>The President's New Freedom Initiative promised to help jumpstart research
>assistive and universally designed
>technologies. As part of our work to make this a reality, the Commerce
>Department and the National Federation of the
>Blind will announce tomorrow the first field testing of a prototype device
>increase access to electronic images in the
>same way that Braille is used by people who are blind.
>Below is more information about tomorrow's event.
>Associate Director for Domestic Policy
>MEDIA ADVISORY CONTACTS: Michael E. Newman at (301) 975-3025
>Monday, Oct. 21, 2002 email@example.com
> Karen Cowles Pullen at (202) 482-1523
>Deputy Commerce Secretary to Announce New Technology for the Blind
>Device Allows Blind to 'Feel' Electronic Images and Furthers
>Commitment to Persons with Disabilities
>Thursday, October 24, 2002, 11 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
>The International Braille and Technology Center for the Blind
>National Federation of the Blind Headquarters
>1800 Johnson St., Baltimore, Md.
>For directions, go to http://www.nfb.org/directions.htm
>Deputy Commerce Secretary Sam Bodman and National Federation of the Blind
>President Marc Maurer will
>announce that Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology
>and the NFB will collaborate on the
>first "field testing" of a prototype device for the blind and visually
>to "feel" electronic images and graphics. The
>announcement is being made in conjunction with National Disability Awareness
>Month and NFB's National Meet the Blind
>Month and furthers the President's New Freedom Initiative in developing
>assistive technologies for persons with disabilities.
>The NIST tactile visual display system will be demonstrated for the media by
>John Roberts, the leader of the NIST research
>team developing the technology, and Curtis Chong, director of technology for
> NFB, who is blind. A short
>question-and-answer period will follow the demonstration. Reporters,
>photographers and video crews then will be able to
>try out/photograph the visual display system firsthand.
>During the past few years, NIST has pioneered two low-cost technologies to
>translate electronic data for use by the blind
>and visually impaired. The first device, known as the NIST Braille reader,
>allows the blind to use e-books, review e-mail,
>browse the Web and access other text-based applications.
>The current version of the reader incorporates several design improvements
> on feedback from NFB members who
>"field tested" the original design.
>The technology to be introduced on Oct. 24 is a device that brings
>images to the blind and visually impaired in the
>same way that Braille makes words readable. The prototype conveys scanned
>illustrations, map outlines or other graphical
>images to the fingertips, and can translate images displayed on Internet Web
>pages or in electronic books.
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