It's Hard to Find Good Help These Days: A Review of Personal Data AssistantsBy Earl, Christa; Hsu, Chen-Yeun; Access World, Vol. 1, No. 6, pp. 27-37
Publication Date: November 2000
Product evaluation from a blind user's viewpoint of personal data assistants (PDA's) not designed specifically for people who are blind. The article reviews the Palm Pilot, Pocket PC, and Sharp Wizard. The Palm Pilot has a tiny display and poor contrast, but has buttons that can be distinguished by touch - a large plus for blind users. It does not come with a keyboard, but a tap of an icon on the touch screen brings up a tiny on-screen keyboard to be operated by a stylus. This requires a good deal of eye-hand coordination, and users must be able to see two areas of the screen at once - the keyboard and the memo. Pocket PC's defining characteristics are that it runs Windows CE and includes many Microsoft applications. Sharp Wizard has a minuscule viewing screen - two by four inches. It does have adjustable contrast and a backlighting feature, though. Unlike the other data assistants, Wizard does not have a touch screen. It has a series of buttons on either side of the small keyboard. The author recommends trying out a variety of PDA's before settling on one.
Published by: AFB Press (Website:http://www.afb.org/Section.asp?SectionID=46)
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) (Web Site: http://www.afb.org )
Link to text: http://www.afb.org/aw/AW0106toc.asp