intensive testing of this 2.01 release was done by Guido Corona of IBM
Special Needs Canada and Rejean Proulx of IBM Canada, concentrating on the
Lotus Notes R4 compatibility. They identified some needed fixes and proposed
a number of improvements for SR/2 support of Lotus for SR/2 support of Lotus
Notes Releases 4.1 and 4.5.
Our thanks to them for this excellent effort. As a result we have completed
a FixPak, SR/2 version 2.01 FixPak for Lotus Notes Releases 4.1 and 4.5,
which implements the improvements and fixes the problems.
There are 3 ways to get this update.
1. You can get it through our web site at
2. You can also download it from our Internet FTP site. That download address:
(Or look for the file SR2201FP.EXE in the SR-OS2 directory)
3. If you don't have access to the Internet, you can call 1.800.426.4832 and
we will send a diskette to you.
Please make sure that you really need the update before installing it. It is
only for Screen Reader/2 version 2.01 and only if Lotus Notes 4.1 or 4.5 for
OS/2 is being used.
Do not use this update on a non-English version of SR/2 2.01 because it will
introduce English pop-up menus, icon names, and the English profile for Lotus
Notes. The centers that translated 2.01 have been informed of this FixPak to
consider for translation.
By the way, in case you haven't looked in a while, the Special Needs Systems
Web page has been expanded in scope, in detail, and in accessibility.
Thanks to Phill Jenkins (new to the SNS team last summer) this work provided
additional information about Screen Reader/2 including Guido Corona's
(IBM Canada SNS) Frequently Asked Questions.
There is now a Web page for French users of Screen Reader/2. It can be
accessed at:
A Web page for German users of Screen Reader/2 can be accessed at:
Guido Corona (IBM Special Needs, Canada) has improved Screen Reader/2
profiles for several applications. They are described by Guido as follows:
We added some important new fixes and features to EXPLORE, the profile for
IBM WebExplorer. By popular demand, we have found and applied a reliable
circumvention for the notorious loss of automatic voice changes when jumping
from link to link with the keypad the keyboard. No more links mysteriously
spoken with the default voice! Several other fixes and enhancements have
been applied to other aspects of automatic voice changes. And last -- but
not least -- the EXPLORE profile is now compatible with IBM WebExplorer v1.2,
the version shipped with Warp 4. And, of course, we have spruced up the TIP
file and updated it with information on all the new functionality.
If you enjoy automatic voice changes while surfing the Internet with IBM
WebExplorer, you will now love the same convenience when consulting on-line
books and help windows. The new version of VIEWDOC, the profile for the OS/2
document viewing and help facility, can now speak links and highlighted text
with a special voice. Use the voice that we have already pre-set for you, or
create your own, just like with WebExplorer.
We also fixed the pointer placement problem (it always ended up at line 1
column 1 after a STOP during page browse).
Here are some exciting new features for users of Lotus123 for OS/2 and
Microsoft Excel 5.0.
Do you ever get confused when -- navigating a large spreadsheet -- your
screen reader kindly announces a bunch of indistinguishable numbers that
denote the coordinates and the content of a cell? For example, you might
hear "A:BX 302 99". You still will not know what the quantity 99 is until
you painstakingly find the title of the cell column or row.
Let SRD/2 do the walking!
The new enhanced cell browse function, which is now on by default, in the
123OS2 and EXCEL50 profiles will announce the column and row titles as you
navigate from cell to cell. Move horizontally and SRD/2 will read the column
title before the cell contents. Move vertically and SRD/2 will announce the
row title instead. And, to make this feature even better, we added automatic
voice changes for cell browse. You will never again confuse cell contents
with titles or coordinates.
Of course, we fixed that annoying long pause during spreadsheet scrolls as
Have you ever wanted to store the documents you scanned with your Xerox
Reading Edge or Kurzweil Personal Reader on your computer? SRD/2 can now do
it for you with the new KPR profile. Just install this profile and connect
your reading machine to a serial port and SRD/2 will do the rest.
It is as easy as pressing a chord on the keypad. And, of course, you can
still surf the Internet or work on a spreadsheet at the same time you scan
your book, thanks to the magic and power of true OS/2 multitasking!
- NETSCAPE* 2.02
A SR/2 Profile for Netscape 2.02 has been provided by Karl Weirich of IBM
Germany (translated to English by Michel Such of IBM France).
All of these profiles can be obtained from the Special Needs Systems Web page
They are only applicable for the U.S. English versions of these applications.
We are happy to announce that we're now shipping a new, improved keypad.
Based on user feedback, we redesigned the keypad to be smaller, lighter and
more portable.
The keys are arranged in the same pattern as the older keypad, except that
the Help and Stop keys are on the top left and right respectively. In
addition, they are the same size as the rest of the keys.
Karl Weirich of IBM Germany has made available the Braille/2 Version 5.0
package for Screen Reader/2. This package is offered in a German and an
English version and supports several Braille devices. It supports input from
the Braille devices as well as displaying Screen Reader/2 output on the
device. You can get more details from the Special Needs Systems Web page.
We've been busy at shows and conferences. Maybe you visited with us at
Closing the Gap, CSUN, the President's Committee on Employment for Persons
with Disabilities, ACB, NFB, or at the Paralympics in Atlanta. We (Special
Needs Systems) felt honored to be chosen as medal presenters for some of the
winning athletes in Atlanta.
We hope to visit with you at upcoming shows.
Speaking of shows, at CSUN we got together with a diverse group of users and
product vendors to discuss future screen reader user interface technology. We
think these discussions yielded some fantastic ideas.
But, we may not have gotten your ideas! If you get a minute, send us your
experiences, ideas, suggestions, and opinions about the future of screen
reading. We are particularly interested in your experiences with screen
reading user interfaces, the Internet (Netscape) and Java. Send e-mail to us
     Screen Reader --- text-to-speech for visually-impaired people
     Screen Reader/2 -- access for OS/2
        Screen Reader/2, update 2.01 (
        Screen Reader/2, Information & Utilities (
        Braille/2 for Screen Reader/2 (
     Screen Reader/DOS -- access for DOS (
     Screen Reader Newsletters (
     Screen Magnifier/2 (
Again, thank you for your continued support. If you have any questions
relative to Screen Reader or any of IBM's products for persons who have
disabilities, feel free to call 800-426-4832.
Products marked with an asterisk (*) on this page are trademarks
registered trademarks of their respective companies.
IBM Special Needs Systems... Together We Can Make a Difference

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